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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tips: Eggs

"Yes, that is a huevo!"

Free pack of gum to the first person who can name the movie that quote is from... going... going... oh.

The "Birdcage" with Robbin Williams, Nathan Lane and a very "whate-malan" Frank Azaria is absolutely my most favorite movie. Coincidentally, the best scene for me is the dinner party were Armand dumps ladles of "sweet and sour peasant soup" haphazardly onto the table. The uncomfortable way the hard boiled eggs look back at the equally uncomfortable guests is truly epic. Nothing could be more sinister, more informal and uncalled for than a hard boiled egg in a sea of seafood chowder. How priceless! How undeniably inedible the egg becomes drowning in a bowl of hot, sour tomato soup. Genius.

Joking aside, the egg is a priceless part of your kitchen! Sure it is the indispensable center piece of breakfasts and brunches world wide but an egg can go well beyond a slice of toast. Eggs are essential to making fruit curds, custards, brushing pies and sealing pastries, omelets, meringues and crepes. Some of the simplest methods of cooking are boiling, scrambling and frying. At only 72 calories and with essential "good" fats and protein eggs are the perfect easy meal that every student can afford.

How to boil eggs - If you just bought a carton of fresh eggs and are having trouble using up your previous carton just boil them. Sources conclude that older eggs peel more easily when boiled than fresh eggs. Use boiled eggs on a salad, sliced and served warm with butter for a quick breakfast or deviled at your next barbecue.

  1. Place the eggs in the bottom of a saucepan. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  2. Boil, covered for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit covered for 10 minutes.
  3. Immediately fill the pot with cold water. When the water is warm dump it and refill the pot with cold water. Repeat until the eggs are room temperature (2 or 3 times).
  4. Eggs should be refrigerated after being brought to room temperature.
How to scramble eggs - Scrambled eggs are one of the fastest, most fool proof ways to enjoy eggs in a pinch. Adding cheese ensures the scramble has a creamy consistency and adds extra flavor. For mix-ins try black beans, diced onion, peppers, crumbled bacon or sausage, green onions or even some hash browned potatoes. Serves 1

  1. Break two eggs into a small bowl, discarding the shells.
  2. Heat a frying pan over medium low heat, adding a tablespoon of butter to ensure the eggs don't stick.
  3. Break the eggs up with a fork, mixing until the white and yolk are combined. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. When the butter is melted and bubbly add the eggs to the preheated pan. Add two slices of cheese to the eggs, torn into pieces.
  5. Cook the eggs, stirring occasionally 2-3 minutes or until the egg is set and no longer runny. Scrambled eggs should always be cooked thoroughly.

How to fry eggs: Over easy eggs are perfect for dipping with toast or bacon. My grandfather always ate his eggs over easy and cut up the cooked egg with slices of bacon, resulting in a sauced and delicious mess of a breakfast. Over easy eggs are also a perfect way to top sandwiches, like the Sandwich Mixto con Huevo, or enjoyed on an English muffin with some ham, lettuce and tomato for a quick breakfast sandwich. Serves 1

  1. Heat two tablespoons of butter in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. A hot pan is essential to keeping the eggs from sticking.
  2. Keeping the egg close to the surface of the pan break one (or two) eggs into the skillet. Be gentle, keeping the egg close to the pan protects the yolks from being broken. Discard shells.
  3. Cook for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Using a spatula slowly edge the spatula under the perimeter of the egg white to loosen any edges that may be sticking. Then, slide the spatula under the egg completly and flip, tilting the pan slightly to help protect the yolk from breaking.
  4. Cook for another minute to minute and a half or until the yolk is cooked to the desired consistency. The white should be totally opaque and no longer runny. Serve immediately. *If you like a firm yolk flip the egg again so that the yolk is on top and cook another minute.
    **If you break the yolk no biggie, just cook a little longer and enjoy.


  1. When buying eggs at the grocery store always open the container and check for cracked eggs or eggs with uneven shells or spots.
  2. Always check the fresh date before buying eggs and refrigerate immediately. During the hot summer months buying a refrigerated grocery bag (available at most stores) will ensure your eggs stay cool on the ride home which will prolong freshness.
  3. Break eggs into a small bowl before adding to a recipe. This ensure you don't accidentaly get a piece of shell into your sauce or batter.
  4. Tempering eggs is very important when adding eggs to a hot liquid (like in the Basic Sweet Cake). Add a few spoonfuls of the warm liquid to the eggs and whisk vigorously. Repeat. Then, add the eggs to the warm batter or sauce. Without this step you are likely to end up with scrambled eggs.
  5. Eggs always taste better with seasoning so be sure to season well with salt and pepper. Other good spices and seasonings include chili flakes, curry, lemon zest or chives.
  6. The squiggle. For any of you who have seen me cook I always remove what my mother calls "the squiggle" from my eggs before using them. When you crack an egg there may be one or two white squiggly things attached to the yolk. Using a fork, remove these before scrambling or adding to a cake batter. This is, of course, totally optional but I did see a chef at a hibachi grill remove the squiggles before making fried rice once. Needless to say, he got an A+ from this diner.

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