Christine McFadden Cookery and Food Writing
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Christine McFadden with students
Alternative Pancakes
A Taste of Rabbit
Beyond Carrot Cake
Bountiful Blackberries
Celebrating Celery
Cherries are the Only Fruit
Chuck, Flank and Shank
Cooking With
What You’ve Got
Cool Curries
Delectable Duck
Do I Dare to Eat a Peach?
Drupe Fruit
Excellent Eggs
Feel the Fear and
Cook it Anyway
Give Swede a Chance
Glorious Globes
Glorious Greens
Golden Orbs
Heavenly Herbs
King Cauliflower
Lovely Lovage
Meat of Kings
More Than Marmalade
Of Cabbages and Kings
Partridges and Pears
Pumpkins and Winter Squash
Remarkable Medlars
Roasting Chestnuts
Rhubarb Renaissance
Ruffian Roots: Celeriac
Sensational Sea Buckthorn
Sicilian Utopia
Strawberry Fare
The Not-So-Humble Parsnip
Time for Pie
Time to Talk About Eggs
Watercress – a culinary hero
We Won't Go Until
We Get Some
Egg cookery turkey eggs Christine McFadden Dorset Foodie
Learn to bake eggs Southwest Christine McFadden
Egg cookery Christine McFadden Southwest

Christine's blog

This is the place to enjoy Christine's food-related musings – from seasonal food and food producers to cooking tools, food markets and gastro-travel. You'll also find some must-try recipes and invaluable tips and techniques.

Excellent Eggs

Most of us look on eggs as culinary wallpaper – always there in the background, ready when needed, regardless of season. As a result we have become used to year-round availability, but it’s worth taking on board that eggs have seasons just like any other fresh produce, and now is a good time to enjoy them. Once sampled, you will appreciate that eggs can be a luxury item with a fabulous fresh flavour, gloriously golden yolks and a dense texture – a direct result of a diet of greenery, grains and edible grubs rather than commercial feed additives.

Eggs are certainly a cook’s best friend. They can be boiled, fried, poached, scrambled, baked or made into omelettes. They provide cakes with bounce, soufflés with height and sauces with thickness and gloss. They make pasta silky, pastry shiny and they help breadcrumbs stick to food. Beaten with oil, the yolks emulsify into mayonnaise; whisked with air, the whites transmute to the miraculous foam that gives meringues and mousses their lightness.

Hen’s eggs
Particularly sought-after are eggs from special breed hens. Maran eggs and Burford Browns have striking brown shells the colour of builders’ tea, while those from the Old Cotswold Legbar are a pretty pastel blue, and Leghorn Whites are a pristine white, as the name suggests.

Duck eggs
These contain slightly more fat than hen’s eggs and consequently have a richer flavour. They make unctuously creamy scrambled eggs and are superb in pastry and cakes.

Turkey eggs
Available from April to June, turkey eggs are a rare seasonal treat. Notably larger than a hen’s egg, they have beautiful brown speckled shells and a large creamy yolk. They are good scrambled, and even better in my Turkey Egg Frittata with Roasted Red Peppers. Bear in mind that turkey eggs can be elusive since most eggs are used for breeding Christmas birds. The best hunting grounds are farm shops but check out specialist egg producer Clarence Court for other stockists.

Goose eggs
Another springtime treat, goose eggs are at least three times the size of a hen’s egg. They are rich and intensely eggy with an enormous yolk kept aloft by a viscous white. Their flavour is strong, but excellent for enriching cakes.

Quail eggs
Flecked with random splashes of brown, these beautiful child-sized eggs can be hard-boiled and dipped in celery salt to make a tasty bite-sized canapé. They also make a pretty addition to a salad tumbled with watercress sprigs or radicchio, pale green frisée, purple radish sprouts and a few chopped toasted hazelnuts. Anoint with the merest splash of hazelnut oil, a drop of wine vinegar, crumbled sea salt flakes and cracked black peppercorns and you have a stunning starter.

Game bird eggs
Guinea fowl, pheasant and partridge eggs are all edible, though only sporadically on sale as they are usually kept for breeding purposes. Guinea fowl eggs are slightly smaller than a hen’s egg and have a similar mild flavour. They have beautiful brown-speckled shells that need an extra-firm tap to break them. Walnut-sized pheasant eggs come in a military khaki without any speckling. They have a powerful flavour best tamed by hard-boiling. Dumpy little partridge eggs are the most exquisite with tasteful coffee-coloured speckles on a pale beige shell. You’ll find these eggs in good farm shops and from specialist egg producer Clarence Court


© Christine McFadden, May 2022

    Photography:Scott Morrison, Christine McFadden    
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