Last time, we talked about baking. Today, one of the components.
I admit it. I like eggs. Not quite in an way that I'd end up in a crib in a John Waters movie, but for me if there's going to be breakfast, eggs will be involved. I think that many people who don't like them don't because they've been only ever served indifferent ones. You know those: tough, rubbery omelets, sunny side up with runny whites or hard cooked with that gross green line and chalky, dried-out yolks. Ugh. Easy fixes to these: YouTube has Julia Child showing you a perfect French omelet that takes seconds (and she does it in a mid-sixties teflon pan on an electric stove so we all can manage the same). Covering the pan for the last minute or so will set the whites of the sunny side up eggs and for perfect hard cooked ones with creamy orange yolks, start with a pan of cold water, add your eggs, bring to a low boil and immediately remove from heat, cover and let sit ten minutes or so. If you're really feeling adventurous, prick the flat end of the egg with a straight pin. That will let the air out of the eggs air pocket, guaranteeing perfect ovoids and no cracking during cooking. The most elegant dinner for two can be shirred eggs: take two 6 OZ buttered ramekins and break 2 eggs in (you can put anything you like in the bottom; ham slices, blue cheese, asparagus tips) add a dab of butter and a splosh of cream and place on a damp-to-sodden tea towel on a baking sheet in a 350F preheated oven for about 15 minutes tops- you want the whites set and the yolks to be runny. Served with a mesclun mix with a nice mustard vinaigrette, toast or pita crisps and a crisp chardonnay or a brutally dry champagne.
Note to the heterosexual males reading (insert sound of crickets): having a couple of these recipes that you can pull out at the drop of a hat can do a lot when wooing or begging forgiveness. Knowing how to make a chocolate mousse or a roquefort soufflé on command is a powerful thing.
I treat eggs like I do red meat. I don't eat a lot of them since I think moderation is best. But when I do indulge, like red meat I buy the best that I can afford. Lucky the cost of an egg from a chicken that spends all of it's time wandering around freely and eating actual food is so very much less than one of those Japanese cows that spend all day getting massages and facials before being killed by perhaps ennui and being flown to your local Bristol Farms. For a few cents more per egg you'll have something that will by color be identifiable, with rich orange yolks and a creamy whites and a deliciously fresh smell to it that will make you never want to eat one of those tasteless little future McMuffin fillers again.
I can still remember the smell of winter breakfasts on Sunday, first the bacon cooked in the cast-iron Lodge pans, the bacon in the oven to keep and the excess fat poured off and the eggs in the bacon fat to cook. Of course I was 12 and it was 12 degrees out. Don't know that I'd be replicating that in the warm Hills of Beverly. More than once a quarter. Now I'm hungry..
We have a wide-ranging group here. I'd love to read your egg-involving recipes and the memories they invoke.
Image source, savory.tv.