EOWTTA: E is for Eggs

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

(EOWTTA: Eating our way through the alphabet)

Bet you didn’t see that one coming huh? ;P

Eggs are amazing little things. When I actually started thinking “seriously” about them, I realised how often they pop up in my family’s meals. Scrambled for breakfast or for a quick kids dinner, hard boiled for school lunches and fried for a quick dinner with rice and veges.

There’s a lot of symbolism attached to eggs too. I’m sure each culture has its own egg traditions. In our household, mum would serve us a bowl of noodles with a boiled egg whenever we had a birthday. The noodles symbolised long life and errr…I can’t remember what the egg was for (Mum?).

{Edit: Ha ha, I knew Mum would come through! Mum says: The eggs symbolise your future life - may it be full,round and smooth. Also it is a reminder that whatever you do when grown up, you came into this world like a little egg (ie, not forgetting your place in life). Thanks Mum!}.

Eggs also played a part in welcoming a new arrival. When our friends or family had a baby, they would hand out gifts to celebrate the baby’s Full Moon (the baby reaching one month of age). The gifts were a package containing red eggs, yellow rice, chicken curry and special “cakes”. Red is considered an auspicious colour and eggs symbolise fertility. You can read a little bit more about this tradition here.

And we didn’t just stick to plain old chicken eggs in Malaysia either. A favourite supper was rice congee with salted duck eggs. Or century eggs – a type of preserved (chicken) egg that was green and jellylike (yes, yes, we eat strange things). Quail eggs also featured often, especially in a dessert soup.

Unfortunately, the only quails eggs I could find in Australia were in a can. The texture wasn’t that great, but I found dusting the eggs in flour and frying them vastly improved the appeal.

Egg-citing facts
(you knew I couldn’t leave that one alone ☺)

Eggs contain 11 different vitamins and minerals.
Source: http://www.eggs.org.au/health-and-nutrition

I’m sure you know this one but it’s so fun: a hard boiled egg can be spun on its end and it will continue spinning, but a raw egg will stop after a couple of turns.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egg_(food)

I remember a school eggs-periment (groan now) where we soaked a whole egg in vinegar. The acid in the vinegar would corrode the calcium carbonate in the eggshell, leaving a “naked” egg that could bounce! For more experiments, check this link out.

Eggs consist of about 74% water.
Source: http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/egg-facts.htm

Egg white can be used to remove sediments from champagne and beer.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egg_white

Artists used to mix egg yolk with pigment to make a medium known as tempera. Michelangelo was one such artist.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tempera

And of course, every cook/baker is familiar with the “air-trapping” properties of egg whites. So here’s a super simple recipe that makes use of that eggs-celent quality. It’s flavoured with orange juice (of course).

(The orange and lemon tally has gone down considerably. We now have 4 oranges and 2 lemons left! The oranges were used for this dessert while the lemons went quickly – a couple of salad dressings, a marinade and squeezed over meals. We also gave some away to our weekend dinner guests.)

Sticky Citrus Pudding
(adapted from Jill Dupleix’s Sticky Lime Pudding in New Food)

sorry for the blurry pic but we were more interested in digging in at this point

Juice reduction
Squeeze the juice of 3 medium oranges and half a lemon. Pour into a saucepan and cook gently on low heat (it shouldn’t really bubble) until reduced to a quarter cup. If this step is too fiddly, the recipe calls for the grated rind of 2 fresh limes and juice of 1 lime.

40g butter (about 2 tablespoons)-softened
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons plain flour
¼ cup citrus juice reduction
1 cup milk
2 eggs, separated

Preheat the oven to about 180˚C and lightly butter a small baking dish. Gently beat the egg yolks and milk together. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light, then add in the flour and juice. Mix well then add in the egg yolk mixture. Beat until incorporated.

In a squeaky clean bowl, whip the egg whites until stiff. Put a spoonful of the egg whites into the batter and gently stir with a spatula to “lighten”. Add the rest of the egg white in and use a spatula to fold it in. Try not to overmix or deflate the mixture too much.

Pour into baking dish and bake for about 20 minutes to half an hour. The top should be golden but the underside of the pudding will still be liquid, like a custard. Serve warm.

This is such a simple dessert - I literally made it just before sitting down to dinner and we had a glorious sticky treat ready as soon as we’d finished.


Anh said...

The pudding looks yum and is such a nice variation from the sticky date pudding! Lighter, too!

shaz said...

Thanks Anh. It's one of our favourites because it's so easy to throw together and it is very light, almost like a souffle. (I think the top of mine was a little bit over-golden though. Still tasted fine).

Barbara said...

Very sunshiny dessert! It's basically a pudding-cake-souffle. Looks and sounds delicous. Done lemon but never orange.
(I love your EOWTTA- can't wait to see what you come up with on some of the alpahbet!)

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

The pudding looks delicious as does the fried quail's egg! I sometimes see the fresh ones but not often enough! :(

Hungry Dog said...

Nice post, shaz! And I love the photo of the eggs in the grass. I had no idea eggs were packed with so many vitamins & minerals. Maybe I should eat more of them... :)

Veggie Belly said...

where I come from in India, the insides of traditional houses were plastered with a powdered egg shell mixture..

shaz said...

Thanks barbara- having lots of fun doing this:)

Oh do tell where you see fresh ones Lorraine!

Cheers Hungry Dog - we go through quite a few, wish I had space to keep chickens

Wow! That's very interesting to know Veggie Belly.Thanks for sharing that :)