We are really excited to bring you a new recipe using Nith Valley Eggs from Food Blogger, Rebecca Cooks! Rebecca is a Scottish cook and food writer with her own allotment in Glasgow where she grows a wide variety of herbs and vegetables. She is extremely passionate about the ‘Grow Your Own’ movement, eating seasonally and promoting Scottish produce. Follow her on Instagram at @rebeccacooks_ or for more recipes and allotment updates, visit her website www.rebeccacooks.net
Nith Valley Dippy Eggs
Kids and adults alike will love this fun twist on eggs and soldiers!
80g baby spinach
60g Italian prosciutto, finely chopped
25g goats cheese
10g unsalted butter
Handful chopped parsley
4 large Nith Valley Eggs
Sourdough bread, toasted and cut into soldiers.
1. Set oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.
2. In a small pan, gently heat the butter and add the spinach. When spinach is wilted, remove from the heat and season to taste.
3. Grease the insides of the ramekins with a little butter and evenly distribute the spinach to the bottom of each dish. Gently crumble the goats cheese and prosciutto on top of the spinach.
4. Crack a Nith Valley egg into each ramekin and add a quarter of the cream to each dish.
5. Set the ramekins into a heavy based oven dish. Pour enough boiling water into the oven dish until it reaches the half way height of each ramekin.
6. Carefully place the tray in the oven and bake for around 15 minutes. The egg whites should be set but the yolks till runny.
7. Top with chopped parsley and cracked pepper. Serve immediately with buttered sourdough toast fingers for dipping!
On 28th of this month Nith Valley Eggs turns a whole ten years old! We’ve come a long way over the years and our business has continued to grow and grow. From our humble beginnings in 2009, the company has successfully expanded and we are now officially recognised as one of the top Scottish producers of free range eggs! Our woodland farm provides our hens with the freedom to roam and produce some of the best quality free range eggs in Scotland.
Nith Valley Eggs started small in 2009, supplying eggs to another producer. Fast forward to 2012, and we found ourselves in the fantastic position of being able to purchase our first egg grader. Operating with two members of staff, we were able to grade 3500 per hour! In 2015, we were able to upgrade our machine and purchase a new grader as well as take on a new member of staff, meaning we were able to grade 14500 eggs per hour!
We were able to capitalise on this success and buy a thirty-acre site, a former quarry, which provides a unique setting for our large flock of happy hens, who produce some of the best quality free range eggs in Scotland! The woodland farm is an ideal setting for the six production sheds we have, surround by beautiful Scottish landscape.
Our large farm has been well utilised to make the perfect home for the 12,000 hens currently at Nith Valley, where they are free to run, jump, skip and climb as they please! All our ladies plus our combined contract hens are hy-line brown hens and consume 170,00 tonnes of feed each year, ensuring they are kept fit and healthy to provide enough eggs to sell to our customers.
Nith Valley endeavours to supply the very best in terms of quality and freshness to our customers. We currently sell 9,000,000 eggs per year to 130 customers all over the UK, as well as supplying our eggs to a variety of businesses, including Turnberry Hotel, K-Cal Kitchen, Kilnford Barn and Williams Cafe in Glasgow. Our vans travel around 60,000 miles per year delivery orders to customers – ranging from as far afield as Gleneagles to Turnberry and all over the central belt. Our eggs have even travelled as far as the North of England!
We have had a wonderful ten years in business and wouldn’t be where we are without our wonderful customers, so we would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported us over the years, and here’s to the next ten!
Have you ever wondered what the little red numbers and characters on your Nith Valley Eggs actually mean? (and why they are there)
Well, it all stems from a remark in 1988 by the then Junior Health Minister, Edwina Currie who put the country into an overnight frenzy when she claimed that salmonella was present in the majority of eggs.
The British Egg Industry Council called her remarks “factually incorrect and highly irresponsible” , saying that the risk of an egg being infected with salmonella was less than 200 million to one.
Edwina Currie actually ended up resigning a few weeks later and admitted that it had been a slip of the tongue but the damage had been done.
The remark led to a dramatic fall in sales and the egg farming industry was hit really hard.
There were various attempts to reassure the public over the next few years and even Edwina Currie offered to help.
