Tag Archives: eggs

Free is Never Free

It has finally warmed up and i moved my laying hens out of their winter abode in the garden into their new safe haven of a fenced lot in the pasture.  I then move them about once a week, depending on forage availability during the growing season.  Now, warm weather, sunshine, lengthening daylight, and out on pasture make happy hens lay oodles of eggs.

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To keep these Welsummers safe, i must use an electrified netting or every critter in the country will kill them.  Even the hawks and eagles circle above, but chickens can be smart and they’ll spot an aerial predator immediately and take cover in their eggmobile.  
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Winter abode

When i posted these photos on Facebook, one fellow suggested, ‘ Eggs are hard to come by at some of the big city grocery stores these days… you might wanna put those up on Amazon (:’

Given the expense and logistics of shipping a very breakable commodity, it’s just not worth the cost, so i end up giving away extras to people who help me throughout the year and will never accept a payment.  Plus, nobody is going to pay what it actually costs to produce them.  Springtime provides a lot of eggs, but the supply will dwindle as the daylight hours are shortened and as hens get older.  Prime laying is only through their third year of life (max!)

Please know, however, that i don’t just give them away willy nilly (i do like to give them to people who do things for me but will never take payment) because it harms those who are trying to make a living at it. In a similar fashion, when US Aid sends tons of grain as a ‘help’ to other countries, it drives down the market price for the local farmers scratching out a living. Much the same happens here when our markets are opened to meat that is produced overseas for far less than what we can produce it here. Free stuff is never free.

Beef, Tuna, Chicken Salad

A recipe i learnt from my Grandma Falconer is Beef Salad.  This mixture makes great take-to-the-field sandwiches, yet easily fits onto a bed of lettuce, use as a dip with crackers or chips, or eat by itself.

The starting point for the meat is about 1/2 lb of ground cooked roast, ground cooked chicken, or 1 6 oz can of tuna.  I’ve tried this with lamb roast and turkey, and for whatever reason, it just doesn’t taste quite right.  Personal taste – i love lamb.

  • 6 hard cooked eggs
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chopped pickles or pickle relish, optional
  • 5-6 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • pinch of salt and pepper, if desired

Peel and chop the eggs, either by hand or in a food processor.  Place them in a medium sized bowl, then add the meat and other ingredients.  Stir and mix thoroughly.

Voila!  already ready to serve.  This recipe if fully adjustable to your own tastes.  Perhaps you prefer more meat to eggs or vice versa.  Or a spicier mustard or more mayo.

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Deviled Eggs – Newest Recipe

In my quest to use more local and less processed ingredients in making meals, I’ve updated my previous deviled egg recipe with this one which does not need Worcestershire sauce or Bragg’s Amino Liquid.  There is too much soy in our lives and there is no need for it.  Especially given the proliferation of genetically engineered soybeans.

Deviled Eggs

Ingredients:

  • 12 large eggs (hard cooked)*
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions:

Peel hard cooked eggs, slice in half lengthwise and remove yolk to food processor or mixer (or smash by hand with a fork).  Place the egg white halves on a plate or special deviled egg plate or container.  Smash the yolks to fine pieces and remove to a bowl, then add the remaining ingredients mixing thoroughly.

You can then spoon a bit of the yolk mixture into each egg white half or use a pastry tube for a more decorative look.  Cover, refrigerate and use withing a couple days.

Clearly, i don’t have all the ingredients local – we cannot grow lemon trees in our north Missouri, Hardiness Zone 5B.  (Find your hardiness zone here at Stark Bros Nursery.)  So, i’m sure looking for suggestions for a suitable replacement.  Salt and pepper is also a work in progress.

*Tips:  Remember to use 7-10 day old eggs for easier peeling.  Allow them to come to room temperature before cooking.  Place in a pan and just cover with water, place on a lid, then bring to a boil, turn off the heat and let stand in hot water for at least 20 minutes.  Drain and cool before peeling.

My Homemade Mayonnaise

Using the directions from Fail-Proof Mayonnaise, then modifying the ingredients, I’ve decided on the recipe for us.
Ingredients:

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon mustard (Dijon, yellow, or whatever you like)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (we prefer 1/2 tsp)
  • 1 cup oil*

Directions:

Put the first four ingredients in a blender or food processor and start processing, then while the blender is mixing, slowly, very slowly – take at least a minute – pour in the oil.  By the time the oil is completely poured in, the mayonnaise should be thickened and ready to serve.

Remember!  this recipe has no preservatives, it will keep about 5 days in the frig.

* i don’t care for the taste of extra virgin olive oil, but you might.  Right now, i’ve settled on grapeseed oil, but i have yet to try raw walnut, pecan, or sunflower oils.

