Tuesday, January 27, 2009
The Egg and I
DS and I are crazy for eggs. We love 'em-- baked, boiled, fried, with toast, in soup, on potatoes: you name it! We eat eggs for dinner in one form or another about once a week. And of course, nothing cheers DS up like the old "breakfast for dinner" trick. Lucky for us, the American Egg Board assures us that "decades of research [have] shown no association between egg intake and heart disease risk."
Seriously, to me, an egg is practically the perfect food: not only is it dee-licious, it comes in its own cute carrying case, contains high-quality protein and 13 essential nutrients, includes both healthy monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats, and has only 75 calories! Also, when you compare nutritional value to cost, eggs (even the fancy organic, free-range eggs I buy) are one of the best food buys around! I can get at least six servings of high-quality protein out of a dozen eggs for about $2.
I know I'm kind of compulsive when it comes to food safety and quality, but health concerns aside, the organic, free-range eggs I buy TASTE significantly better than regular old grocery store ones. Sure, they cost more, by maybe $1 per dozen. To me, it's well worth the small additional cost for the higher quality and better flavor. And since I know the eggs I buy come from healthy, happy, local chickens, I have no qualms about serving soft-cooked eggs to my family. (It's a sad commentary on our national food production system when we have to worry about salmonella getting into an egg before the shell is even formed!)
There is almost nothing better in the world than a really fresh, perfectly-cooked 4-minute egg with salt, fresh ground black pepper, and a bit of butter.
I thought I would share some of my egg recipes in future posts, and hope you will enjoy them as much as DS and I do!
In the meantime, here are some fun EGG-Cessories!
I bought my egg coddlers at Harrods in London. They are a fun way to cook and serve eggs. You put a raw egg in the china cup, add then some butter, salt, pepper, heavy cream, grated cheese, chopped mushrooms, herbs, tomatoes, or whatever you like, to season the egg. Then screw on the lid (not too tightly), and put the coddlers in a saucepan with water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook to your liking. I find that cooking about 5 minutes after the water comes to a boil produces an egg with a set white and soft yolk.
Egg Cups and Egg Topper
Don't the English just think of everything? Yet another way to serve boiled eggs. I love my little rooster egg cups and topper that I got at Williams-Sonoma! I have astonished and amazed DC with these. Traditionally, soft cooked eggs are placed large-end up in an egg cup for serving. You use the egg topper to cut the end off the egg so it can be eaten while in its little cup (note: the photo shows the topper cutting off the small end of the egg, which is the opposite of how it is usually done). The eggs are eaten by dipping toast fingers into the shell, or using an itty bitty spoon. (We just peel off a bit more of the shell and eat them with regular teaspoons like savages.)
I don't have any egg rings, but find them amusing. These are useful for producing perfectly round fried eggs-- you can make your own pretty little eggs for "mc-muffins" this way. These particular ones are coated with non-stick finish and have a little quick-release lever. I have also seen suggestions for making your own by cutting off the tops and bottoms of tuna cans. You'd have to grease them pretty well, I'd think, and be very careful not to get burned when removing them from the eggs.
You put this in your saucepan and then the eggs go in the little holes so they can be boiled upright. It keeps the eggs from banging against each other and cracking and also helps keep the yolks centered. (I don't have one of these either.)
Nope, don't have this, either, but think it might be useful. I think you can turn the egg the other way once it's sliced to and make another pass to produce diced eggs. I also think that some of these are strong enough to slice mushrooms, tomatoes, and avocadoes as well, depending on the make/model, so it can be used for more than one purpose. Actually, I think I'm remembering the "alligator" chopper from the Williams-Sonoma catalog, which it appears they no longer carry. But an egg slicer would still be a nice thing to have! :)
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