In 1998 the British Lion Egg scheme was founded and has become Britain’s most successful food safety scheme.
Understanding the Lion mark not only gives the purchaser reassurance that the eggs have been produced under the stringent requirements of the British Lion Code of Practice but further explains how the eggs are farmed.
Here at Nith Valley Eggs, we take public safety very seriously, as well as the welfare of our hens. Hens have disproved the myth that they are stupid and research has suggested that they are indeed highly intelligent birds, hence their psychological welfare is as important as physical welfare in order to maintain the best of produce.
Look at the Lion mark on our eggs, this show our eggs are free range
Under EU regulations, to qualify as free range, the maximum stocking density is 2,500 hens per hectare. At Nith Valley we have a 30 acre site (12.1 hectares) with 13,000 hens. We therefore have close to three times as much space as required by EU regulation, testament to our desire to ensure the health and happiness of our free range hens.
It is our strong belief that free range egg farming is the only ethical form of egg farming in The United Kingdom. That’s why we will NEVER compromise on our values!
Every British Lion egg gets a unique number, which acts as a passport and means every egg, hen, and bag of feed is completely traceable, every step of the way.
Of course, what happens to our eggs once they have been purchased is also important so here are a few recommendations for their storage in order to keep them as fresh, tasty and nutritious as possible.
For optimum freshness and food safety, eggs should be eaten within their use-by date and kept at a constant temperature below 20°C.
To avoid the typical temperature fluctuations in a domestic kitchen, the Lion egg scheme recommends that eggs are stored in their box in the fridge.
Most modern supermarkets are kept below 20°C so it is not necessary for retailers to refrigerate their eggs. Not refrigerating eggs in store also prevents significant temperature fluctuations (for example eggs being moved from a fridge to a hot car after purchase.
Now that the clocks have turned back, we’re well on our way to winter which means one thing – bonfire night. One of my favourite things about bonfire night is our family tradition of having Scotch Eggs and other tasty winter treats around the bonfire.
When it comes to Scotch Eggs, I prefer mine made at home, using (of course) fresh Nith Valley eggs laid by our happy hens here at Gatelawbridge. There’s nothing quite like cutting into a sizzling Scotch Egg and releasing the soft runny yolk within, served with a bit of brown sauce on the side.
Try your Scotch Eggs home baked instead of deep fried this bonfire night.
The great thing about our Nith Valley eggs is that they play a starring role in some great recipes. Some recipes are best kept simple, and Scotch Eggs are no exception.
The only thing I’d maybe consider tweaking now and again would be the method of cooking my Scotch Eggs. Have you tried them oven baked instead of deep-fried? It’s so easy, and safer if you’re making Scotch Eggs with youngsters around this bonfire night. There’s also a surprise ingredient in the form of breakfast cereal for a healthier coating.
Nith Valley Free Range Eggs – you’ll need one for each person and two beaten eggs.
Good quality sausage meat (low fat for extra healthy option)
Breadcrumbs or – wait for it – cornflakes!
Place your desired number of Nith Valley eggs in cold water and bring to the boil. Boil for four minutes, remove from pan and place in cold water. Remove shells carefully and set to one side.
Take some good quality low fat sausage meat, or remove low fat sausages from their skins. At this stage you can get creative by adding maybe a few chilli flakes or some herbs – and form the meat gently around the egg, making sure there are no gaps.
If you’re making fresh breadcrumbs from scratch see our how-to below*, or if you’re using cornflakes, put them in a freezer bag and bash them will a rolling pin, leaving a mixture of bigger and smaller bits.
Roll the meat-covered eggs in flour, and then dip in beaten egg. Cover the eggs in your breadcrumbs or crushed corn flakes. Spray lightly with FryLight or any spray oil.
Place on greaseproof paper on a baking tray in the centre of the oven at 200°C for around 35 minutes and enjoy with either my own personal favourite – brown sauce – or with the mayonnaise recipe from last month’s blog post.
* Saving up leftover bread in the freezer means making your own breadcrumbs is a doddle. Just take your leftover bread, break up into 1-inch chunks and spread evenly on a baking tray. Place in 120°C oven until light golden brown. Leave to cool slightly, and bash into crumbs.
