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Dec 2, 2010 09:14 AM

What to make with farm fresh eggs

Tonight I'm picking up two dozen eggs that were gathered up yesterday and today at a local farm. What would YOU make with them to make the most of their freshness?

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  1. Soft-poached eggs for eggs benedict perhaps?

    Or, this, which I made earlier and which I still fantasize about when stuck in rush hour traffic.

    Whatever you make, enjoy.

    4 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Agreed with the poaching suggestion; fresh eggs not only taste better than supermarket eggs when poached, but they are also much easier to poach in water because the white is less runny and so they hold together much better. If you need a poaching recipe, I use and love Julia Child's from Mastering the Art of French Cooking. One of her tips - if the eggs are NOT very fresh (like supermarket eggs), put them in the simmering water for 10 seconds while still in their shells. This little par-cook firms up the white just a little, enough to help them not drift apart as soon as you put them in the water. A little white vinegar in the water helps a lot too, even with farm eggs.


      1. re: monopod

        Just a note if you're getting REALLY farm-fresh eggs - chill them before poaching. We have chickens, and on the occasion when I've poached them straight from the nest, they spread tremendously. Chilling them for even just a couple of hours really helps keep them hold together much better when they hit the water.

        1. re: RosemaryHoney

          Hmm. Interesting. I've never had that problem even with eggs that were laid the day of.

          I usu. start swirling the water before dropping in the egg. The whirpool effect (plus the vinegar) keeps the egg intact. Works like a charm.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            Yes, a gentle swirl does wonders for gathering the white, and allows the poached egg to develop it's classic oval shape, that and the addition of a bit of vinegar to the poaching water.

    2. The best scrambed eggs ever, with tiny bits of butter whipped into the eggs before scrambling gently over very low heat.

      1. If the eggs were just laid yesterday, they'll be fresher than anything you can get in a stupidmarket for the next three weeks, so you have time to use them up. :-)

        My "go to" is a simple, fried egg (in fact, it was for dinner last night as I got home late). The yolky goodness is best as simple as possible - just a bit of salt and pepper. I always eat my fried eggs on a toasted and lightly buttered English muffin, as I love the yolk running into the nooks and crannies (as the Thomas' commercials always talk about!), but even cut on the plate and toast points dipped into the runny yolk works.

        26 Replies
        1. re: LindaWhit

          Au Contraire madam, we get next day delivery on eggs at our local "stupid" market. The eggs I bought this morning were laid and processed yesterday.
          My preferred use for the freshest eggs possible is either scrambled (as bushwickgirl described) in fluffy omelettes, Tamago or Tamago kake gohan.

          1. re: todao

            Then you have an exception to what I believe is the rule for most major supermarket chains throughout the U.S. - eggs have been there for awhile in most markets. And even if they haven't, it's taken several weeks for processing and shipment to *get* to that market.

            1. re: LindaWhit

              Check the Julian (pack) dates on the cartons...I believe you will find it takes days...not weeks for eggs to get to market...A large (1 Million) layer producer up north of me processes the eggs the same day...They do not have the storage facilities to store such quantities for long periods of time...Like all farm commodities...the producer doesn't get paid until the product is sold....If you find "weeks" old eggs on your grocers shelf it is retailer/warehousing problem..(Shop elsewhere).Not a grower/processing issue.

          2. re: LindaWhit

            I'm with Linda on this. We get farm fresh eggs and the fried eggs are divine. When good salad greens are available, I like to put my egg on a bed of those. The yolk running into the greens is wonderful.

            1. re: debbiel

              I hate to break the yolk here, but farm fresh eggs do not TASTE any different than the big processor kind. I thought it was just my imagination so I kept it to myself since everyone raves when I give them eggs (I raise ducks and chickens). But then I saw a Food Lab experiment on Serious Eats: I was relieved to know it was not just me!

              But there is a diff with how the white holds its shape and often the color of the yolk and strength of the shell depending on what they are gobbling up.


              1. re: Sal Vanilla

                Yes. but they are good for making mayo and other raw egg uses.
                Holy Guacomole, Batman; remember Orange Julius's w/ a raw egg?

                1. re: Passadumkeg

                  Wait. Orange Julius's had a raw egg in them?

                  One of my brothers used to make shakes with raw eggs in the blender. Thought he would be muscly like Rocky Balboa. Of course he did not subscribe to the stair climbing and punching method.

                  I gobble up more than my share of eggs. Fresh from the hen's butt straight into the fry pan, plunked on cheese grits. My arteries must be the width of a pinhole.

                  1. re: Sal Vanilla

                    One could request a raw egg blended w/ the Orange Julius.
                    Angel Food Cake
                    And a raw egg in one's beer.
                    So it goes.

