Monday, August 4, 2008

My life with the egg.

My granddaughter with a chick.

Yesterday, I was speaking to my brother about eggs and our enjoyment of them, then today, my son called to say that he had been forced to do some cooking for himself and that he just fried his first egg. Wonders never cease.

It got me thinking about the fact that if there was one item in my menu that I would have difficulty giving up it is the egg. We eat them by themselves and use them in just about everything baked. I have cooked thousands of the little, white ovals. At one point when all my children were around teenhood I would need nearly two dozen for breakfast. About 6 to 8 eggs for the french toast and another dozen or so for the scrambled eggs. Add bacon to that and I had learned the art of short order cooking by cooking for my kids. Short order cooking is all about the egg, and for those occasions I would have the griddle working the pancakes or french toast, and the stove top grills working the eggs and bacon.

I pretty much hate recipes -- all that reading and page-turning obstructs the aesthetic of cooking, in my view, with pancakes being the exception. Pancakes from scratch require strict recipe keeping. Besides that one exception I prefer the broader principles of cooking not the details. Here are a few for the egg:

1. Slow cook for scrambled. Wisk or stir while cooking if you want them fluffy. I don't like airy scrambled eggs, but some folks do.

2. The fresher the egg, the better tasting the egg. The closer to mother nature and away from the mega-egg factories the better. If you really want gourmet taste, buy farm fresh. You will see and taste the difference. We had chickens in the back yard when my daughter was young and enjoyed great eggs from them.

3. I'm not big on the poached egg, there is something unappealing to me about an egg floating in water. Anyone disagree? I'd like to know what the appeal is.

4. Butter is not the best medium for frying eggs. Cooking oil has a higher temperature burn point and is preferred.

5. Bacon: I like to microwave bacon for a few minutes and finish them off on the skillet.

6. If you are going to make eggs "over easy" get a good egg cooking pan and learn to flip them without a spatula. It's fun and it looks cool. If you do it right you won't break the yoke. A good egg cooking pan is smaller than the normal cooking pan and has a lower slope to the edge so that flipping is easy.

7. Deviled eggs. Whatever happened to them? I love them.

8. My favorite breakfast sandwich:
Real bagel lightly toasted.
One fried egg cooked to a soft and not quite runny yoke.
Bacon or ham, fried. Cheddar cheese.
Layer the egg, bacon, and cheese onto the bagel, cut the sandwich in half and plate.


Andrew said...

Favorite egg recipe:

Step 1: Get two eggs and cook them on high heat for about thirty seconds as if you were going to cook them Sunny-side up. Break the yoke and at the same time put Mexican cheeses (your preference) and thin tortilla chips into the broken yoke. Mix like you were making scrambled eggs.

Step 2: Once cooked, put more cheese and chips on top with your favorite hot sauce.

Francis Shivone said...

Yea -- I could do that.