For most of us, cracking an egg is one of the first jobs we were given in the kitchen as a kid, scrambling eggs are one of our first recipes that we’re trusted to make and not burn down the house. As someone who spends most of their day cooking in kitchens, eggs are one of the meals I know I can throw together whether I’m half asleep or two glasses of wine into my evening.
Eggs are truly a perfect food: full of protein, vitamins, and fats that help you absorb all of the nutrition the egg has to offer. Flavorful enough to be eaten simply with salt and pepper, or versatile enough to stand up to and compliment strong flavors, like a silky egg in your ramen. Eggs have the ability to turn just about anything into a full meal.
Without even getting into the incredible versatility of eggs- like whipping egg whites, using egg yolks to richen or emulsify a sauce or dressing - there are so many ways to prepare an egg. It basically all comes down to time and temperature and the type of heat you apply.
To perfectly soft or hard boil an egg, all you have to do is bring water up to a boil, add in your eggs from anywhere from 6 to 12 minutes, depending on how runny you like your yolk to be. After your time is up, let cold water run over your eggs to stop the cooking process; then enjoy on toast or as an addition of protein to your favorite salad.
One of my favorite “I don’t feel like cooking” meals is hash and eggs. Roast your favorite veggies (my favorite combo is red potatoes and Brussels sprouts) with tons of your favorite herbs and spices and top with a sunny side up egg. This is a great way to extend left overs and to make use of extra food in your refrigerator.
To cook a perfect sunny side up egg, melt a little butter in your best non-stick pan over a nice and low heat. You may notice that there is a thicker part of the egg white that surrounds the yolk, this is called the albumen, if you “pop” the albumen with either your fingers, a fork or your spatula, the white of the egg will cook much more evenly.
If you’re feeling like you want something a little creamier and decadent, double-boiled soft scrambled eggs are a wonderful little trick to have up your sleeves. I learned this from one of my favorite culinary instructors at Kendall. It requires a little patience as it definitely takes a little bit more time than your typical scramble. Set up a small sauce pan with an inch or two of water and set a glass or metal bowl on top of that sauce pan, as though you were melting chocolate. Thoroughly butter your bowl before adding in your beaten eggs. Gently stir your eggs, scraping the bottom to ensure nothing sticks. By the time all your eggs coagulate, you should have a creamy and perfectly cooked scramble.
If you have 45 minutes and would like to learn even more about eggs, consider The Chopping Block's Eggs 101 demonstration cooking class in our newly renovated retail store at the Merchandise Mart in April. With these simple cooking techniques and a little finesse, you can turn one of the first recipes you ever mastered into a beautiful, easy and satisfying meal.