It is a fact that many people love Eggs especially for breakfast, and then some detest them. My husband loves eggs served to him at any time of the day. My mom on the other hand loves a fair hit of green chillies in her omelette to help her mentally get over that eggy edge.

As one of the most affordable sources of protein most of us except if fully vegetarian by choice, have eaten eggs in some form or the other. It is the key to a well-risen cake or soufflé. Mixed in with cream and cheese to make that scrumptious quiche. Those golden yolks are gently beaten with sugar for luscious custards and lemon curd. Egg whites are whipped until fluffy to make meringues and mousses. 

A combination of the white and yolk or the full egg is beaten and brushed gently as a final layer on top of all types of artisan bread, pies, puffs, and pastries creating that beautiful golden crust. Its uses are endless.

Eggs are also used as emulsifiers, for example in the making mayonnaise and salad dressings. Used as a thickener for soups, and a binder for all sorts of delicious cutlets and crumbs.

Boiled, fried, poached, scrambled, baked, or pickled I love eggs but like with everything in life I eat them in moderation and organic or local when possible. 

Eggs come in many sizes, types, and colours. They have been part of religious symbolism and traditions for many cultures all over the world. A sign of fertility, immortality, sacrifice, birth, and rebirth. But before we get into a little more detail on this let me fill you in on some interesting facts I have read about eggs.

 

Interesting facts.

– The egg carton was invented by Joseph Coyle in, British Colombia to solve a dispute about broken eggs between a farmer and a hotel owner. The first egg cartons were made of paper.

– Yolk colour is dependent on the diet of the hen. That bright yellow, orange or red yolk comes from feeding the hen yellow corn, marigold petals or red peppers. The yolk could be almost colour less without an orange or yellow plant pigment feed.

– Peeling a cooked egg is easiest when the egg is put into boiling water rather than heating the egg from the start in cold water. Once cooked, lightly crack the top and bottom and then proceed to roll the sides on a flat surface. This helps the eggshell to slide out easily as a whole.

– Washing an egg shortens the length of its freshness. However, in some countries, it is mandatory to wash an egg before it is sold to the consumer.

– Fresh eggs have cloudy whites and are more difficult to peel than older eggs. This is because the “air cell” surrounding the inside of the shell increases over time.

– The largest recorded egg was laid by a hen named Harriet, in Essex. It was 9.1 inches in circumference.

-The Araucana chicken a native of Chile, can lay different coloured eggs. Blue, green, brown, and pink. It is also known as the Easter egg chicken.

Human beings have consumed eggs since the beginning of time. Quail, Ostrich, Pheasants, Pigeons, Emu, Turkey, Peafowl, Partridge, and Guinea fowl. The most popular being Hen, Duck, Geese, and Quail eggs. 

A celebration of eggs…traditionally, religiously, and artistically.

-French brides in the past broke an egg at the doorstep before entering their new home for luck and fertility.

– The Jews serve eggs at Passover as a symbol of sacrifice and rebirth.

– Easter eggs are dyed or painted as part of an age-old tradition in Europe.

– The Chinese and certain tribes around the world use chicken eggs at ceremonies to predict the future.

– In Hungary and Romania wooden eggs are painted as motifs of the Christian Easter story.

– In Russia, the Czars had special Easter eggs made by the famous jeweler, Carl Fabergé at the beginning of the 20th century.

– Easter egg hunts and parades are common in most countries around the world and so are the traditions of egg knocking and egg rolling.

Shakshuka.

 Shakshuka is a family favourite! The dish loosely translated means ‘all mixed up’.

 It is a mildly spiced North African/ Middle Eastern baked dish of eggs poached in a tomato-based sauce and is usually served in the pan it is cooked in. Eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner it is served with warm crusty bread or Pita that is used to dip in the sauce and the traditionally soft-cooked egg.

Nowadays this dish has become a popular part of menus at most breakfast cafes and restaurants. Each serving their version of the dish.

Here is mine and it does not involve an oven.

Ingredients

Olive oil- 2tbsp

Onion -1 Large, chopped

Red bell pepper-1, chopped or chunky

Salt and pepper to taste

Garlic- 4 cloves finely chopped or grated

Paprika-to taste

Pepper or chilli flakes to taste

Dried or fresh Thyme- a pinch

Tomatoes- 1 large can, crushed or whole

Parsley-Chopped, to top

4-5 Fresh eggs

Feta- crumbled, to top 

Warm the oil in the pan on medium heat.

Add the garlic, thyme, and chilli flakes. (Most people add this later, but I like to add it first to flavour the oil.) Followed by the onion and salt, and cook till the onions are translucent. Throw in the diced peppers and cook for a quick minute.

Don’t let the peppers cook for more than a minute or you end up with a mushy mess. I personally like them crunchy.

 Pour in the crushed tomatoes and reduce the heat. If using whole tomatoes allow the sauce to cook longer so that the tomatoes break down to a chunky mix and come back to a simmer. Add the paprika and pepper.

Now using the back of the tablespoon make around 4-5 wells in your tomato sauce and gently crack open the eggs into these spaces. Season the eggs with salt and pepper. Cover the pan with a lid and continue to cook on a low flame.

It is at this point you must decide how you like your eggs. Some people prefer them runny, others opaque white and with a little wobble in the yolk, and some liked it cooked further.

Whatever you decide please keep in mind that the eggs will continue to cook with the residual heat in the pan. So always switch off the flame a little earlier.

Toppings are your choice. Parsley, crumbled feta, slightly smashed Greek olives, or even some more red chilly flakes. 

Enjoy with some warm, toasted bread or pita.

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