                  2. re: Passadumkeg

                    I put some meringue powder in orange juice once, and VOILA! it was an Orange Julius, I'm just sayin- no food poisoning issues there. You can find it in the cake supplies at Michael's and other places.

                  3. re: Sal Vanilla

                    I for one do not accept that experiment. Some years ago, I sought out local farm eggs because I found the supermarket ones to have increasingly less flavor. Yes, the color and consistency are markedly different. And I might not even trust MY tastebuds. However, at the time, the dog in my avatar was always on the skinny side because although I free-feed kibble, he held out for whatever cat or human food he could snag while counter-surfing. In order to get extra calories into him, a few times a week the two dogs shared a hard-boiled egg. The dominant dog got half the white and as long as he got his first, was satisfied. Avatar dog got the other half of the white, and all the yolk.
                    I started doing this after switching to farm-fresh eggs. A year or so later, I happened to buy supermarket eggs because I was unable to get to the farm. My picky eater refused the supermarket eggs. Well, more accurately - took it, dropped it, and walked away. It was a couple of weeks before I got the farm eggs again, at which point he resumed eating his treat. It's clear to me that the dog detected a difference.

                    1. re: greygarious

                      May I ask where you are from? I would be curious as to whether location has anything to do with it. I live in a farm heavy area, somewhat rural. So the supermarkets get their eggs from within the area, and all the eggs are quite delicious. I cannot taste any difference between the eggs personally.

                      1. re: milkyway4679

                        About 20 miles from Boston - supermarket eggs are from God-knows-where.

                        1. re: greygarious

                          Not Framingham, my wife's stomping grounds??

                          1. re: Passadumkeg

                            No, north of Boston, in Billerica. There are 6 supermarkets within as many miles, and all but one are Market Baskets.

                            1. re: greygarious

                              MB seems to *own* this general area between Route 3 and Route 93 north of Boston (but at least there's a WF nearby my workplace!)

                      2. re: greygarious

                        This brought a smile to my face. Thank you. I like that your dog sets the pace!

                        1. re: greygarious

                          Dogs are not humans. Period.

                          That a dog has the ability to detect a difference between eggs doesn't surprise me. Dogs can, quite literally, smell about 1000 times better than us. They can probably tell which eggs came from which chicken, if given the chance to figure it out.

                          Just because a dog can tell the difference between eggs doesn't mean that a normal, average, every day human can.

                          1. re: Morganna

                            What Puma's behavior told me was not that humans can necessarily distinguish between egg sources, but that there IS indeed a difference. Maybe I taste it or maybe I just think I do, but it's there.

                            The Serious Eats experiments didn't mention controlling for factors like chronic nasal congestion, smoking, wearing fragrance, or taking prescription medications, all of which affect humans' ability to perceive tastes.

                            I do find that in the last couple of years, the yolks of supermarket eggs are a deeper yellow than they were in the early part of the decade. Could be improved diet, or just color additives. Puma died in 2005 so I am no longer locked into farm eggs and for convenience's sake get mine at the supermarket half the time.
                            A few weeks ago I tried a carton of 18 cage-free (a loosely-defined term) medium sized eggs because at $1.99 I was willing to give them a chance. I thought the taste fell in between the local farm's and usual supermarket battery eggs. The whites didn't run and the yolks were proud during frying, so if nothing else, they were fresh. .

                        2. re: Sal Vanilla

                          That experiment is not proving what you (or the serious eats folks) think it is proving. You're conflating organic with farm fresh. Their experiment uses a wide range of organic and cage free and whatever else eggs up against standard factory farm eggs. It does not use farm fresh eggs.

                          The superiority of the flavor of farm fresh eggs is not due to their being organic or not. It is due to their being fresh. In general, due to turnover, the freshest eggs in the supermarket are the cheapest, with the most expensive being the least fresh. And whether they're cage free or organic or whatever, eggs in a supermarket are pretty much all from big processors.

                          The simple fact is that fresher food tastes better - though a few exceptions taste better as they get older. No foods remain stable in flavor over time. You have to have a defective olfactory bulb and taste buds to not notice the difference better a fresher product and a less fresh product.

                          1. re: gadfly

                            Well, I pluck fresh eggs from my own hen house every day as I said. And I just looked back and their eggs (from the test) and they were from a farm (not from the one next door) where the chickens ran free and pecked at the what-nots in the pasture.

                            But here is the thing. If YOU feel better and think it tastes better to eat an egg only moments from bursting forth from your chicken I say "more power to ya and all hail the Gadfly!", but others who maybe do not possess super human taste buds (or you have a dog that is very persnickety) MAY find that eggs they buy from their reputable grocer MIGHT find that their eggs are probably fairly local (like within the state) and are pretty fresh (like a few days old at most).

