What's Tasty at Sigona's Farmers Market

February 7, 2012

Now at Sigona’s: Local PeeWee Pastured Eggs

Now at Sigona’s: Local PeeWee Pastured Eggs

They’re here, but you have to be quick! These little gems are flying off the shelves, right along with their larger counter parts. We’re talking about the new PeeWee pastured eggs from Wattle & Comb, delivered fresh from Pescadero.

You’re familiar with the fantastic flavor, nutrients and health benefits of our Wattle & Comb pastured eggs (available only at Sigona’s), and we’re happy to announce that new hens have been added to the flock as of late last summer, with more arriving in November. Wattle & Comb is now 700 layers strong, with 400 yet to start laying.

These new, young hens, called pullets, lay smaller eggs when they are first mature enough to produce. Wattle & Comb calls these pullet eggs PeeWees. These smaller eggs are not usually found in stores, and Wattle & Comb founder Janina Pawlowski is particularly fond of how they’re perfectly sized and packaged for kids!

“When my children were little it was always a challenge in the grocery store because the cutest packages always contained the unhealthiest food,” said Pawlowski. “The eggs are a gift to mothers so they can encourage their child to eat healthy and have the support of the cute label, the maze inside, and most of all the adorable little egg just perfect for a child – or child at heart!”

Pastured eggs in general have richer yolks and perkier whites. Chefs and “eggsperts” consider that a chicken lays her best eggs up to around 31 weeks of age, meaning that the first smallest eggs are the tastiest and richest in flavor. They have a smaller yolk and a perkier white that gives them excellent “soufflé-ability.” Their yolks also make for incredible (and more bite-sized) deviled eggs!

Wattle & Comb hens are raised on a pasture where they are allowed to roam and eat from the land, just as nature intended. It’s better for the hen, better for the egg and better for you! All Wattle & Comb hens are heritage breeds, meaning the breeds haven’t been cross-bred for more than 50 years, similar to the definition of heirloom produce. Pawlowski chose the following breeds: Ameracauna (blue eggs), Buff Orpington (brown eggs), Plymouth Barred Rock (brown eggs), Rhode Island Red (brown eggs) and Danish Brown Leghorns (brown eggs).

Use the Wattle & Comb PeeWees for these recipes!

Chocolate Soufflé Cake

PeeWee eggs make for fluffier soufflé – something every home chef desires! Recipe courtesy of Laura Stec of Laura Stec Innovative Cuisine. Yields 16 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 3 sticks, plus 6 TBL butter
  • 12 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 13 egg whites
  • 9 egg yolks from Wattle & Comb PeeWee pastured eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 oz. Grand Marnier
  • butter and flour for preparing the pan
  • Fresh strawberries (optional)

See cook’s note for serving suggestions.

Directions: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Lightly flour and butter a 13 X 9-inch pan. Melt the butter and the chocolate in a double boiler or microwave. Do not overheat. Cool slightly. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and Grand Marnier. Add chocolate and butter mixture to the egg mixture. Make sure the chocolate/butter is not too hot or it can start scrambling the eggs.

In a medium size bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. Fold the whites into the chocolate/egg mixture, mixing lightly, but until completely combined. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake one hour.

Cook’s Note: I use a round cookie cutter to cut out circles from the finished soufflé. Then I top with fresh strawberries, whipped cream and serve individually plated for a lovely dessert. And what of all the leftover cake from around the cutouts? Yum! That certainly is put to excellent use too!

 

Lacinato Kale, Egg & Feta Bake

The PeeWee eggs are the perfect size for this dish-for-one. It’s  a lovely, healthy yet filling meal that’s just the thing for an evening in alone or a quite breakfast. Recipe courtesy of Gina of the food blog Running to the Kitchen. Serves 1.

Ingredients:

  • Lacinato Kale & Feta Egg Bake. Recipe and photos courtesy of Gina Matsoukas of the food blog Running to the Kitchen

    1/2 Sweet Mayan onion, Chopped

  • 1 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
  • 1 clove garlic, Minced
  • 6 Large Lacinato Kale leaves (stems removed), washed, trimmed, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes OR 1/4-1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 4 TBL Sigona’s Old World marinara, divided
  • 1/3 cups crumbled Feta, divided
  • 2 Wattle & Comb Pastured PeeWee-sized eggs

Directions: Preheat oven to 375ºF.

In a skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil and sauté onions and mushrooms for 3 minutes. Add the garlic, cook for 1-2 more minutes, until onions are softened.