Also, i don’t use vinegar because it doesn’t need it and my father-in-law is allergic to it anyway.

Now you are ready to make deviled eggs, tuna, beef, or chicken salad, mix with a bit of milk and spices for health ranch dressing, or spread on your favorite sandwich.

Tuna and Egg Salad
Tuna and Egg Salad

 

 

Fail-Proof Mayonnaise

There is so much junk in commercial mayonnaise, that it’s really become a journey and conviction to get into the habit of making my own.  We really use very little anyway and we have oodles of eggs from our own grazing hens, so there is no excuse.

I found this recipe online called Fail-Proof Homemade Mayonnaise and so for, for me it has been.  I’ve made it with EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) and grapeseed oil.  My goal is to make it as local as possible, so my next try will be with sunflower oil which i’ve sourced from a Kansas farm family.  (be aware that some oils are extracted using chemicals and petroleum products – find first press)

Fail-Proof Homemade Mayonnaise

How to make mayonnaise in less than 10 minutes! Using whole eggs instead of just the yolk, makes this homemade mayonnaise recipe practically fail-proof and extra easy. Jump to the Whole Egg Mayonnaise Recipe or watch our quick video to see how we make the tastiest and easiest mayonnaise from scratch!

Watch Us Make Mayonnaise

Why You Should Make Mayonnaise At Home

I’ve used this mayonnaise recipe more times than I can count. If you’ve never tried homemade mayonnaise, then you are in for a treat. Homemade mayo is ultra creamy and so much more flavorful than anything you can buy at the store. Here’s why I love this recipe so much:

  • Our recipe uses whole eggs instead of just the yolks so you can skip separating the eggs.
  • The remaining ingredients are simple and very likely in your kitchen right now.
  • The whole process takes less than 10 minutes.
  • You can add extra ingredients for more flavor (like roasted garlic or herbs). I’ve shared suggestions below.

Mayonnaise Ingredients

The ingredients to make mayo are simple — we bet you even have them in your kitchen right now. You will need the following:

Egg — You need to use egg to make mayonnaise. We do use raw egg in the recipe. Personally, I don’t have an issue adding raw egg to the recipe, but if you are concerned about eating raw eggs, buy pasteurized eggs. They are sold in the egg section of the grocery store. You can also pasteurize eggs yourself, just search for a tutorial online.

Mustard — I know that not everyone loves the flavor of mustard, but when it comes to making homemade mayonnaise mustard is sort of a magical ingredient. Mustard adds a bit of flavor, but it also helps to keep the mayonnaise stable. Along with the egg yolk, mustard helps emulsify the mixture, reducing the risk of our mayo breaking.

Vinegar or lemon juice — Not only does a little acid like wine vinegar, champagne vinegar, and lemon juice add incredible flavor to the mayonnaise, it also helps to stabilize the mixture.

Neutral Flavored Oil — By neutral flavored oil, I mean use an oil that is light in flavor. Quite a bit of oil is added to make mayonnaise, so it’s important to like the flavor of the oil you use. For a clean tasting mayonnaise use something like grape seed, safflower, avocado or canola oil. Since posting the recipe, quite a few readers have asked about olive oil in mayonnaise. You can use olive oil, but it can be a little overpowering so I prefer to use a brand that’s light and fruity. I think robust or spicy olive oils would be too much. You might also consider only replacing half of the oil called for in the recipe with olive oil and use something more neutral for the rest.

How to make mayonnaise in less than 10 minutes! Using whole eggs instead of just the yolk, makes this homemade mayonnaise recipe practically fail-proof and extra easy.

Let Me Show You How To Make Mayonnaise, You’ve Got This!

There are a few ways to make mayonnaise. We use our food processor with the small bowl attachment, but an immersion blender or making it completely by hand will work. (Expect tired arms and strong biceps if you do choose to do it by hand.)

Room temperature ingredients are best when making mayonnaise at home. If you’re not able to wait for the egg to come to room temperature, submerge it in lukewarm (not hot) water for a couple of minutes.

The Five Steps For Making Mayonnaise

Prepare your food processor. I prefer to use the small bowl attachment that came with our food processor to make mayonnaise.

Add an egg to the bowl of your food processor and process for about 20 seconds.

Add mustard, vinegar, and salt then process for another 20 seconds.

Slowly add the oil, in tiny drops, until about a quarter of the oil has been added. Adding the oil slowly is really important. If you were to dump it all in at once, you’d have mayonnaise soup!

Taste the mayonnaise and adjust with additional salt and vinegar or lemon juice.

Stream the oil in slowly
For the best mayonnaise results, add the oil slowly very slowly.
Homemade Mayo
The mayonnaise is done! Thick and so creamy.