However you like your Scotch Eggs, have a fun and safe bonfire night from us all here at Nith Valley Eggs!
If you make your own mayonnaise* (recipe at the end if you’d like to give it a go) – and why wouldn’t you, when a) it’s so easy – and b) you have fresh Nith Valley free range eggs practically on your doorstep – you’ll be wondering what to do with the leftover egg whites. Or, if you’re making meringues, you’re left with perfectly usable egg yolks. Well, it needn’t be a dilemma with this month’s blog, with an eye on zero waste – and ideas for using the whole egg, shell and all.
Luckily egg whites freeze really well. Freeze fresh Nith Valley egg whites as soon as you can in ice cube trays, then transfer to a freezer bag –remember to write the date on the bag and use within 12 months. If they’re thawed overnight in the fridge they whisk up fine for meringue and pavlova but can also be used for omelettes, mousses or as a glaze for home made scones, bread and pastry. Egg white can also be used as glue for light paper or card – who knew?
There’s nothing like a fresh, yellow, Nith Valley free-range egg yolk, so don’t waste them if you’ve been whipping up a meringue. Unlike egg whites, they don’t freeze so well, so for a change from making carbonara, custard or hollandaise sauce, try these beauty treatments:
Blend yourself a facemask using an egg yolk, ¼ of a ripe avocado and one teaspoon of yogurt – it’s a great moisturising mask and the vitamin A is alleged to help acne prone skin.
Treat yourself to a deep conditioning hair mask once a month by combing four beaten egg yolks through wet hair and leaving for just 15 minutes.
Don’t throw away the shells or even the water you boil your breakfast egg in – let the water cool and use it in the garden – it’s full of nutrients.
Crush eggshells into the compost bin – they’re rich in calcium and make a great fertiliser.
Use broken egg shells to scare away slugs and snails in the garden
Nith Valley free-range egg boxes and cartons are completely recyclable – or use them to start seedlings off or for emergency ice cube trays!
If you’ve any ideas or recipes using Nith Valley free-range eggs, add them in the comments. We’d love to hear them.
Dean Martin might have asked how we like our eggs in the morning but we’ve been thinking about eggs in the evening.
Monday evening to be precise. Summer’s well and truly over and the kids are back to school. We’re all back into our routines and trying to get through Mondays as smoothly as possible.
We know that Mondays can be a struggle, getting up for work and getting the kids up for school. Then there’s what to make for dinner when we’re made it through and just need a quick fix.
Meat Free Mondays
Meat Free Mondays are a great idea if you’re trying to introduce some variety into your diet. It’s easy to rotate the same 5 or 6 recipes every week. We don’t have to think too much about our shopping lists but it can get a bit dull and repetitive.
As well as adding some new recipes, it can also save a bit of cash and time as you’ll see from these quick and easy recipes.
Easy and Filling
Spanish tortilla, or omelette, traditionally combine onions, potatoes and eggs. It’s so versatile, though, as it’s a great way of using up potatoes and veg from your Sunday roast.
We like this recipe that uses feta and peppers for something a bit different.
Ingredients (serves 4)
2 red peppers
3 medium potatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
100g feta cheese
Heat the grill to highest setting. Put the peppers on a baking tray and place about 5cm away from the element. Cook for 10-15 mins, turning with tongs every time a side becomes charred, until the peppers are black all over. Tip into a bowl and cover until cool. Peel off the skin with your fingers, then tear the peppers in half, scrape away the seeds with a knife and discard the stem. Cut into thick strips and set aside.
Peel the potatoes and thinly slice into discs. Put half the oil and all the potatoes in a large, non-stick frying pan and place on a very low heat. Cook the potatoes very
gently for 10-15 mins so they are just sizzling quietly. Use a wooden spatula to turn them occasionally while they are cooking. The potatoes are ready when they are tender and starting to break up. Set the potatoes aside.
Crack the eggs into a bowl, season, then whisk together until the whites and yolks have mixed. Tip potatoes and peppers into the eggs and stir. Put the pan on a low heat with the remaining oil. Pour in the egg mixture and cook gently for about 5 mins, using a wooden spatula to ripple the cooked egg from the outside into the middle. Remove from the heat.
