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New 'Fresh Eggs Daily' cookbook shows eggs are for breakfast, lunch, dinner — and happy hour

For many of us, an egg is just an egg. Hatched in a cardboard carton; white or brown, large or medium. What more do you need to know?

For Lisa Steele, the answer is “just about everything.” Steele is a 5th generation Maine farmer, chicken-keeper, gardener and cookbook author.

Among the thing she knows: There are egg myths! There are secret codes on egg packaging! There are foundational techniques for grilling, steaming, baking and frying. And that eggs can be used in every meal and snack of the day, including cocktails.

All that information is packed into Steele’s new cookbook “Fresh Eggs Daily” and she joins host Lisa Mullins to share her eggs-pertise.

Recipes from ‘The Fresh Eggs Daily Cookbook’

By Lisa Steele

Fried Eggs with Apricot Jam and Goat Cheese

My mom knew I was writing a cookbook early on, so she sent me photocopies of old family recipes, her marked-up Finnish cookbook, and any egg recipe she saw that looked interesting, with marginal notes on how to improve the dish. I promised her that I’d include at least one of her contributions, in addition to some time-tested family treasures.

However, she didn’t find this recipe in a magazine or cookbook—she created it herself. The goat cheese is a nod to her growing up with her Finnish grandmother, who raised milk goats. The sweetness of the apricot jam serves as a counterpoint to the salty cheese. It doesn’t seem like these flavors should work together, but they do. Trust me. Or rather, trust my mother. Mothers always know best!

Makes 2 servings

  • 4 fried eggs
  • 2 tablespoons apricot jam
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese
  • Fresh thyme for garnish
  • Kosher salt for garnish
  1. Fry the eggs using your preferred method. Place 2 eggs on one plate, and 2 eggs on another plate. Top each egg with a dollop of jam in the center of the yolk and sprinkle the goat cheese over the egg white. Garnish with fresh thyme.

Blueberry Popovers

Popovers are fun to make and a tasty alternative to dinner rolls or bread. I adore these Blueberry Popovers served with blueberry jam sauce and blueberry butter and garnished with fresh mint. Both the jam and butter can be made in advance and refrigerated until you’re ready to serve your popovers, or you can prepare the toppings while the popovers are baking. If you have a popover pan, use that. If not, a muffin tin will do.

Makes 12 popovers

Popovers

  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup milk, room temperature
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Fresh mint for garnish
  • Confectioners’ sugar for garnish


Blueberry Jam Sauce

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Grated peel of half a lime, about 1 teaspoon


Blueberry Butter

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature, sliced into tablespoons
  • 3 tablespoons warm Blueberry Jam Sauce


For the Popovers

  1. In a medium-sized bowl whisk the eggs and milk, then whisk in the flour and salt. The batter will be thin like pancake batter. Pour the batter into a 2-cup measuring cup and let sit for at least 30 minutes (or overnight in the fridge). If you are using chilled batter, let it sit for 30 minutes to come to room temperature, then give it a good whisk before pouring it into the pan.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and set the rack in the bottom third section of the oven.
  3. Cut the butter into 12 cubes and put 1 cube into the bottom of each of the popover or muffin cups. Then set the pan in the oven as it preheats and melt the butter for a few minutes while the batter rests. Once the butter has melted, remove the tin from the oven, brush the sides of each muffin cup with the butter, and fill each cup about halfway with the batter.
  4. The popover effect is a result of steam, so be sure to keep the oven closed until the popovers have baked a full 30 minutes. If you open the oven, they’re likely to collapse. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 15 minutes. Then check on them through the oven window and bake for another few minutes, if necessary, until they’re puffed and golden brown. While the popovers are baking, prepare the jam sauce. Remove the pan from the oven and cool on a wire rack.


For the Blueberry Jam Sauce

  1. Combine the blueberries, sugar, and grated lime peel in a saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture becomes thick and jammy, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat to cool. While the sauce is still cooling, measure out 3 tablespoons for the Blueberry Butter.


For the Blueberry Butter

  1. Put the butter slices in a small bowl. Mash the warm Blueberry Jam Sauce into the butter with a fork until well combined. Spoon the butter onto a sheet of wax paper and roll the butter into a 1-inch log. Chill the butter until you’re ready to serve the popovers, then cut the log into 12 even slices.
  2. Place a popover on a dessert plate and serve with a dollop of Blueberry Jam Sauce on the side, a slice of Blueberry Butter, fresh mint, and a dusting of confectioners’ sugar.

