When a lovely lady from Morrisons sends you an email saying,
“Would you like an Ostrich egg?” the sensible thing to do is to think calmly and rationally about what are going to do with the equivalent to 24 hens eggs.
However I sleeping very badly in my final trimester of pregnancy and not doing calm or rational very well so bizarrely my first thought was
“Wouldn’t it be fun to convince this baby, that it came from an egg and have the physical evidence of a giant egg shell handy.”
So I said “Yes, please” and a day later a tired bike courier arrived with a box labelled ” 1 Ostrich”. He must deliver a lot of interesting things since he looked pretty non-plussed handed it over and asked the way back to the motorway.
The egg was beautfiul , 30cm long, very heavy , the shell like a fine ceramic, slightly dimpled and very heavy.
Now I had to cook it , I started reading around and thought for I dramatic purpose a giant Scotch Egg ( I’ve baked them before ) but journalist Fraser Lewry had got their first in 2005, their is also a recipe in the fabulous Stefan Gates Extraordinary Cookbook one of those books I cannot stop reading.
I also couldn’t bear to break such a beautiful shell I am habouring thoughts of getting someone artistic to decorate it . Instead following the instructions on the box, resting the egg in a pot of compost, I drilled a hole in the bottom using a 3mm drill bit.
Then I broke up the contents with a long skewer, shaking the contents , loose. Now I had nearly a litre of scrambled egg, a medium chicken egg is about 45ml so that’s 21 eggs worth. My standard cake recipe uses 3 eggs , even the ravenous builders might struggle to get through 7 cakes and anyway they are off for Easter
The only other time I have been faced with a surfeit of eggs was catering for a festival set up crew when sick of miscorwaving gallons of scrambled egg , I ended up becoming a breakfast frittata making machine.
So using the eggs I decided to make a seasonal dish with the best Spring produce ; Asparagus and St Georges Mushrooms
- English Asparagus has just come into season her in the East Midlands and should be around for a month or so, a tweet advised me this year it is due to glut.
- St Georges Mushrooms a found a lot of these on a walk last weekend, so named as these Spring mushrooms first appear around the 23rd of April ( St Georges Day) , they are a strong tasting firm white mushroom.
- British smoked bacon in thick chunks this is very similar to Italian pancetta and adds a smoky kick. You could also use anchovies or smoked peppers.
Cooked I couldn’t really discern any difference between the Ostrich and hens eggs, but the fritta was a lovely golden brown. We will be having some lovely scrambled eggs over Easter Bank Holiday and I have frozen some of the egg ( in 3 hens egg sized batches) for baking UPDATE I tried using the eggs for baking a Victoria Sponge weighing 175g worth of eggs to self raising flour , sugar and butter. I did not work, I have a flat biscuity cake . I think the proportion of egg white to yolk is different in Ostrich Eggs compared to Hens.
If you fancy having a go with an Ostrich egg they are available at selected Morrisons stores – Stamford, St Albans and Hatch End store for £15
My local farmers market also has them for sale from Gamston Wood Farm alongside low in fat and cholesterol red Ostrich Meat.
Super Spring Frittata.
10 ( 450ml) eggs (approx. 1/2 Ostrich Egg)
1 large leek finely chooped
100g of spring mushrooms sliced
1 bunch of Asparagus
50g of smoked bacon finely chopped
1 tsp of butter
Cracked black pepper, smoked papriika or chipoltes
- Preheat the gril to a medium heat
- In a large non-stick frying pan , suitable for placing under the grill.
- Fry the bacon with the leeks in a little butter til the leeks softened
- Season with black pepper, or for a smoky taste a little smoked papriika or chipoltes
- Add the mushrooms and asparagus to coat in the bacon and leeks
- Pour over the eggs and cook for a few minutes on a medium heat until you can see the egg at the edges of the pan beginning to firm.
- Place the pan under the grill for 5 minutes or until the top is golden brown