Mayonnaise Variations

I love this classic mayonnaise as-is, but love it even more when I make it my own. I almost always add a squeeze of lemon juice to brighten things up a little. I love how fresh it makes it taste. Fresh herbs, roasted garlic, chipotle, Sriracha or curry powder are all amazing options, as well.

How to Fix Broken Mayonnaise

When making mayonnaise, the worst, but not unfixable, thing that can happen to you is that the mixture breaks, leaving you with a curdled mess. The recipe we’ve shared tries to prevent this a few ways: we use a whole egg, which adds a little more liquid to the mix, mustard acts as an emulsifier from the get-go and we are careful to stream our oil in slowly. While we have never had this particular recipe for mayonnaise break on us, if it happens to you don’t fret! You really should be able to fix it.

To fix broken mayonnaise, add about 1 teaspoon of mustard to a bowl then use a whisk to slowly beat the broken mayonnaise, bit by bit, into the mustard until it becomes emulsified and creamy again.

Another trick is to add an egg yolk to a large bowl and slowly use a whisk to beat the broken mayo, bit by bit, into the yolk.

Homemade Whole Egg Mayonnaise Recipe

Frequently Asked Questions

Since posting this recipe for mayonnaise, a few frequently asked questions have come up, so I’m going to do my best to answer them here:

Do I have to use raw eggs to make mayonnaise? Eggs are essential for making mayonnaise. Risks of using raw eggs are low, but there is a chance that the egg contains a germ called Salmonella. Personally, I am not too concerned about this, but here’s what the CDC suggests you do to reduce the risks of using eggs:

  • Consider buying and using pasteurized eggs
  • Keep eggs refrigerated at 40°F (4°C) or colder at all times.
  • Only buy eggs from stores and suppliers that keep them refrigerated.
  • Discard cracked or dirty eggs.

Do I need to use mustard? You can make homemade mayonnaise without mustard, but remember that mustard is one of the fail-safes we have added to our recipe to encourage an emulsification.

Can I use olive oil to make mayo? Yes, but keep in mind that quite a bit of oil is called for in the recipe so a strong or robust flavored oil will make the mayonnaise strong in flavor. When I use olive oil, I like using a light, fruity brand and only replace half of the oil with olive oil and use a neutral flavored oil for the remaining oil.

My mayonnaise won’t thicken, what am I doing wrong? Ugh, I’m sorry! Broken mayonnaise happens to everyone and it doesn’t necessarily mean that you did something wrong or that the recipe you used was a bad one. The key thing to keep in mind when making mayo is to add that oil slowly and by slowly, I honestly mean to add it drop by drop. I know it seems extreme, but it’s the best way to ensure creamy mayo. Mayonnaise can be finicky so if it breaks on you or it just doesn’t thicken, there are some things you can do to fix it. Take a look above in the article where I outline a couple of fixes to broken mayo.

How long does homemade mayonnaise last? Here’s the thing, homemade mayo will last as long as your eggs would have lasted. A good rule of thumb is that mayo will keep covered in the fridge up to a week, but you might find that it lasts a little longer depending on the freshness of your eggs.

Delicious Ways To Use Homemade Mayonnaise

Recipe updated, originally posted May 2015. Since posting this in 2015, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear and have added a recipe video. – Adam and Joanne

Fail-Proof Homemade Mayonnaise

  • PREP 
  • TOTAL 

Homemade mayonnaise is such a treat. It’s very simple to make, too. Room temperature ingredients are best when making mayonnaise at home. If you’re not able to wait for the egg to come to room temperature, submerge it in lukewarm (not hot) water for a couple of minutes. There are a few ways to make mayonnaise. We use our food processor with the small bowl attachment, but an immersion blender or making it completely by hand and large whisk will work. (Expect tired arms and strong biceps if you do choose to do it by hand).

Makes approximately 1 cup

YOU WILL NEED

1 large egg at room temperature

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon red or white wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste

1 cup (240 ml) neutral flavored oil, grapeseed, safflower or canola are best

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, optional

DIRECTIONS

    • PREPARE EQUIPMENT

If you have a large food processor, use the smaller bowl attachment that came with your processor so that the bowl is not too large for the amount of mayonnaise this recipe makes. Not using the smaller bowl can prevent the mayonnaise from emulsifying since the mixture will not have enough contact with the blade.

If you do not the smaller bowl attachment, making the mayonnaise with an immersion blender or by hand are alternatives. Or simply make a larger batch and double the recipe and use the standard bowl attachment.

      • MAKE MAYONNAISE

Add egg to the small bowl of a food processor and process for 20 seconds. Add the mustard, vinegar, and salt. Process for another 20 seconds.

Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, turn the food processor on then begin to slowly add the oil in tiny drops until about a quarter of the oil has been added (this is critical for proper emulsification).

