Sunday, 2 March 2008

Cook them long, cook them slow

I have always made the choice to buy the best eggs possible, but now I've been looking for something just a bit more special. They must be fresh, full of flavour and free range – so that's good for me and for the hens.

A recent shopping expedition introduced me to 'Old Cotswold Legbar' eggs, laid by 'old-breed' poultry. These are fantastic to look at – I was presented with a lovely collection of colours all in one box – cream, blue, green and pink with little speckles.

To enjoy their flavour I decided to serve them scrambled. After lightly beating them, I poured them into some melted butter in a saucepan over a very gentle heat. I stress that the heat must be very low, and don't stir vigorously, just fold over from the outside towards the centre, now and again.
I think we've all been guilty of murdering rather than scrambling – I certainly committed the offence in my younger days. Too hot with too much stirring will result in a horrible bobbly dry mess, with a watery fluid separating out of it. It's not nice and the pan will be so difficult to clean afterwards! Scrambled eggs should be soft and melting, even creamy.

I like to stir in a spoonful of creme fraiche and add a sprinkling of chopped fresh dill along with any seasoning, towards the end. Take the eggs off before they're done – they should be slightly runny – they continue to cook, even after they've left the pan.

You will notice from the picture that they're topped with tomatoes. For these, I sliced a generous number of largish tomatoes in half, placed them in a metal baking tray, sprinkled them with sea salt, a little sugar and a grinding of black pepper, and put them on the middle shelf in a very low oven for a very long time. The aim is to slowly dry them, not cook them – don't allow them to boil and check regularly. The tomatoes will slowly shrink, intensifying and concentrating their flavour into a wonderful super tomatoey, carameley yumminess.

If you would like to find out more about the speciality eggs visit: clarencecourt.co.uk.
Another delicious egg is the 'Burford Brown', which I've tried and can highly recommend.

Product shot and hens photos taken from Clarence Court website


Chef Jeena said...
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