Featured Recipe: Poached Eggs

Did you know that eggs are actually a seasonal item? Yep, most birds quit laying their eggs around October and resume again in March (conveniently just in time for Easter).

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The reason behind this natural cycle of egg-laying is that birds are very sensitive to light. As the days get shorter, it signals to the birds that there will be less warmth for hatching baby chicks and keeping them alive, as that is, afterall, the real reason why hens lay eggs. When days begin to lengthen again in the spring, the added light lets the birds know that conditions are safe for laying again. Some farmers opt to add a light to their chicken coops to encourage the birds to continue laying through the winter, but if you're truly trying to eat seasonally, spring is one of the best seasons to start showing locally-raised eggs some love.

In my humble opinion, eggs don't get the respect they deserve. Really and truly they are one of the most wholesome and inexpensive food sources around. They are versatile and delicious, simple but elegant. They add richness to soups, texture to salads, tenderness to baked goods, and heartiness to veggie dishes. They can amp up your breakfast and take your burgers to new levels (if you've never had a fried egg on top of a burger you are missing out on life). Scrambled, boiled, over-easy, sunny-side, fried, and baked...you can't go wrong. But if you really want to add a level of sophistication to your everyday fare, there's nothing better than a poached egg. Top your next sandwich or pizza with a poached egg for a touch of flare and flavor. Add a poached egg to your next bowl of ramen or pasta dish and wait for your taste buds to applaud. Below are a few tips on how to make the perfect poached egg as well as 21 creative ways you can use poached eggs in your next meal.

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How To Make Perfectly Poached Eggs

1. Make sure your eggs are really fresh. Check out our farm directory for a list of local farmers who may be selling eggs.

2. Add a small dash of vinegar to a pan of steadily simmering water.

3. Crack eggs individually into a ramekin or cup.

4. Create a gentle whirlpool in the water to help the egg white wrap around the yolk.

5. Slowly tip the egg into the water, white first.

21 Creative and Mouth Watering Poached Egg Recipes

And if you really want to amp up the wow factor on your next egg dish, try locally raised duck or goose eggs. You can find duck eggs at Parkes Family Produce (just $4 for a dozen!!) outside of Springfield and goose eggs at Rustic Red Poultry and Produce in Mason City. Give this recipe for Poached Duck Egg with Spring Asparagus, Cured Ham, And Grain Mustard Dressing a go.

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