Friday, June 10, 2011

Frying Eggs on Sidewalks

There's been sizzling heat the last couple of weeks. Eggs come to mind and the time my brother actually tried to fry an egg on the sidewalk. It took a while to sort of cook and then there was the problem of getting it off the ground. He didn't butter the walk. We scrapped up a mess.

But, all stunts aside, I am noticing eggs making a resurgence in all kinds of kicked up ways. There's even a web site devoted to The Incredible Edible Egg.

So why is this common ingredient now taking a starring role? Well, one reason may be that after decades of banishment, eggs are no longer considered a cholesterol enemy. And egg producers, encouraged by the shift in attitude, are expanding their market by creating healthier designer eggs. More nutrients and heart healthy omega-3's.

Eggs are also a budget friendly protein. (And these days we need budget friendly) You get a lot for a relatively small amount of money. Besides, now we can bring back deviled longer considered too pedestrian and (redesigned) retro food is in.

So here are some cool egg ideas
(from around the web) to enjoy while we melt in this pre-summer heat. Easy and quick to put together, you barely need a recipe.

Shirred Eggs with Pesto, Gourmet Magazine
 serves 4
  8 large eggs 
1/4 cup heavy cream
 2 tablespoons store-bought basil pesto

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F with rack in middle.
  2. Lightly butter ramekins and put in a 4-sided sheet pan. Crack 2 eggs into each ramekin and divide cream among them. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  3. Bake until whites are set and opaque but yolks are still slightly wobbly, 16 to 20 minutes.
  4. Dollop 1/2 Tbsp pesto over each serving. Serve immediately with toasted baguette slices
Deviled Eggs from Gusto Ristorante, NY, NY

Poached Eggs over Sauteed Fresh Vegetables with Hollandaise, Rustic Bread

Egg and Fresh Asparagus Frittata. Melissa Clark, NY Times
 serves 6
3 tablespoons olive oil, more for drizzling
3/4 pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 scallions, white and light green parts, thinly sliced
8 large eggs
6 tablespoons roughly chopped soft herbs like basil, cilantro, chives or parsley (use at least 2)
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Lemon wedges, for serving  Flaky sea salt for sprinkling.

1. Heat the oven to 300 degrees. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil until shimmering. Add the asparagus and the scallions and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until asparagus is browned and tender.
2. Whisk together the eggs, 4 tablespoons of the herbs, and cream. Whisk in Parmesan, salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over asparagus and place the skillet in the oven.
3. Bake for about 20 minutes, until set, but still slightly jiggly in the center. Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before serving. It is best warm, not hot.
4. Squeeze one or two lemon wedges over it, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with flaky sea salt and remaining herbs. Cut into wedges.

Fried Egg with frisse and seared asparagus, Melissa Clark, NY Times
About the color of your egg...Outside and In:
An egg's shell and yolk color may vary, 
but color has nothing to do with egg quality, flavor, nutritive value, 
cooking characteristics or shell thickness.

Egg shell color is determined by the breed of the hen. 
Breeds with white feathers and ear lobes lay white eggs; 
breeds with red feathers and ear lobes lay brown eggs.

The egg white, or albumen in raw eggs, opalescent until beaten or cooked, 
may take on a yellow or green cast that stems from riboflavin. 
Cloudiness in the raw white is present 
when carbon dioxide in the egg has not escaped, indicating a very fresh egg.

Yolk color depends on the hen's diet. 
Mashes of yellow corn and alfalfa meal result in medium yellow yolks, 
while hens eating wheat or barley yield lighter-colored yolks. 
A colorless diet of cornmeal produces almost a colorless yolk.

--Source: American Egg Board

How To Hard Boil An Egg:
Put the eggs into a deep pan and add enough cold water to cover them by 1 inch. Bring water to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to cook the eggs at a gentle boil, uncovered, for 10 minutes.  Pour off the hot water and immediately fill the pan with ice and cold water. Let the eggs sit for 15 minutes. Add more ice--as needed---to keep the water cold. Peel, cover and keep refrigerated until needed.

1 comment:

  1. I think the art of hard boiling an egg has gone the wayside like other home ec skills. So sad. I do mine like above but usually keep the lid on so I can reduce the heat and still keep a good boil. I also don't peel mine until I'm ready to use. We keep a carton in the fridge labeled "HB" so we can make egg salad anytime or just take on with us for an on-the-go snack.

    Our biggest issue is "aging" the eggs. They really shouldn't be fresh eggs when you want to boil them, since the membrane has no air between it and the shell, making them a huge pain to peel!