With British Egg Week this week and new research revealing eggs are better for you than 30 years ago, there’s never been a better time to get scrambling.
The humble egg has had a tough time over the years. They were still rationed in the early Fifties, said to be linked with heart disease in the Seventies and, in the Eighties, Edwina Currie’s remark about salmonella sent sales plummeting.
But these smooth-shelled kitchen staples are bouncing back. Recent research found that today’s eggs contain 70 per cent more vitamin D and double the amount of selenium – a mineral believed to have various health benefits – than those tested 30 years ago.
And the commonly-held belief that we shouldn’t eat more than three a week was dispelled by UK health advisory bodies in 2009.
Barbara Crick, who runs Emsworth Cookery School, has many beginners who want to learn the basics, which includes recipes such as omelettes or how to boil an egg successfully, while still leaving the yolk runny.
She says: ‘They need a bit of promotion because they haven’t had a great reputation over the years. ‘Eggs are such a staple of home cooking. It’s one of those things people should buy when they go to the shops – bread, milk and eggs. You can make so many things with those.’
Eggs also contain around 20 per cent less fat, more than 20 per cent less saturated fat, 13 per cent fewer calories and more than 10 per cent less cholesterol than previous surveys suggested, according to data produced by the UK Foodcomp project and funded by the Department of Health.
A separate study found eggs were a great way to start the day, as they reduce hunger and boost hormones that make people feel full.
Barbara says: ‘They are full of protein too so they are great to have first thing in the morning.’
For more information, go to emsworthcookeryschool.co.uk.
JAPANESE OMELETTE (Serves 2)
1 tbsp light olive oil
small red pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
4 spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
110g (4oz) beansprouts
25g (1oz) butter
110g (4oz) cooked king prawns roughly chopped
4 British Lion eggs, seasoned and beaten
2-3 tsp Japanese teriyaki sauce
Heat the oil in an omelette pan, add the pepper strips and spring onions and stir-fry for two to three minutes, until softened. Add the bean sprouts and heat through for one minute. Remove half of the vegetables from the pan and keep warm.
Add half of the butter and half of the prawns to the pan and heat until the butter is sizzling. Pour in half of the beaten eggs, stir until just starting to set, then continue to cook, lifting the omelette edges with a palette knife to allow the uncooked egg to run under.
Sprinkle the omelette with teriyaki sauce, carefully roll it up (with the aid of the palette knife) and turn out onto a warmed plate. Then sprinkle it with a little more teriyaki sauce, if wished, and serve at once. Repeat with the remaining mixture. Serve with a crisp green salad and some crusty bread.
Recipe from Take A Box Of Eggs