Eggs Are For All Seasons
Eggs, versatile, nutritious and fresh food fast. Eggs are a food for all seasons.
Eggs Are For All Seasons
Eggs are the most versatile of all foods. Eggs can serve as base for multitude of recipes, from a balanced breakfast, to an elegant appetizer or a consistent dinner. Eggs are cheap, nourishing and they are fast food. Eggs are also:
- leavener agent or air carrier in cakes
- coloring agent in cakes, puddings and custards
- thickener in sauces
- binder in mixtures like meat or vegetable loaves
- fat emulsifier in mayonnaise or Hollandaise sauces
- used to coat food before dipping it in crumbs.
The color of the shell does not affect its food value; white eggs are as nourishing as brown eggs.
Eggs stand quite well out of the fridge so remember to take them out of the fridge one hour before using them. If the eggs are a room temperature whisking is much easier and they will not crack when boiled.
Eggs are sensitive to heat. Cook them on a medium or low heat and also remember that eggs go on cooking even when out of direct heat. You have to wait for your eggs, not the opposite.
Have a bowl or cup ready. Crack the shell sharply on the edge and let the egg pour inside. Cracking eggs one by one into a cup you won't spoil the dish you are cooking if the egg is no good, or if the recipe calls for whole yolks and one of them breaks. This method helps to prevent oil burns when frying eggs.
SEPARATING EGG WHITES
Prepare two small bowls. Crack the shell sharply on one. Transfer the yolk from one half shell to the other over one of the bowls allowing the white to pour into it -two or three times will be enough- and pour the yolk into the other bowl.
Use eggs brought to room temperature. Whisk vigorously with a manual or electric whisk -you can also do it with a fork, but it will take longer- to incorporate a large volume of air; use straight away.
Egg whites are whisked very much the same way. Whisked egg whites will also revert to liquid when left to stand; add a few drops of vinegar or a pinch of salt to the whites before whisking to prevent this. Perfectly beaten whites are glossy and stand in rounded peaks. When whites are stiff and pointed with no gloss they are over beaten.
Egg yolks become creamy and foamy when beaten. They double or triple their volume, but yolks never peak.
FOLDING IN EGG WHITES
Use a metal spoon. Pour the thicker mixture on top of the whites and fold carefully, without beating, to avoid loss of air.
The easiest way is to place the eggs in cold water and bring them to the boil. Simmer until done.
|soft-boiled||2½ minutes||2¾ minutes||3 minutes|
|medium-boiled||3½ minutes||4 minutes||4½ minutes|
|hard-boiled||8 minutes||9 minutes||10 minutes|
Again, the easiest way is to use a poaching pan.
To poach eggs into water use a wide shallow pan, fill with water, bring it to the boil and reduce to a very gentle simmer. Break eggs into a cup and slip them into the water, one at a time, let them simmer. Very fresh eggs are the best for poaching.
Beat the eggs and season with a little salt and pepper. Melt half Tbs butter and half Tbs olive oil in a heavy based pan over a low heat. Add the eggs, stirring slowly with a wooden spoon until they become thick and creamy. Turn the heat off before they are ready; the eggs will go on cooking on their own for two or three minutes more.
You can be very creative with omelets as you can choose any kind of filling, savory or sweet. For a basic omelet, use two eggs and 1 Tbs olive oil for each person.
Break the eggs and beat lightly; season with salt and pepper to taste. Heat the oil in an omelet pan or small frying pan until it sizzles. Pour in the eggs. Tilt the pan so that the eggs cook evenly. Fold the omelet when it is almost set.
There are three ways to fry eggs. The French way, en cocotte, is the simplest of all; the eggs are served in the same pan they are cooked. You can shallow fry eggs, over easy or sunny side up, or you can deep fry eggs.
For eggs "en cocotte," use two eggs for each person. Melt 2 tsp butter in a fireproof dish. Crack the eggs, one at a time, in a cup and pour them into the pan. Cover and fry on a medium heat 4-5 minutes. Or preheat the oven to (160 C) and rub butter into individual molds; set mold into an oven tray and fill with water up to half their height. Pour an egg into each mold and season to taste. Heat up the tray on top of the stove until the water reaches the boiling point. Simmer for 1-2 minutes. Pour 1 Tbs heavy cream into each mold. Cover the tray with foil. Cook in the oven for 4 minutes. Serve straight away in the same mold.
For shallow frying, heat up two Tbs olive oil until it starts to bubble, the lower the heat as you drop the broken eggs, one at a time. Fry for about two minutes. Turn with a slice and fry for another minute. You can also use butter, bacon drippings or lard as cooking fat.
For deep-frying eggs, heat up abundant oil to (180°C) and crack the eggs, one at a time, into a cup. Pour the egg into the hot oil. Turn the egg once or twice, the white will fold the yolk. The egg will cook in under a minute. Take it out of the oil and set on to a piece of kitchen roll to absorb excess fat.