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Eggs Glorious Eggs!

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Arun Kapil: Spice Specialist and Owner of Green Saffron

Interesting Egg Facts:

. How do you tell if an egg is fresh? A fresh egg will sink in water, a stale one will float.
. There are about 70 calories in an uncooked egg and 77 calories in a cooked egg.
. Eggs contain all the essential protein, minerals and vitamins, except Vitamin C.
. Egg yolks are one of few foods that naturally contain Vitamin D.
. Eggs also contain choline, which is necessary for healthy cell membranes in the body. Choline stimulates brain development and function and helps preserving memory.
. Eggs also are good for your eyes because they contain lutein which helps prevents age-related cataracts and muscular degeneration. In fact, eggs contain more lutein than spinach and other green vegetables.
. An egg shell has as many as 17,000 pores over its surface.
. Ever wonder why you get the odd double yolked egg? Older hens tend to lay bigger eggs but double-yolked eggs are produced by younger hens whose egg production cycles are not yet synchronized.
. China produces the most eggs, at about 160 billion per year.
. A hen can lay about 250 eggs per year.
. The chicken is one of the first domestic animals, appearing in China around 1400 BC.
. The are some 150 chicken species and hundreds of chicken breeds.
. Taken from http://didyouknow.org/eggs/

Egg Malai Masala - Mild

One Pot Wonder

I made this fragrant, creamy textured, comfort recipe, based on my Mum's "Egg Curry". A dish we were often given as a treat...it was our 'reward' dish; don't know why...it just became known as such! Adding a couple of influences from the Western Indian, Rajasthan and Southern Indian, Tamil style of cooking, the result is a totally satisfying, 'hug' of an Indian dish. Quick, simple and yet quite wonderfully light, it's a great one to quickly prepare on your return home after a long day...!

Ingredients:

Serves 4 People

. Hen Eggs 6
. Ginger, fresh root 20g, blitzed or grated
. Garlic 3 fat cloves (15g), finely chopped or crushed
. Onions 300g, diced
. Butter 65g, you could use Ghee, or sunflower oil
. Spices 2 tsp coriander seeds, 1 tsp fennel seeds, ?2 tsp chilli flakes, 1 tsp cassia or cinnamon powder, 1 tsp salt, 1?2 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
. Tomatoes, chopped,1 tin
. Coconut milk 1 tin
. Vegetable stock 300ml
. Fresh coriander good handful, roughly chopped

Method:

1. Pop the spices in your electric grinder or pestle and mortar and 'blitz' to a coarse powder.

2. Place the eggs in a pan of cold water, bring to the boil and allow to bubble away for 4 -5 minutes. Drain and refresh under running water for 3 minutes or so. Crack the egg shells and peel them. Place on kitchen paper to allow them to dry, set aside.

3. Then, place a heavy bottomed, large pan or casserole on to a medium flame, add the butter (or ghee, or oil) and heat for a moment.

4. Add the onions, stir and cook for a couple of minutes, then add the garlic and ginger, stir and allow to sweat down until they're all soft.

5. Add your blend of spices, stir, then add your tin of tomatoes. Stir again, turn down the heat slightly and gently simmer for 1 minute or so.

6. Add the tin of coconut milk, stir, turn up the heat, bring to the boil, allow the mixture to gently bubble for only a minute before turning the heat back down to low and simmering with the lid off.

7. Reduce the sauce until it has the consistency of double cream and can coat the back of your stirring spoon with a glossy covering, about 10 minutes.

8. Turn off the heat. Cut the eggs in half, lengthways, pop them onto your warmed dinner plates, spoon over lashings of the beautiful sauce, sprinkle with the fresh coriander and serve immediately....simple!

Serving suggestions:

Serve with mounds fluffy Aged Basmati rice or Naan

Scotch Eggs - originally known as 'Bird's Nest'

- Chicken meat around a Duck's egg (with Korma spices)
- Pork meat around a Hens egg (with Quatre Epice spices)
- Fresh and smoked Salmon around a Quail's egg (with Panch Phoron spices)

Celebration Salmon Quail 'Birds Nest' Eggs

This recipe is a beautiful twist on the delicious picnic staple - the Scotch Egg and must be tried! I first made it when a few friends turned up unannounced one afternoon, from leftovers that were happily sitting in the fridge. We were feeling peckish - so, with just a little fresh salmon and some smoked salmon trimmings left over from the previous night's supper, I got to work! Just heavenly...

Ingredients:

. 2 Cups Fresh homemade crumbs made from good stale bread; crusts removed or left on as you prefer, blitzed in a blender or by hand (and knife!). Or try using ready-made Japanese Panko breadcrumbs, bought from an Oriental store; they're superb!
. 12 quails' eggs
. 4 tsbp seasoned plain flour for dusting the eggs - black pepper, fine sea salt & cayenne
. 200g fresh organic salmon, skin-off, cubed
. 80g smoked salmon trimmings cubed - or any smoked fish - cod/haddock/mackerel
. 50g shallots finely diced
. ½ tsp, each of ground fennel seeds, whole onion seeds, ground coriander seeds, whole black mustard seeds, ground fenugreek seeds
. ¼ tsp fine lemon zest
. 1-2 tsp crème fraîche
. ½ bunch of chives sliced very finely
. Oil for deep frying
. 2 (hen) eggs for bread crumbing
. Black pepper & Fine Sea salt

Method:

1. Place the quails' eggs in a pan of cold water, bring to the boil, then boil for 2 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold running water for 2 minutes. Gently crack the shells, then carefully peel the eggs. Dry on kitchen paper.
2. Sift the seasoned flour onto a flat plate, roll the eggs through the flour and shake off excess.
3. Whisk the 2 hens' eggs in a shallow bowl with a small pinch of salt.
4. Place both the chilled salmons and shallots in a chilled food processor bowl, then mix / 'pulse'
5. Add the spices, lemon zest, crème fraîche to the bowl and 'pulse' once more so the mix is smooth but not gloopy, season with a little salt and black pepper, mix the chives through, cover and chill in your fridge. Hey presto, you've just made a 'salmon farce'.
6. Divide the mixture in half and form each half into six balls, with wet hands press each ball into an oval shape of about 6-8mm thick and is twice the size of your egg, brush the inside of the salmon mix, the 'farce', with beaten egg
7. Place a floured egg in the middle of each farce, form the meat around the egg, pressing to seal and cover of an even thickness. This does take a 'gentle touch' and a little patience, but take your time.....
8. Repeat, then dip each in flour, then the beaten egg, then crumb repeat with dipping egg in the beaten egg and then crumb again so you crumb twice - placing each on a tray as you complete them.

9. NB:- You can keep these now covered in a fridge until required - it's important to take eggs out of the fridge so eggs are at room temperature before frying

10. Heat sufficient clean, fresh oil in a fryer or a straight sided pan large enough to hold the eggs in one batch or repeat in two batches. Test the heat of the oil by dropping a scrap of bread into the oil; it should turn golden in 15-30 sec.
11. Cook the eggs in for about 4 min until evenly crisp and pale golden brown, then drain on kitchen paper.
12. Serve warm (if possible) with a fresh horseradish cream, sauce tartare, crisp salad leaves and chilled glasses of Riesling.....yum!

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