Eggs for Easter

Are you looking for something a little different, but traditional that you can do with eggs for Easter with the kids

I have been cooking Sephardic eggs (sometimes known as Brown Eggs), since finding this recipe in the mid 1980’s, and being fascinated by the colour and flavour of the eggs.

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The Sephardic Jews (“Spanish” Jews) were a group of people who lived in the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal today), before they were exiled by the Catholic kings in the 15th Century. They mainly went to Turkey, Greece, Morocco, Hungary and other nearby countries, taking with them their food and cultural traditions. Being Jewish, they celebrate Passover (pesach) rather than Easter. This 8-day celebration of their liberation and exodus from Egypt under Moses, is from April the 14th to the 22nd this year. These eggs would be served as part of the Seder- the ritual meal during passover. They are also cooked for the Sabbath, when you cannot “light a flame” on the day, so slow cooking overnight the night before ensures warm food for breakfast. Haminados means “warm” referring to slow cooking in the oven, and heuvos is Spanish for eggs.  The onion skins impart the brown colour to the eggs and the coffee adds a subtle flavour. The egg white will turn a light beige and acquire a very subtle, but pleasing flavour. It will not taste like either the coffee or onions. The oil will pass through the porous shell of the egg and cause the shell to slide smoothly off when peeled.
Sephardic eggs make a great breakfast with bread and salt. Alternatively, have them cold later for lunch with that other Jewish culinary masterpiece: potato latkes. Either way they look amazing.

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Sephardic Eggs (Huevos Haminados)

Outer skins from 10 – 12 brown onions

12 eggs

½ cup of ground coffee

1 teaspoon of salt

3 tablespoons olive oil

Water

Oven method: Put half of the onion skins into the base of a casserole dish or oven pan. (I use a cake tin). Place the eggs onto the skins.  Sprinkle on the coffee and the salt and then top with the rest of the onion skins. Drizzle the oil over the onion skins and then fill up the pan with water so that the eggs are completely covered. Put on a tight fitting lid or some tinfoil and place in a low oven (about 100°C) for about 6 hours, or preferably overnight.

Stove method: Place all of the ingredients in a saucepan with a tightly-fitting lid and add water to cover. Bring the eggs to a boil, cover and lower the heat to a simmer. Let them simmer for about 6 hours, adding more water if necessary.

They will come out a mottled brown. The longer you cook the eggs, the more likely they are to crack, which is a good thing, because when you peel them you get a spider’s web effect on the egg. When you want to eat them just peel them and serve with some good bread and maybe some tomatoes and feta cheese. They are great to take on picnics or as part of a packed lunch.

Sephradic Egg Brekky

You can get the kids to help you make the eggs extra decorative by first wetting the eggs, then putting on a piece of coriander or parsley to the shell. The moisture should make it stick to the shell. Put the eggs into some pantyhose or stockings and use the stove top method to cook your eggs. When they are done, take them out of the stocking and take off the piece of herb. It should have acted like a stencil, leaving a pretty leaf pattern on your egg.

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