Crumble the feta over the tortilla and place the pan under the grill. Cook for 4-5 mins until the top no longer wobbles and the cheese has browned. leave the tortilla to relax for a few mins, then use the spatula to lift it onto a board. Cut into wedges and serve.
We loved Nadiya Hussain on Bake Off. Her new BBC series focuses on family favourites like this shakshuka. It’s a Middle Eastern dish of poached eggs in a spicy, tomato sauce. Perfect for a bit of warmth as we head into autumn.
Ingredients (serves 4)
3 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 spring onions, finely chopped
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp tomatoe puree
4 tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp smoked paprika
200g baby spinach leaves
4 medium eggs
1 tsp chilli flakes
To serve: Greek yogurt, toasted sourdough
Place a large, lidded frying pan over a high heat. Add the oil, and as soon as it is warm, add the garlic. Reduce the heat and add the spring onions.
Add the salt, tomato purée and tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the tomatoes have softened, adding 2 tablespoons of water if they start catching on the bottom of the pan.
Add the cumin seeds and smoked paprika and cook for a few minutes.
Add the spinach, a handful at a time, and mix as best as you can. Put the lid on the pan and allow the spinach to wilt. This will only take a few minutes.
Take off the lid and cook for another few minutes on a medium heat until all the moisture has dried up.
Make four cavities in the tomato mixture. Crack an egg into each cavity, then put the lid on and leave on the heat until the whites are cooked but the yolks are still runny. This should take about 4 minutes. Take off the lid and sprinkle over the chilli flakes.
Spoon an egg and some of the smoky spinach onto each serving plate, and serve with yoghurt and toasted sourdough.
How about this tasty treat that even saves on the washing up? Oven-baked eggs and chips are the perfect comfort dish after a long day in school or work.
Ingredients (serves 2)
2 medium baking potatoes, cut into chunky wedges
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tomaties, halved
Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Tip the potato wedges into a roasting tin. Drizzle over the oil and sprinkle over the paprika. Season and mix well to coat the potatoes. Roast for 25 mins, turning halfway through, until almost tender.
Nestle the tomatoes, cut-side up, amongst the potatoes. Make 2 spaces in the tin and crack an egg into each one. Return to the oven for 6-8 mins until the eggs are just set.
The old Egg Marketing Board slogan from the Swinging Sixties was – “Go to work on an egg”. A quick search on YouTube and you’ll see the TV ads that promoted the slogan, with Tony Hancock.
I don’t know about you but I still like to have eggs at breakfast. I love a boiled egg and soldiers although I must admit to being a bit hit and miss with boiled eggs, so I invested in an egg boiler from that great bastion of kitchen gadgets – Lakeland – and now all my Nith Valley boiled eggs have perfectly soft yolks and just firm whites.
Fancy a twist on Eggy Bread?
As much as I love my egg boiler, I’ve been on a mission to try something new and my recent discovery is a twist on French Toast – French crumpets, inspired by Jamie Oliver! Easy enough to throw together on a weekday but easy to upgrade at the weekend with a bit of bacon and some mushrooms. If I’m lucky and I time it right, I can grab the bargain crumpets at the end of the day when the supermarket is marking the bakery items down, and I just chuck them in the freezer. If you fancy giving this twist on Eggy Bread a whirl, it couldn’t be simpler, and you can use the crumpets straight from the freezer if you’re in a hurry
Beat the eggs with the salt and pepper on a shallow plate or a baking tray.
Place the crumpets – holey side down – in the beaten egg
Leave the egg to soak in for ten minutes, then turn the crumpets over and leave for another ten minutes.
Heat some oil (and a bit of butter for added taste!) in a shallow non-stick pan.
Carefully place the eggy crumpets in the pan and cook for a few minutes either side until golden brown.
Don’t be tempted to pour the rest of the eggy mixture in the pan while the crumpets are cooking – it spoils the look of the finished article. You can always scramble it after the crumpets have cooked and serve it on the side – or just make another French crumpet!
Serve your French crumpets a dollop of sauce of your choice – but I can highly recommend with brown sauce. Sometimes I add some dried herbs into the eggy mixture, or some chilli flakes for a bit of heat with some sweet chilli sauce on the side.