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Country Kitchen | July 29, 2016

Coastal Kitchen - Farm Fresh Eggs

Country Kitchen Home & Garden Revisit Blue Collar Country Mindset Farmer Homesteader Chickens cooking

Preparing Eggs 3 Ways

Whether you live in an urban high-rise or on a backcountry road, you’re likely to know someone with chickens.

Face it. Chickens are popular. So much so, eggs have become the new zucchini - the crop that everyone scrambles to give away when the garden is in full swing.

Eggs are a great dose of tasty, nutrient rich protein that contain vitamin A, E, and D, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Calcium, and Iron. You can count on eggs showing up in a lot of recipes, and they’re easy to store.

We've fried an egg in this article on the Campfire Griddle Breakfast, but what about other ways to prepare eggs?

We asked the owner of Sybaris Bistro, chef, and two-time James Beard Award nominee Matt Bennett for some pro-level tricks on 3 great ways to cook these hen house goodies.

Meet the Chef

Coastal kitchen eggs sybaris chef matt bennett

Poached, hard-boiled and scrambled are 3 popular ways to prepare your eggs, whether it’s for breakfast, lunch, dinner or breakfast for dinner. “My kids love breakfast for dinner… Who doesn’t, right?” says Matt of the traditional morning meal for dinner.

At his award winning Albany, Oregon restaurant, Matt takes a moment to talk about eggs.

“Farm fresh eggs are the best. They’ve got that rich, apricot colored yolk that makes a great breakfast and a beautiful crème brûlée,” Matt says of the eggs’ diverse role in the kitchen.

Keeping it Fresh

Most people associate the beautiful brown shell of a farm egg with being fresh. While it’s generally true that farm eggs are brown, they also come in several pastel colors as well as white - but it doesn’t always mean they’re fresh.

“A good way to tell if an egg is fresh is to crack it into a shallow dish and take a look at it. The egg will have 3 parts to it: the yolk, the thick part of the white and the watery part of the white,” Matt says. “The watery part is the part of the egg that’s broken down over time. The more runny the egg, the older it is.”

Another trick for determining freshness is to hold the dish with the cracked egg up to eye level and look at the yolk.

“The yolk will look like it’s floating on top of the white. The higher the yolk sits, the fresher the egg. For something like a poached egg, the fresher the better,” Matt explains.

Ironically, there are some cases where you don’t actually want fresh eggs. Matt says, “If you’re making hard boiled eggs, you want your eggs to be a couple of weeks old. Fresh eggs will keep in the refrigerator just fine for a couple of weeks.”

Get Cracking

Unless you’re making hard-boiled eggs, cracking the eggshell is your fist step to culinary success. Matt suggests that you use a broad surface - cutting board, counter top, etc. - to crack your eggs open. Using the narrow edge of a pan or bowl will often lead to small bits of the shell ending up in your meal.

“Crack your eggs into a dish first”, Matt says, adding, “that way, if you do have any bits of eggshell you can get them out before you start cooking.”

If you’ve never cooked with farm fresh eggs, you may be surprised at how tough the shells can be. With a little practice, you’ll be cracking and cooking like a pro.

A word about cleanliness - Whatever surface you use in cracking your eggs, be sure to clean it before introducing any other foods. Cross contamination is a real issue. Wash all surfaces with hot, soapy water for at least 20 seconds, then rinse before introducing any new foods.

Time to Cook

There’s likely as many ways to cook an egg as there are eggs in the world. We’ve asked chef Matt to give us the lowdown on 3 popular methods that are quick, easy and satisfying - poached, hard boiled and scrambled.

Poached

poached eggs jump

The perfect poached egg is a mystery for some. With a little guidance from chef Matt, you’ll be lock-perfect in no time. Did you know that poached eggs are the perfect solution for cooking eggs ahead of time for a group? Read on for more details about this method.

Hard Boiled

hard boiled eggs jump

Not just for Easter, hard-boiled eggs are a good choice all year long. Whether you’re cooking up a batch for the perennial favorite Deviled Eggs, or you just need a little bit of easy-access protein from the refrigerator, these tips from Chef Matt will get you the perfect egg.

Scrambled

scrambled eggs jum

This favorite of folk that don’t yolk around sounds simple, but there are a few tricks for perfection. Chef Matt talks about the three most important details for a good scramble. Click through for the magic.

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