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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 27 September 2014
20 SATURDAY 27 SEPTEMBER 2014 An egg-ceptional They may be high in cholesterol, but eggs also contain enough nutrients to turn one single cell into a baby chicken. Dora Kitinas-Gogos looks more closely into this super food The chicken was most likely domesticated for its eggs from a jungle fowl native to sub- tropical South East Asia and India about 7500 BC, and chickens were brought to Sumer and Egypt around 1500 BC. In Greece it is estimated they arrived around 800 BC where until then the quail had been the primary egg. It is known, though, that other eggs were used for food in the ancient world. There are tomb wall drawings (1420 BC) in Thebes, Egypt, depicting a man carrying large eggs thought to have been ostrich or pelican eggs. The Romans crushed the shells in their plates to prevent evil spirits from hiding there. The journey to write a short article on eggs and include some recipes has not been an easy one as the story of the farming of eggs in modern times is filled with much controversy as to what constitutes a 'free-range egg'. What we know in Australia today as 'caged eggs' are called 'battery eggs' in America and that is where we start the story of caged eggs. Milton Arndt called the method he came up with in his farming of eggs 'battery brooding', and he writes about it in his 1931 book by that name. It became the dominant method to cultivate chicken eggs. After a twelve year phase out the European Union has banned caged eggs as of 2012. Switzerland had banned caged eggs since 1991. In America, California is slowly leading the way towards free-range eggs but in Australia it seems that we are still struggling. A written commitment from 2010 to review the issues of caged eggs has been scrapped in 2014. I found a lot of information on the topic of the cultivation of chicken Artichokes with broad beans and avgolemono Note: Fresh artichokes need the branch cut off, the outer layer leaves discarded, then the top of the artichoke cut off as the top of the leaves are tough. Inside the heart there is a furry part (the choke) that needs to be scooped out. They are then placed in a deep bowl of water with salt and/or lemon juice and allowed to stand till ready to use. If left out of water they will discolour. They also need longer cooking time than the broad beans. I prefer to use artichoke hearts already in a can, it is easier and you can never go wrong this way. If using fresh artichokes, cook them first. Otherwise, cook the broad beans and then add the tinned artichoke hearts that have been drained. Ingredients: 500 grams broad beans 6-8 artichoke hearts 1 small onion 1 bunch spring onions 1/2 bunch of dill 1/2 bunch of parsley 3/4 cup of olive oil juice of one lemon 2 cups of water Method: 1. In a heavy bottom saucepan, place olive oil and heat. Chop onion and spring onions finely and cook while stirring until translucent. 2. Put in broad beans, cover with 2 cups of water, cook until tender. 3. Add canned artichoke hearts, finely chopped dill and parsley. 4. Add lemon juice and cook for 3/4 hour or until vegetables are just right and not too overcooked, always on very low heat. 5. Make the avgolemono and pour on top, serve hot to warm. Avgolemono sauce Ingredients: 2 eggs juice of 2 lemons 1 cup of warm stock from the vegetables Method: 1. Separate eggs, putting whites in a bowl and setting aside the yolks. 2. Beat egg whites till stiff. 3. Add yolks and mix well. 4. Add the lemon juice very slowly while beating the eggs so as not to curdle. 5. Add the hot juice from the artichokes and mix well. 6. Add slowly some of the hot juice from the vegetables into the warm egg lemon sauce and mix. 7. Pour the sauce over the vegetables. Dora’s recipe: Egg recipes If you want to contact Dora, email firstname.lastname@example.org with recipe suggestions - Kali Orexi! Strapatsada This is what the Italians call a frittata and we call it strapatsada. There are many versions from all over Greece and depending on the area its name can change too. I'll give you a family size one, which can be made for the whole family with a salad and crusty bread on the side and is yummy. Ingredients: 10 eggs 1 large red onion, sliced 3 tomatoes cut in large pieces like for a salad 10-15 pitted Kalamata olives 400 grams of feta, crumbled 3 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley salt and pepper to taste 2 tablespoons olive oil Method : 1. Beat the eggs in a bowl with parsley and salt and pepper. 2. In a deep, ovenproof frypan heat oil and sauté onions till translucent. 3. Add the tomatoes and the olives and sauté for another 2 minutes. 4. Lower heat and add the eggs and cook till slightly set. 5. Add the feta and place under the grill till eggs rise and brown. 6. Cut into slices and serve. Note: Other ingredients can be added to taste, like peppers or spinach. My favourite addition is freshly fried potatoes. Instead of grilling, the dishcanbeputinahotovenforafew minutes. Also try fresh potato chips with fresh tomatoes and eggs - in this version you might like to leave the eggs ‘matia’ (to my non-Greek readers, the word means ‘eyes’ and we use it for eggs that are ‘sunny side up’). Sfougato from the island of Lesbos This is a pita without a pastry cover. I have substituted the local cheese from Limnos with kefalograviera - maybe you would like another cheese. Ingredients: 6 medium zucchini grated very thick with water squeezed out 3 eggs beaten 5 spring onions, finely cut 5 tablespoons of dill without the stems, finely cut 100 kefalograviera cheese, grated 50 grams finely crumbled feta 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 175 grams plain flour a little oil for greasing oven dish salt to taste Method: 1. Heat oven to 180°C. 2. In a large bowl mix zucchini, eggs, onions, the herbs and spices, the cheeses and pepper and salt. 3. Add flour and mix well. 4. Grease a pita dish and spread the mixture evenly. 5. Drizzle with a good olive oil on top. 6. Bake for 55 minutes. 7. About half way through the baking, cover with foil. 8. Take out of the oven, cut and serve hot or cold.
20 September 2014
04 October 2014