Kathy Maister's Start Cooking

How to: Eggs

posted in Eggs by Kathy Maister

Eggs, eggs and even more on eggs!

At startcooking.com I have written and filmed quite a bit about eggs. Here I’m updating “The Incredible Edible Egg” story and will finish with the links to many of my recipes that include eggs.

These categories include:

  1. The Basics of Cooking Eggs
  2. The Basics of Buying Eggs
  3. Breakfast & Brunch
  4. Recipes Using Hard Boiled Eggs
  5. Hidden Eggs
  6. Sweets and Desserts (My favorite category!)

***

How to: The Basics of Cooking Eggs

Separating the yolk from the white part of the egg is an important thing to learn, as many recipes call for just the white part of the egg and other recipes have you add extra yolks.

For experienced cooks, cracking an egg is second nature. For new cooks, it can be a bit nerve-wracking. My video on Cracking and Separating Eggs has some great tips that will help the beginner.

Technically speaking, a hard or soft “boiled” egg” should actually be called a (hard or soft) “cooked” egg. However, I intentionally used the term “boiled” since that is the term most beginner cooks will recognize.

Many people wrote in to ask me how to make a “soft-boiled” egg. I was so busy making the hard-boiled, I forgot all about the soft-boiled egg!

To make a soft-boiled egg, follow the directions in the video of How to Boil an Egg BUT after the water boils, turn the heat down to simmer and continue cooking the eggs for between 3-to-5 minutes. The size of your egg and how “runny” you like the yolk will determine the cooking time. You will probably have to do a trial run to see what works for you!

As for Scrambled Eggs, I really keep thinking I should re-do that post. The information is great but, that’s the post where I dropped my camera in the bowl of raw eggs! The photos work but they are a bit hazy. (Plus it is the only post in which I’m wearing red nail polish, which I find it very distracting!)

http://startcooking.com/public/images/egg2_305.jpg

The Basics on Buying Eggs

http://startcooking.com/public/IMG_1514.JPG

Buying and storing eggs is different through-out the world.

There is a reason eggs are stored differently in Europe than in the USA. My post “Born in the USA” explains why.

“In the USA, government standards say all eggs must be washed and stored at temperatures no higher than 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

Washing the eggs is a good thing but it does leave the eggs without an outer coating and very susceptible to invasion by bacteria. Hence refrigeration is absolutely necessary.

In Europe eggs are not washed and don’t have to be refrigerated.” Who knew?

Breakfast and Brunch

My Quiche video and the Sausage and Egg bake video are recipes for dishes that never go out of style. Quiche is my very favorite thing to serve to company, any time of the day. All the different parts can get prepared in advance. Then it is just a matter of assembling it and baking it!

(And of course what’s better than bacon to accompany eggs for breakfast or brunch. Here’s 50 Ways to Cook Bacon.)

Recipes Using Hard Boiled Eggs

http://startcooking.com/public/images/IMG_7726.JPG

Once you know How to Boil an Egg there are all sorts of things you can do with it.

I am always amazed by the popularity of Deviled Eggs. They are perfect for parties and both kids and adults love them! Plus hard cooked eggs are great added to salads!

Hidden Eggs

Raw eggs are often used to bind, or hold together, other ingredients. Sweet and Sour Meatballs and Meatloaf are just two examples of this. When making Chicken Cutlets or Eggplant Parmesan you dip the chicken or eggplant in eggs to make the bread crumbs stick to it.

Sweets and Desserts (my favorite category!)

http://startcooking.com/public/ChocolateChipCookies_305.jpg

Eggs act as a leavening agent in baked good. Another words, it makes thing rise.

It’s important to note that most recipes are based on “large” eggs unless otherwise indicated. If you do not use the correct size egg in baking, it can totally throw off the recipe. Egg size is definitely not as important when making savory dishes.

Here is a great Egg Size Equivalent Chart.

Post Script:

What came first, the chicken or the egg?

“Eggs existed long before chickens. These all-in-one reproductive cells, incorporating the nutrients to support life, evolved about a billion years ago. The first eggs were hatched in the ocean. As animal life emerged from the water about 250 million years ago, they began producing an egg with a tough leathery skin to prevent dehydration of its contents on dry land. The chicken evolved only about 5,000 years ago from an Asian bird.”
On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee.

Cheers!
Kathy

If you are new to startcooking, or are a regular visitor here, please consider subscribing for free.

1 Comment

Kathy Maister said:

FYI
Alf, over at my post on How to Buy, Store and Boil Eggs, just asked if you can freeze eggs by putting them in an ice-cube tray. Excellent question!

Yes Alf you can freeze eggs BUT it can be a bit more complicated than just popping them in an ice-cube tray. PLUS both the taste and texture will be compromised.

There are several very good sites that describe how to freeze eggs (if you must!) including oChef, the National Center for Home Preservation, What’s Cooking America.

Also the USDA has a great general information page on eggs.