When you notice that the mixture is beginning to thicken and emulsify, you can be a little less strict. With the processor on, continue to add it slowly, but increase to a very thin stream instead of drops of oil.

When all of the oil has been added, scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and process for an extra 10 seconds. Taste mayonnaise for seasoning then add salt, lemon juice or extra vinegar to taste.

Note, if the mayo seems too thin, slowly stream in more oil with the processor running until thick.

ADAM AND JOANNE’S TIPS

  • Storing Homemade Mayonnaise: Store covered in the refrigerator up to a week.
  • Raw eggs: When choosing eggs for homemade mayonnaise, go for fresh, properly refrigerated, clean grade A or AA eggs with intact shells.
  • Olive oil: Olive oil can be a little overpowering so use one that’s light and fruity and consider only replacing half of the oil called for in the recipe with olive oil and use something more neutral for the rest.
  • Fixing Broken Mayonnaise: While we have never had this recipe for mayonnaise break on us, if it happens to you don’t fret! You really should be able to fix it. Add about 1 teaspoon of mustard to a bowl then slowly beat the broken mayonnaise into the mustard until it becomes emulsified and creamy again (a tip from Julia Child). Another trick is to repeat the same process, but replace the teaspoon of mustard with an egg yolk.
  • Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA Supertracker recipe calculator to calculate approximate values. 1 serving equals 1 tablespoon.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

NUTRITION PER SERVING: Serving Size 1 tablespoon / Calories 126 / Protein 0 g / Carbohydrate 0 g / Dietary Fiber 0 g / Total Sugars 0 g / Total Fat 14 g / Saturated Fat 1 g / Cholesterol 12 mg
AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

They’re Laying!!!

Back home and starting to get settled into regular chores and a few moving ahead projects.  Despite coming home to sub zero temps, 1/4 inch ice, and swirling snow, just two days later it is starting to melt and at 33 degrees F (headed to 44F just before dark), it’s not too bad outside.

While i was gone, my silly Welsummer hens began laying – thank goodness – they are about 7 months old and until this past week had laid not one single egg!  Apparently, they had not read the book that they are a breed which starts laying at 5-6 months.  Granted, i am willing to give them a pass because i did accept them after June 8 (because of Nathan and Heather’s wedding and knowing we would be gone, i didn’t want baby chicks around), so that put them going into the shorter days which is typically when hens start laying fewer eggs.  And these gals are truly pastured hens and never on a high powered ration.  But when 6 months rolled around, i’m thinking they ought to be laying something!  I  checked them and most had developed the visible and measurable signs of being mature enough – yet no eggs.

Here’s the lovely dozen eggs i found this morning!  In the photo, the lighter colored one is from a purchased dozen of eggs from the store which say they are on pasture.  Here’s the interesting part, that store bought egg is considered a large egg yet is very similar in size and weight of these first eggs laid by my hens.  In other words, my hens didn’t start with pullet sized eggs, they started in with mediums and larges!  And beautiful shell color.

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Remember that the color of the shell has nothing to do with the quality of the egg nor does it tell you anything about how the hen was raised. The color of the yolk can be darkened by the ration fed to a caged hen  (marigold and/or corn).  Anyway, my hen’s eggs were all frozen, so these first ones will have to be thrown away since they could be contaminated because of cracking.  But maybe we’ll get some today to collect.

Stay warm and have fun!

tauna

Welsummer pullets hard at work keeping spiders and crickets from getting into the house last fall (2019).

 

Cheese and Rice Casserole

An excellent non meat recipe.  But meat can easily be layered on and consider other vegetables.  Pictured here, I used sliced zucchini from my garden and added ground chicken breast from pastured poultry raised by my friends at Pigeon Creek Farm.

Cheese and Rice Casserole  (Riso e Formaggio) 

8 servings 

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked regular rice (or barley or couscous or any combination thereof)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper sauce (optional
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 medium onion (I used green onions)
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped (optional)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella or Cheddar cheese (8 ounces)
  • 4 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2 ½ cups milk
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

 Heat water, rice, salt, mustard, red pepper sauce, and pepper to boiling, stirring once or twice; reduce heat.  Cover and simmer 30 minutes.  (Do not lift cover or stir.)  Remove from heat.  Fluff rice lightly with fork; cover and let steam 5 to 10 minutes.

Layer half the rice mixture in bottom of greased 11 x 7 x 1 ½ inch baking dish.  Top with 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (and 1 cup vegetable if desired); repeat.  Whisk together 4 eggs and 2 ½ cups of milk then pour over rice mixture.  Sprinkle with ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese.  (Casserole can be covered and refrigerated up to 24 hours at this point.)  Cook uncovered in 350°F oven until set; 45 to 50 minutes.  Let stand 10 minutes. Cut into squares.

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