As a huge lover of eggs, which is my daily source of protein and energy, I was pleased to attend the Egg-stagram Masterclass at Food at 52, hosted by Heritage Breeds, a new range of speciality eggs that features hen, duck and quail eggs from handpicked British farms. Heritage Breeds take particular pride in the welfare of the birds, and believe that traditions of better breeding and high hen welfare make for impeccable quality eggs. Heritage Breeds hens are traditionally reared in smaller flocks on hand-picked British farms, typically a third of the size of standard free range farms, meaning that they have considerably more space to roam free outdoors with plenty of shade. All Heritage Breeds birds are also fed a wholesome vegetarian diet which has been specifically designed by an animal nutritionist and tailored to the flock’s individual needs.
We started off in the cosy front lounge area, which felt a bit like being in someone’s sitting room, where we sipped on prosecco and nibbled on mini scrambled eggs bruschetta and deviled quail eggs.
Downstairs in the kitchen, we then got down to business, as we donned our aprons at our stations, ready for some hands-on action.
The first dish was smoked trout, asparagus and parmesan tartlets made with Copper Marans eggs – a deep brown shell egg from the famous French Marans hen breed that has a distinctive deep orange yolk and clear egg white. That vibrant coloured yolk is great to enhance the look and taste of glazed pastry or baked sponge cake, and would definitely elevate any egg dish. We participated in the making of the dough before they were taken away and magically reappeared at the tables, freshly baked from the oven – if only this was a regular occurrence in my kitchen!
This delicious pastry was topped with smoked paprika and poached speckled quail eggs, from the Brown and Golden Coturnix breed, that are delicious when served soft boiled. John also showed us how to poach the perfect egg – or about 12 mini quail eggs simultaneously, on this occasion.
The second dish was a Tuna Niçoise, a classic French salad, on which we finished off with boiled Gladys May’s duck eggs – a porcelain white shelled duck egg with an exquisite, large orange yolk. Descended from the Aylesbury breed, these duck eggs are much larger than hen eggs and have thicker egg whites. We each got to practise our egg-peeling skills, using the efficient ‘crack and roll’ method. A flavoursome, high-protein recipe that I would love to replicate back in my kitchen to keep my energy levels up for my longs days of work and dancing.
Everyone loves a bit of #yolkporn , and so we were given the chance to do some of our own food-styling of the soft boiled Royal Legbar eggs with soldiers. These pastel shell hen eggs from the renowned Legbar family descended from the rare Araucana breed and are ideal for poaching, boiling and frying.
Lastly, dessert was a tantalizing Amaretti Semifreddo made with Copper Marans eggs – most of you know how much of a sweettooth I am, and I’ll be sure to try and attempt this simple and tasty recipe in my new kitchen and store some in my freezer! Because everyone needs an Amaretti Semifreddo in those sugar craving emergency situations …
Only Heritage Breeds speciality hen eggs carry the Lion Quality stamp of approval, which means that they follow one of the highest quality standards in the world ensuring all eggs are safe, as well as thoroughly nutritious to eat, and are delivered from farm to store in as little as 5 days from date of lay. Why not stock up on some in your kitchen and try them out for yourself? – you will certainly notice a difference. You can find out more about Heritage Breeds on their website here.
Many thanks to all our hosts for the evening – I look forward to enjoying more of those Heritage Breeds eggs for breakfast, and maybe even bake a cake this weekend …
The Cheekster, signing out x
- I was invited as a guest.