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Eggs-actly Right Any Way You Like Them

May 8, 2013

When it comes to cooking with eggs, the possibilities are endless. They are the perfect all day, any day food and can be used in breakfasts, soups, salads, sandwiches, pastas—you name it! From the simple to the sumptuous, eggs are the chefs go-to food.

Cooking with Eggs at CHEFScatalog.comDespite the cholesterol levels, eggs are an excellent source of high-quality protein, B vitamins, and antioxidants. And if you’re concerned about cholesterol, you can reduce the impact by eating only the egg white.

One thing to consider, how the hens were raised may impact the nutritional quality—and taste—of the eggs, making them an even more tempting cooking ingredient. According to studies conducted by Mother Earth News and Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, local free-range eggs were found to have 33 percent less cholesterol, up to 25 percent less saturated fat, and as much as four to six times the amount of vitamin D. Additionally, the University of Pennsylvania found that this variety had up to four times as much omega-3 fatty acids and up to three times as much vitamin E.

With so many nutrients packed into eggs, it’s easy to give them a place in our diets. Here are some tips and tricks for preparing different kinds of eggs:

Fried eggs

Frying is such a common way to cook an egg that it may seem there isn’t much to it. As with any cooking method, though, there are tricks for creating the perfect fried egg.

  • Fresh is best: Use the freshest eggs you can find for frying because the white will set more quickly than with an older egg.
  • Sit a spell: Once you have selected your eggs, allow them to come to room temperature before cooking. Yolks and whites of cold eggs cook at different rates, often causing the yolk to become overcooked.

Poached eggs

Poached Eggs at CHEFScatalog.comThe perfect poached egg is a highly sought after achievement among cooks. The presence of a poached egg adds an instant touch of luxury to any brunch or dinner. While there are many tips and techniques for creating this masterpiece, there is one thing all master chefs agree on: fresh is best.

The fresher the egg, the better the results. Some recommend using only eggs that were laid in the previous 48 hours. As the egg ages, the white becomes runnier, causing it to thicken slowly and spread out in the water-filled pan. If very fresh eggs aren’t an option, pricking the end of the egg with a needle and boiling it for 20 seconds is said to help the white’s start thickening before cracking them into the pan to begin poaching. The perfect poached egg shape can also be made with specially developed kitchen tools.

Hard-boiled eggs

Hard-boiling is another standard way to cook an egg—with another standard trick. This time the trick is to use eggs that are at least three days old. Older eggs have had more time for the inner membranes to separate from the shells, which makes peeling much easier.

To hard-boil to perfection, start by adding the eggs to a pot with cold water. There should be an inch of water above the eggs when they are submersed. Bring the pot to a boil and immediately take it off the stove, cover tightly with a lid, and let sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Then, place the eggs in an ice bath for 10 minutes to stop them from cooking any further. This will prevent the whites from becoming rubbery and create a much more tender hard-boiled egg.

Altitude adjustment: See this blog from the Denver Post.

Eggs Benedict

Eggs Benedict at CHEFScatalog.comEarlier in this series of blogs, we learned the origin of Crêpes Suzette. So, how did an egg dish come to be named for some guy named Benedict? Contrary to what many people assume, it has nothing to do with Benedict Arnold, an American Revolutionary War general who joined the side of England.

Well, the origin of the dish is often debated, but the most popular version suggests that Lemuel Benedict, a New York City stockbroker, created the dish one morning at the Waldorf Hotel in an attempt to help resolve a hangover. Benedict ordered two poached eggs, toast, bacon, “and a hooker of hollandaise” sauce which he promptly assembled into the popular dish as we know it. The maître d' tried Benedict’s creation and loved it so much he added it to his menu, naming it after its creator.

Marbled tea egg

Marbled Tea Eggs at CHEFScatalog.comMarbled tea eggs are hard-boiled eggs that are as beautiful as they are delicious. They are a common food sold by street vendors throughout China, but also have a special place in Chinese New Year celebrations. According to Chinese tradition, the marbled eggs represent golden nuggets, and eating them during the Chinese New Year is supposed to bring good luck and prosperity.

After hard-boiling the eggs, crack the shells all over with the back of a spoon--but do not peel the shells off. Then place the eggs with cracked shells in a mixture of black tea, soy sauce, star anise, cinnamon, Sichuan peppercorn, and sometimes even mandarin peel. The tea dye soaks through the cracks of the shells, leaving a beautiful marbled pattern on the egg white. The longer the eggs soak, the darker the pattern will appear.

Egg-based recipes: Eggs Benedict; Chorizo and Leek Quiche; Breakfast Pockets

Tips to making a great omelette: From Executive Chef Jesse Llapitan

Hungry for breakfast? Check out our other blogs on the subject here at CHEFS Mix:

Your turn: Do you have any tried and true folk methods of preparing hard-boiled eggs? Share them with us.

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Tags: Eggs, Cookware, Recipes, Bakeware