THE VERSATILITY OF EGGS
June 3rd is ‘National Egg Day’, so what better time than to celebrate the Chicken which we should we revere, because without those eggs, there would be so many things lacking from our diets.
What we would ever do without Eggs? We eat them for breakfast, sometimes lunch and even dinner! We bake with them, we cook with them and they provide us with complete protein as well as Vitamin A and Lecithin.
The most commonly eaten eggs are Chicken Eggs, but there are also Duck Eggs (popular in Asian Cuisine) which are larger and richer tasting than Chicke Eggs. There are also Quail Eggs which are very small and are poopular in Gourmet Cooking and Sushi Restaurants. At the opposite extreme there are Ostrich Eggs which are so hugh that one would probably feed a whole family or more. Of course, unless you have an Ostrick farm, the eggs would be somewhat difficult to get hold of.
Listed below are some of popular uses for eggs, most of which will probably be familiar to you. Just don’t take eggs for granted; think about all the things that they do for our cuisine!
Scrambled – add a little milk or cream and whisk with a fork to incorporate a lot of air and cook in a hot pan with melted butter. Great for breakfst. Add some chopped Scallions, bacon bits or ham pieces or whatever your fancy and voila, you have a dish that is healthy, full of protein and satisfying!
Omelets – the variety of omelets are endless, There is the classic French, the Western Denver, Italian Frittata or even a Dessert Omelet.
Soft – Soft-cooked Eggs make a good breakfast but they are not really my favorite. However, because they are cooked without the use of butter, they are often used by people on soft diets or those who are tryng to lose weight.
Hard -Cooked- ‘cooked’ not boiled are wonderful for salads, sandwiches, creamed dishes, etc. The best way to hard cook an egg is to put it (them) in a pot of cold salted water. Bring it to a boil over high heat and immediately shut the heat off. Allow the pot to remain on the burner (lid on) for 12-15 minutes. Drain and cover with cold water. The Eggs will be perfectly cooked. Over-cooking Eggs will result in a hard and green yolk that will have a sulfurus taste. Ever smell an over-cooked hard -cooked egg? Not to pleasant!
Deviled – made with hard-cooked – the yolk is removed form the white halves and mixed with your favorite ingredients – start with mayo, mustard, chopped Spinach and Bacon, then stuff them back into the shells.
Salad -another use for Hard -Cooked Eggs.
Poached – used for Eggs Benedict which is that French Egg dish which is sinfully good; that is because the Eggs and ham and muffins are covered with Hollandaise Sauce which is made with more Eggs and Butter. Yummy, but laden with Cholesterol!
Listed below are some of the baked goods you cannot make without Eggs!
Popovers – Pate Choux which is the basis of Cream Puffs, Éclairs and Beignets require Eggs for the leavening process. The Eggs are beaten into the product and it is this beating that incorporates air. The protein in the eggs hold in the air. When the product is baked (or fried) the air escapes but leaves behind a pocket which can then be filled with your favorite custard, pudding, fruit or ice cream. The Cream Puffs below are filled with Lemon Curd which requires Egg Yolks to be made.
Bread – Not all bread requires eggs, but the ones with eggs are certainly tasty and delicious. These include brioche, and Challah (Egg Bread).
Cakes – a cake would not be a cake without eggs. It would be hard tack!
Angel Food Cake
Custard, Soufflé and Mousse.
Shown above are just a few of the uses for Eggs. Eggs are essential to our Cuisine and it would be difficult to get along without them, although if one had to, one could.