Meet Bklyn Larder Monger Roseanne Pereira aka Rosie. This week on special at the Larder are the Ameraucana Eggs from Finger Lakes Farms. What makes these eggs so special? Need a fun idea on how to cook them? Rosie take it away…
Rosie displaying her ability to balance a miniature pig on top of a blue egg.
Sometimes all we want is to find a good egg, am I right? If you have strolled by our dairy case recently, you’ve probably seen an intriguing variety pack that might help. No, I’m not talking about the petit suisse yogurts! I’m talking about the multi-colored eggs. They are from Ameraucana hens, one of only three chicken breeds worldwide known to produce blue eggs. If you have been meaning to try them, now is the time. The eggs are currently on sale for $6 a dozen or $3 for a half-dozen.
The beautiful assorted colors of the Ameraucana eggs… and our miniature pig
Brent Maynard, founder of Finger Lakes Farms, brings us these eggs from hens that live in Romulus, NY. These heritage-breed hens are fed GMO-free feed and are pastured, so free to roam. Unlike more mainstream hens that can produce an egg a day, Ameraucanas take longer to start producing eggs and lay fewer eggs when they do.
Just like with people, the diet of a chicken changes during different times of year. In the summer, when a lot of protein-rich bugs are available to eat, eggs with orange yolks are more common. In the winter, that feature tends to disappear. But not for the Ameraucanas! Maynard says that genetics are responsible for Ameraucanas producing the eggs’ deep orange yolk year-round.
Maynard eats his eggs poached or sunny-side up, so he can really enjoy the yolk’s rich flavor. I’m with him. If you have a good egg, you’ve got to eat that good yolk. I would also suggest soft-boiled eggs, which combine the best part of poaching (oozy yolk) and hard-boiled eggs (compact egg shape maintained).
Come to think of it – and maybe this is because Downton Abbey is back on the air—but soft-boiled eggs served in egg cups may be the perfect way to show off those shell colors. And if you serve them with soldiers (toasts cut into thin rectangles – just ask your British friends), you have the perfect yolk-dipping device. If Lady Cora can have a fancy breakfast in bed, so can you!
But, if you do want to cook your eggs all the way through, why not lace them with tea? It’s not too late to celebrate Chinese New Year by making and eating tea eggs. Trust me, if you find blue eggs beautiful, you will love the look of these marbled eggs. The longer you steep, the more dramatic the visual effect and the more intense the flavor. We’re talking serious umami. Try them now! Thank me later…
You want to shatter the shells, but leave them still intact.
Tea Eggs (6 Eggs)
-6 hard-boiled eggs (preferably free-range), with shells on
-4 tablespoons soy sauce
-2 tablespoons loose leaf black tea, or two teabags (I use earl grey, but you can also use earthy pu’erh or smoky lapsang souchong.)
-3 whole star anise
-1 small cinnamon stick
-1 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
-½ teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon sugar
-½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
-2-3 strips dried tangerine or orange peel
Letting the eggs simmer in the spicy, aromatic broth…
1. Take cool, dry hard- boiled eggs and tap all over shells by using the back of a spoon. The idea is to create as many cracks on the eggshell, while still keeping the entire shell on the egg. The more cracks that you make, the more elaborate your end design will be (similar concept to tie-dying!).
2. Put the eggs in a pot and add approximately 3 cups water (should cover the eggs by 1 inch.) Then add the soy sauce, tea, star anise, cinnamon, Chinese five spice powder, salt, sugar, pepper, and citrus peel. Gently stir to combine.
And… Voila! The final tea eggs
3. Bring the mixture to boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer. Continue simmering for 1.5 hours.
4. Turn off heat and let eggs completely cool. Let the eggs steep overnight. The longer the eggs steep, the darker the pattern will be.
5. When the eggs are ready to serve, peel off the shell and behold the beautiful patterns! This is the most fun part of the recipe, so make sure to enjoy yourself.