When you know its going to be a long day an egg is just what you need for breakfast. It keeps you going all day long till dinner. My new favorite breakfast is dark rye nordic bread (working on perfecting my bread recipe, which hopefully I will be able to post soon) toasted and lightly buttered, topped with an egg over easy or poached, and wilted greens on the side. Everything sprinkled with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. It's been known to make an appearance at dinner too.
There is a huge demand for eggs and that is no surprise. Let's see...how many ways can you enjoy an egg? Boiled - soft, medium, or hard. Scrambled - wet or dry. Fried - sunnyside up, or over hard, medium, or easy. Poached. Omelet. Frittata. Egg Salad. It's the virtually silent, but necessary, ingredient in so many baked goods. It's the key ingredient in souffles and custards. It also makes a fabulously rich bread, like brioche. An egg is really a thing where you are only limited by your imagination. Most eggs commercially bought are laid by hens. We are all aware of chickens living horrible existences in factory farming. Remember that many commercially sold eggs come from caged hens. Many grocery stores in the United Kingdom have made the commitment to only sell eggs from free-range birds, but if you can, go further and buy organic eggs. In Europe, eggs are sold at room temperature. If you have fresh eggs and plan to use them within a few days it is safe to leave them in a cool room. Otherwise, they should be refrigerated and consumed within a few weeks.
While fresh hen eggs are great, my new found love is the duck egg. These ducks (Muscovy, Mallard, Indian Runner and Khaki Campbell) are enjoying their daily swim at the pond at a local London farm. They spend daylight hours here and at night are brought inside.
It's still pretty cold out so egg production isn't very high. The warmer the weather, the more eggs are laid. Most duck egg shells are white with tinges of blue or green. Duck eggs are larger than chicken eggs. They are also tastier. Duck egg yolks are higher in fat which yields a super rich and more flavorful egg. Imagine a bit of melted butter mixed into the yolk. Duck eggs are also higher in protein. When baking with duck eggs, a richer, fluffier product is often created. It's great to substitute duck eggs for chicken eggs in cakes. As a general rule of thumb, substitute one for one (large chicken egg for duck egg), even if the duck eggs tend to be a bit larger.
If you can, try a goose egg sometime. This is the first goose egg of the season at the farm (the large white one at the top). Geese only lay eggs from late winter to summer, and from 30 to 50 a year, depending on the breed and their age.
This Chinese Crested Goose laid that egg!