                            And something else some might not know (and may smooth out ruffled feathers)
                            - if you never chill your eggs, they are fine to leave on the counter.
                            -Brown eggs are not better for you, they just come from a different breed of chicken (one being a barnevelder). There are some chickens that lay blue eggs (one being the amerecauna).

                            1. re: Sal Vanilla

                              I had some that were green this week. :) It was cool. :)

                              1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                Here is a list of the eggs from the test:

                                1. Plain old factory farmed eggs
                                2. Eggs with 325 mg Omega-3 Fatty Acid per egg (not organic or cage free)
                                3. Organic Cage Free eggs with 200 mg Omega-3 Fatty Acid per egg
                                4. Cage Free eggs with 100 mg Omega-3 Fatty Acid per egg
                                5. Organic eggs, no other specifications
                                6. Organic eggs from free-roaming, pasture-raised chickens (not from Misty and Logan, who couldn't provide enough eggs for a taste test of this magnitude)

                                Yes, these eggs are all from farms, but they're also all store bought eggs. This means they passed through a wholesaler. I would bet my house that the "1. Plain old factory farmed eggs" were the freshest eggs in the test. And I can assure you that it's incredibly unusual for any eggs in a supermarket in the United States to be less than a week old, with the average being closer to two weeks. Most of the quality loss will be in the first 2 days.

                                Hey, I'm not trying to be a jackass here, and I hate to pull rank, but I'm a biologist who works with food supply issues (mostly with the FDA and USDA). My specialty is food borne pathogens, so I'm not a leading expert on human senses, but I know enough to say with absolute confidence that it doesn't take anything close to superhuman taste buds. Average and even below average will be able to detect even the smallest loss of freshness. This is a paramount evolutionary trait of humans (and all Euarchontoglires, nearly all Boreoeutherian, though some of the Laurasiatheria have lost much of their olfactory sense as other evolved traits made scent less important).

                                But, for what it's worth, I'm sure I can't smell or taste the difference anymore. I'm nearing 70, so my senses of smell and taste are, like those of nearly everyone else my age, defective. And it doesn't help that I smoked as a youth, as so many my age did. But I do remember fresh eggs tasting a lot better, just like fresh butter, and scientifically I cannot see how anyone with normally functioning senses would not be able to detect the difference.

                                1. re: gadfly

                                  Then I guess you know that you should not bet your house on hunches and that you cannot taste things like salmonella.

                                  I am absolutely sure that you prefer farm eggs. Me too. As I said I have a flock myself.

                                  I am sorry that my end of post soothers had no effect. I will try harder next time.

                                  Or - how about this: Did you know some hens crow? Yep! It is true. When my first did it I thought she was trying to teach her newborn chicks to crow (like one may have been a rooster - and she was subbing in since there was no rosster about), but that proved wrong. Soon others in the flock started crowing - even some pullets. Maybe they all just had something stuck in their craw and needed to vent.

                                  Gross fact: Chickens will eat chicken.

                                  1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                    No need to sooth, as you haven't caused any offense, and I hope I haven't either. If I sound bristly, it's just because scientists always do. Check out the barbs being flung around online over this NASA "new form of life" article.

                                    But when I say I would bet my house, that's because it's not really a hunch. I've had to read a lot of reports over the years on egg supply - and yes, that's as exciting as it sounds - and if you take two eggs, one run of the mill and one specialty (organic, cage free, etc.) laid on the same day and then track them from there, the regular egg will have been purchased by the end consumer in less time than it takes that specialty egg to even make it into the supermarket's storage facility, where it will stay for at least a few days, and then likely another few days on the shelf.

                                    Well, that was longer than I meant it to be, and I'm probably sounding argumentative when I meant to be friendly and informative. So, I'll end with, actually, if you had a big old bowl full of nothing but salmonella, you'd find it tasted a bit like egg whites, but very sour. Please don't test this out for yourself.

                            2. re: Sal Vanilla

                              Dear SV-
                              Boy, are you ever wrong about that.

                        3. I agree that egg preparations of the breakfast variety are best for these. Using them for baking, breading, or binding are a waste since the flavor isn't important there, nor does it stand up to the flavors of the other ingredients. But if you can keep some around for a couple of weeks, make deviled eggs or egg salad. The taste of a good egg is front and center when they are hard-cooked.

                          1. I would bake a cake, but that's just how I roll. ;) If you'd like to stay egg-centric (TEE HEE), how 'bout a strata? Here's a recipe I made over and over last year: