This week our cooking columnist Chef Martin Anderson highlights the versatility of eggs along with a mouth-watering recipe for his quiche.
Boiled , scrambled, poached, fried, used for baking, essential for omelettes, to make a tasty quiche and if you’re brave enough even raw in protein shakes! Free range or farm fresh; the choice is yours.
Eggs really are the wee wonder ingredient, for years eggs got a bad rap because of the cholesterol in the yolks but they are out of their shells now as research has shown that this is in fact a myth, it’s not actually the egg that was the problem, it’s the way they are cooked.
There are a lot of people who have an allergic reaction too, so be careful when cooking for friends, but they are great source of source of protein and a cheap alternative to meat.
The one golden rule I have about eggs is that they must be fresh, it can be difficult enough to tell if they fresh but if you buy them at a market or from a local farmer you’re guaranteed that they are fresh, if you are buying them in a supermarket or shop always make sure they are long dated, the longer the date the fresher the egg – simple!
There is one trick you can use though at home, 3/4 fill a large jug with cold water and place the egg inside, a fresher egg will sink and a stale egg will float this is because the older the egg has more air is inside the shell, how’s that for a cookery tip!
For baking I always use eggs at room temperature. Again another myth is that they have to be stored in the fridge, supermarkets don’t store them in the fridge so why should you? Yes you may think you’re prolonging the life but my advice would be simply buy them more often this cuts back on storage in the fridge and you’ll always have fresh eggs.
However if you are making meringue for baked Alaska or lemon meringue pie the whites should be chilled a few hours in advance thus helps with the shipping process.
Eggs for poaching or frying should be of the finest quality and always fresh, the white of stale eggs will be very thin and you’ll end up with a pit or pan of white, when baking making omlettes or scrambled eggs you may use older eggs, as you are whipping the whites and yolks together.
Another new food trend is to have an egg white only omelette, it is possibly the worst looking omelette you will every make in my opinion, the yolk gives the flavour and colour so why bother for all the fat that’s in the yolk – it don’t do you any harm.
In Sonder we serve a fantastic crustless quiche which we prepare everyday using fresh free range eggs, we also serve it with our breakfast potato farl which includes crispy bacon and spiced sausage, it’s so easy to make and very popular.
The beauty of this recipe is that I can use the fresh salad vegetables that we slice every morning but you can add whatever you wish, ours contains no meat but you may add ham, bacon, chopped chorizo, mushrooms and even chicken. Personally I think it’s a bit freaky adding cooked chicken to cooked eggs! That’s a lot of protein.
So here you go!
You will need
>A 10 inch quiche dish or deep roasting tray lined with silicone paper. This prevents the egg from burning and sticking to the dish.
>A selection of thinly sliced salad vegetables
>Tomatoes , cucumbers , red onion , peppers , mushrooms… the list is endless really.
>Cooked meats of your choice , bacon , chicken , salami , Chorizo etc.
>10 free range eggs beaten together with a pinch of salt , pepper & chilli powder.
>Lo cal spray or coconut oil .
>Grated red cheddar or mozzarella cheese.
>Place your vegetables into your lined quiche dish or deep tray , spray with lo cal or drizzle with a little melted coconut oil .
Cook at 180c for 15 minutes .
>When the vegetables are nearly ready pour in the beaten egg mix and sprinkle on your choice of cheese , return to the oven and cook until the eggs are cooked through.
>You may serve the quiche straight away but it is best to allow it to cook completely , divide into even portions and then re heat it as desired. I like to serve quiche with a nice tossed salad & loads of creamy coleslaw just like Sonder.
So there you have it a simple quick, easy and cheap meal using the finest of fresh ingredients.
Next Friday the 30th is our official opening so I’ll post details of that in next week’s article!
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