Baked Eggs in Butternut Squash Rings

These baked eggs are such a fun way to use squash. I’m partial to butternut, but acorn or spaghetti squash would work equally well. Roasting the squash before adding the egg ensures that the squash will be tender and slightly caramelized, while the eggs will be cooked to perfection in the center.

Makes 6 servings

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh sage for garnish
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Wash the squash and cut crosswise into six 3/4- to 1-inch slices. Scoop out the seeds and hollow out the middle of each slice to allow room for an egg.
  2. Arrange the squash on the baking sheet and brush each ring with olive oil inside and out, then season with salt and pepper. Bake on the center rack of the oven for 20 minutes, until the squash has softened. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and gently crack and slide 1 egg into the center of each squash ring. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil, and return to the oven. Bake about 8 minutes, until the egg whites are set and the yolks are firm but not fully set.
  3. Use a spatula to slide the squash rings onto plates. Top with Parmesan, garnish with fresh sage, and drizzle with olive oil.

Orange Brandy Olive Oil Cake

If you’ve never had olive oil cake, you’re in for a treat! This recipe uses olive oil instead of butter, so keep it in mind if you’re ever out of butter. Brush some boozy glaze on top, and you have a winner that will stay moist and deepen in flavor the longer it sits. I like to use Grand Marnier in the glaze, but it tastes delicious without the liqueur too.

Makes 12 servings

Orange Brandy Olive Oil Cake

  • 1 1/4 cups extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for prepping the pan
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar, plus more for prepping the pan
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 3 eggs, room temperature 1 cup milk 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice 1/4 cup orange liqueur Confectioners’ sugar for dusting


Orange Glaze

  • 1/4 cup orange juice 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon orange liqueur, optional


For the Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Brush the bottom and sides of a 9-inch round cake pan with olive oil, then cut a circle of parchment paper to cover the bottom. Set the parchment paper in place, brush it with more olive oil, then sprinkle with sugar.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt. Pour the olive oil into a large mixing bowl and add 1 egg at a time, whisking well to incorporate and emulsify the mixture. Whisk in the milk, orange juice, and orange liqueur.
  3. Slowly pour in the sugar, whisking to incorporate, then whisk in the flour mixture until combined but not lumpy. Be careful not to overmix the batter. It will be thin, like pancake batter.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake 65 to 70 minutes, until the top of the cake is a dark golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and cool it for 1 hour on a wire rack.


For the Glaze

  1. In a small bowl whisk the orange juice and confectioners’ sugar until no lumps remain. Add the orange liqueur, if desired, and whisk to combine.


To Assemble the Cake

  1. Run a butter knife around the outer rim of the cooled cake and invert the pan to remove the cake from the pan. Peel off the parchment paper and set the cake right side up on a wire rack. Brush the top with half of the glaze, then allow the cake to cool for another 1 to 2 hours, or cover to cool overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. To serve, dust the cake generously with confectioners’ sugar, slice it into wedges, and place the slices on plates, with the remaining glaze on the side for pouring. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature for up to a week.

Maple Sour

I created this maple version of a classic whiskey sour to sip in autumn, while we sit on our front porch enjoying the crisp fall air and marveling at the colorful Maine foliage. For a special presentation, use a large red maple leaf as a “coaster” for your cocktail.

Makes 1 cocktail

  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 ounce maple syrup
  • 1 egg white, room temperature
  • 3 to 4 ice cubes, plus more for serving
  • Small maple leaf for garnish, optional
  • Large maple leaf for a coaster, optional
  1. Add the bourbon, lemon juice, maple syrup, and egg white to a cocktail shaker or pint Mason jar. Shake vigorously until the egg white is foamed and frothy, about 30 seconds. Add the ice cubes and shake until well chilled, about 20 seconds. Strain the liquid into a glass over ice. Garnish with a small red maple leaf, if desired, and set the glass on the large leaf.

Recipes excerpted with permission from The Fresh Eggs Daily Cookbook by Lisa Steele, published by Harper Horizon 2022, $27.99 Hardcover

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

"The Fresh Eggs Daily Cookbook" author Lisa Steele with a chicken. (Tina Rupp)
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"The Fresh Eggs Daily Cookbook" author Lisa Steele with a chicken. (Tina Rupp)