Saturday, May 22, 2010

Egg- The Most Valuable Ingredient?

Supposedly, the 100 folds in a chef's toque represents the 100 different ways the chef can cook an egg. That might be just as silly as the hats themselves, which have been around since the 18th century. For some kitchens, the height of the hat denotes the rank of the chefs. So much for just keeping your food hair-free.

There are 100 different ways to cook an egg you say? Well, they can be fried, poached, broiled, boiled, coddled, roasted, scrambled, and pickled. It's used for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. It can be used for emulsification purposes, to bind ingredients, to adhere coatings, to give liquidity to sauces. You can find them falling out of chickens, ducks, quails, ostriches, and alligators. From sweet to savory, I can't think of a more versatile ingredient.

What would we do without the yolk? No mayonnaise or hollandaise?

What would we do with the super-unique egg white proteins? No souffles or meringues?

How much easier does it get? You don't even have to cook the egg! Only 1 in 20,000 or so eggs may be infected with salmonella, and even at that it's not a concern for the normal healthy adult- just to babies, old folks and probably Magic Johnson.


Hard-Boiled Eggs-

Get enough water to cover the eggs by 1" to a rolling boil. Gently lower in the amount of eggs you want to cook plus one as a tester. Reduce heat to a shimmer, which is a very slight simmer. Cover and cook for 11 minutes. Remove your tester, leave cooking for another 2-3 minutes if needed until desired consistency is reached. Once done, cool with running water. Will keep for about 5 days in the fridge.

My most perfect breakfast food- hard-boiled egg with cayenne, black pepper, fleur de sel.

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