Add kale and red pepper flakes (or Tabasco) and sauté another 2-3 minutes until kale is wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spray an oven-safe, personal-sized ramekin with cooking spray and spoon half of the sauce into the bottom. Next, add half the kale and onion mixture, then top with half the feta, the remaining sauce, and then the remainder of the kale mixture.

Carefully Crack the eggs on the top in various positions. Sprinkle remaining feta on top of that.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, until eggs are fully cooked but still runny. Serve warm with crusty bread.

Quick and easy recipe for “free” calcium supplements

“Did you know, eggshells are mostly composed of calcium, but they also contain at least 27 trace micro-elements? PeeWee shells are harder, and although most people don’t know this, the calcium from the shell is very healthy and shouldn’t be thrown away. I’ve made calcium powder from the shells, then added it to yogurt and saved money by not buying calcium supplements.” – Janina Pawlowski

How To:

  1. Save up the eggshells you get from Wattle & Comb or any non-medicated, pastured hen.
  2. Boil the shells in water for 10 minutes to make sure you kill off any bacteria – especially if you collect them in a bowl for a week.
  3. Let the shells dry
  4. Grind the shells in a clean coffee grinder or blender into a fine powder.
  5. Store the calcium in a jar away from light.

Usage tips: One half teaspoon of powder contains approximately 400 mg of calcium. This form is more available to the body than commercial calcium supplements which are usually made of limestone or coral. For more information, check out this article by RawHealthForce.

January 11, 2012

More Wattle & Comb Pastured Eggs Coming Soon

More Wattle & Comb Pastured Eggs Coming Soon

Wattle & Comb just bought in 200 more chicks that are ready to start laying petite-sized eggs called PeeWees. This means more eggs – in various sizes – are coming soon!

Top: the smaller eggs are called PeeWees and are laid by pullet, or young, hens. The larger eggs come from mature hens. Bottom: Keep your eye out for PeeWee eggs with this logo in our stores soon.

Attention Wattle & Comb pastured egg lovers: thank you for your patience as the hens lay fewer eggs during molting season – darker days makes for fewer eggs. We know you’ve been pining for more of these delicious eggs, and thank you for your understanding!

We have some good news, though! Wattle & Comb has added 200 new hens to their flock that grazes just over the hill in Pescadero. These new hens, known as pullets, lay petite-sized eggs, known as PeeWees. These eggs will increase in size as the hens mature.

Wattle & Comb announced this week that some of the pullet hens are just starting to lay so we’ll have these adorable, petite-sized PeeWees in just a couple weeks. While pullet eggs are the new rage in the culinary world, they have a certain cuteness factor that appeals to kiddos just the same. They’re sized just right for children, and their bright colors (both inside and out) make them fun to enjoy.

Of course, their appeal to children makes them easy for adults to love them even more. Pastured PeeWee eggs contain more vitamins and minerals, essential for strong growth of children’s teeth, bones and muscles. These nutrients also benefit the immune system.

Do you know what “pastured eggs” means? In short, it means the hens are raised outdoors — with access to coops if they so desire — which allows them to roam freely, eating what grows on the land, such as grasses, seeds, grains and bugs…just as nature intended. It’s better for the bird, it’s better for the eggs and it’s better for you!

When compared to typical store-bought eggs, did you know that farm-fresh pastured eggs have been found to have:

  • Higher omega-3 fatty acids
  • Less cholesterol (some studies show pastured eggs have up to 1/3 less cholesterol)
  • Higher amounts of vitamins A, E & B12
  • Higher amounts of folic acid, beta-carotene and essential fatty acid

Janina Pawlowski, founder Pescadero Food’s Wattle & Comb pastured eggs, notes that chickens are said to produce the best eggs in the first 13 weeks of their egg-laying life. Though smaller than what egg-eaters have been conditioned to think is best, pullet eggs are the most delicious and often snatched up by pastry chefs-in-the-know for their richness and “soufflé-ability!”

This is because as chickens age, egg size increases while color and quality decreases. Large and small eggs from the same chicken have the same amount of egg “material,” but larger eggs are said to have more water and therefore less rich and “eggy.”

Keep an eye out for these cute, local and pastured Wattle & Comb PeeWees – they’ll arrive just as soon as the pullet hens start laying with more frequency. Remember, Sigona’s is the only store to carry these wonderful, nutritious, pastured eggs, so tell your friends about them too!

Check out our Fresh From the Farm to the Kitchen video where Carmelo heads out to the Wattle & Comb ranch in Pescadero:

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