Mark Hix gives us some fabulous recipes to use with Clarence Court eggs, the luxury, highly-flavoured old-breed eggs that Mark uses in all his restaurants (available from all good food stores nationwide). Naturally, these recipes will work with any fresh free-range organic egg. But for the finest old breeds and the most resplendent flavours, only the best will do!
Gladys May’s Duck Egg Omelette with Creamed Duck Livers and Sherry
From their translucent, ivory white eggshells to the light, creamy yolks, Clarence Court duck eggs bring a new meaning to “go large” for recipes. Gladys May Duck eggs are made for exceptionally light baking and some people once they have had duck egg never go back to hens eggs for breakfast. This recipe is truly decadent; the perfect brunch for the festive season and to see in the New Year.
8 or 12 Clarence Court Gladys May duck eggs, beaten
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large shallots, finely chopped
200g duck livers, cleaned and cut into even sized chunks
4tbsp dry sherry
1tbsp chopped parsley
120-150ml double cream
Heat a couple of knobs of the butter in a frying pan, season the livers and fry them on a high heat for a minute, turning them as they are cooking to keep them nice and pink. Remove them from the pan and transfer to a plate. Add the shallots to the pan and fry on a low heat for a minute, then add the sherry and simmer for 20 seconds. Next add the parsley and cream and reduce by half until thickened, then add the livers and remove from the heat.
To make the omelettes, heat a little butter in a non-stick frying pan and add a quarter of the beaten eggs, stir on a low heat with a wooden spoon or spatula until the egg begins to set, then stop stirring and allow the egg to just set on the bottom of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and fold both ends towards the middle then roll the omelette out onto a warmed serving plate. You can shape the omelette into a cigar with a clean tea towel or with your hands. Keep warm in a very low oven whilst you make the others or just reheat them briefly once they are all cooked.
To serve, reheat the livers in the sauce and re-season if necessary. Make a slit with a knife down the middle of the omelettes and open them up a little and spoon the livers and sauce onto the omelettes.
Burford Brown Florentine with Salmon, Eggs and Spinach
For the Hollandaise sauce:
1tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp water
1 small shallot, roughly chopped
A few sprigs of tarragon
1 bay leaf
2 Clarence Court Burford Brown egg yolks
250g unsalted butter
salt and freshly ground white pepper
To serve; a handful of spinach leaves, blanched; 4 slices (100-120g) smoked salmon; 2 English muffins, halved; 4 Clarence Court Burford Brown eggs; Hollandaise sauce; 30g salmon eggs.
First make the Hollandaise sauce. Put the vinegar, water, shallots, herbs and peppercorns in a saucepan and reduce the liquid to about a dessert-spoonful. Strain it and put to one aside.
Melt the butter and simmer gently for 5–10 minutes until it begins to separate. Remove from heat, leave to cool a little, then pour off the pure butter where it has separated from the whey and discard the whey. This helps to keep the sauce thick.
Put the egg yolks into a small stainless-steel bowl with half of the vinegar reduction, and whisk over a pan of gently simmering water until the mixture begins to thicken and become frothy. Slowly trickle in the butter, whisking continuously – an electric hand whisk will help. If the butter is added too quickly the sauce will separate.
When you have added two-thirds of the butter, taste the sauce and add a little more or all of the reduction and season with salt and pepper. Then add the rest of the butter. Season again with salt and pepper if necessary, lay some clingfilm directly on the sauce to stop it forming a skin and leave in a warm (not hot) place until needed. The sauce can be reheated briefly over a bowl of hot water and lightly whisked again, but try to avoid if possible.
To serve, lightly toast the muffins and soft-poach the eggs. Reheat the spinach, lay it on the muffins, then place a slice of smoked salmon on the muffin with the poached egg on top and coat it with a couple of generous spoonfuls of the Hollandaise sauce and as much of the salmon eggs as you want.
Turkey Escalope Holstein
1 turkey breast (at least 500g), skinned
2-3 tbsp flour
2 Clarence Court Burford Brown eggs, beaten
50-60g fresh white breadcrumbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable or corn oil for frying
A couple good knobs of butter
4 Clarence Court Burford Brown eggs
8 anchovies, halved lengthways
1tbsp chopped parsley
Lay the turkey breast on a chopping board and with a sharp carving or chopping knife cut 4 large slices. Put a slice of turkey on a sheet of clingfilm that is at least double its size. Carefully, using a rolling pin or side of a cleaver, bat each slice out into a neat ½ cm-thick escalope. Season with salt and pepper then lightly coat with flour, patting any excess off with your hands, before passing them through the beaten egg and finally the breadcrumbs.
Heat about 1cm of oil in a frying pan and cook the escalopes for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden, then add a knob of butter at the end of cooking and turn them once more.
Meanwhile, lightly fry the Burford Brown eggs and place one on each escalope, then arrange the anchovies around the yolk and transfer to warmed plates. Melt the butter in a small frying pan until foaming, add the parsley and capers and spoon over the egg and escalopes. Serve immediately.
Free-to-Fly Quail Egg Shooters
12 Clarence Court free-to-fly quail eggs
2 rashers of smoked streaky bacon with the rind removed
2tsp finely chopped chives
Coarse sea salt to serve
Grill or fry the bacon until crisp, then leave to cool and chop as finely as you can and mix with the chives. Bring a pan of water to the boil and carefully lower the quail eggs in with a slotted spoon. Simmer for 20 seconds then drain and run under the cold tap briefly.
Spoon the sea salt onto a serving dish, cut the tops off the quail eggs, stand them in the salt and spoon the bacon mixture on top of each one. Serve immediately.
A Bloody Good Eggnog
3 Clarence Court Burford Browns eggs, separated
75g caster sugar
450ml full fat milk
150ml double cream
75ml Somerset cider brandy
75ml el Dorado 8 year old rum
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Beat the egg yolks with half of the sugar with an electric or hand whisk for 2-3 minutes until light and frothy then add the milk, cream, alcohol and half of the spices until well combined.
In a clean bowl with an electric or hand whisk, beat the egg whites and the rest of the sugar until fairly stiff, then fold into the egg yolk and alcohol mixture. Serve in tumblers or mugs and scatter on the rest of the spices.
New Year Scrambled Old Cotswold Legbars with Finnan Haddock and Herbs
500g smoked haddock fillet
enough milk to cover and poach the haddock
6 Clarence Court Old Cotswold Legbar eggs, beaten
salt and freshly ground black pepper
100ml double cream
80g butter, cut into small pieces
1tbls chopped green herbs like parsley, chives or chervil
Cut the haddock into four even-sized portions, leaving the skin on. Place the fillets in a saucepan, season and cover with milk. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Meanwhile put the eggs in a thick-bottomed saucepan with the cream and 60g of the butter, season and cook on a very low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly until the eggs are nice and creamy.
Melt the remaining butter in a pan with the herbs. Spoon the eggs onto warmed serving plates. Remove the haddock from the milk and remove the skin. Place the haddock on the eggs and spoon the butter and herbs on top.