The elegant egg: Cinderella of your refrigerator

Lori St. Kitts By Lori St. Kitts, 7th Nov 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/26x09fj4/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Recipes>Classics

The egg is truly the unsung hero of the kitchen, changing its persona in a plethora of ways to suit the cook and dining event.

The elegant egg: Cinderella of your refrigerator

The egg is truly the unsung hero of the kitchen, changing its persona in a plethora of ways to suit the cook. As a workhorse, it also ‘cleans up’ well and can become the Belle of the Ball' as an elegant budget-friendly hors d'œuvre, side dish, main course or dessert.

Savoir faire can can be found in many unlikely forms. Meals can also ring of elegance with the use of a simple, humble ingredient cooked to perfection and served in an up-scale manner. The method however need not be complicated or tricky. Below are a few recipes and dish ideas elevating your eggs from kitchen help to royalty.

The basic methods of the various dishes are described below together with many
variations taken from different cultures found around the world.

Eggs Benedict

This dish is basically a toasted, buttered English muffin topped with a piece of cooked Canadian bacon, a perfectly poached egg and a silky Hollandaise sauce drizzled over the whole thing.

Poaching eggs

Poached eggs are not as difficult to make as one might think. The trick is to use the
freshest eggs possible and 1-2 teaspoons of vinegar in the water to help the egg
stay in tact. The vinegar may be omitted, but it isn’t enough to flavor the eggs and
really does make the process foolproof.

Ingredients
* Eggs
* 1-2 teaspoons white vinegar

Process
1. In a saucepan, bring the water to boiling, then lower the heat so that only tiny bubbles form at the bottom.
2. Add the vinegar.
3. Break an egg into a cup to make sure that it is good.
4. Pour the egg slowly into the water. Repeat with up to 3 eggs, making sure not to
crowd the saucepan.
5. With a spoon, coax the whites around each of their yolks.
6. Let eggs cook for about 4 minutes, until the egg whites are opaque.
7. One by one, remove the eggs from the pan with a slotted spoon, making sure that
all of the water is drained from the egg.

Variations:
* Substitute the bacon for crab or other shellfish
* Substitute the bacon for fresh, cooked or smoked salmon or other fish
* Top Hollandaise sauce with caviar or fish roe
* Eggs Florentine: substitutes spinach for the ham
* Artichoke Benedict 2: replaces the English muffin with a hollowed artichoke.
* Eggs Royale: substitutes salmon for the ham

Soufflé ~ easier than you think!

There are just two primary elements to making a soufflé:

1. A flavored cream sauce of some kind, savory or sweet
2. Soft egg white meringue

A good guide to creating a luscious soufflé can be found with this recipe for Classic
Cheese Soufflé
.

Savory variations:

* Cheese and rice
* Zucchini gruyere
* Garlic Ginger Cheese
* Corn pudding soufflé
* Asparagus and Parmesan
* Spinach onion soufflé

Sweet variations:
* Gluten free chocolate soufflé
* Dark chocolate and orange soufflé

Omelet

An omelet is an extremely versatile dish made when eggs are beaten and cooked
quickly in oil or butter and folded. Often, the folded omelet is filled with sautéed
vegetables, cheese or meat.

There isn't a better guide to making the quintessential omelet than that by Julia
Child. An excerpt from her book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking has this famous
how-to recipe.

Variations:
* Kai yat sai (Thailand)1
* Tamagoyaki (Japan)1
* Roasted vegetables
* Blue cheese, caramelized pear, toasted & caramelized pecans
* Portobello mushrooms
* Basil, tomatoes & mozzarella
* Smoked turkey, Swiss cheese and tomatoes
* Spinach, sweet onion, red peppers, pitted Kalamata olives and feta
* Asparagus and Hollandaise sauce
* Mushrooms, Jack cheese, tomato Verde salsa, jalapeño peppers

Quiche

Quiche is a French egg pie. It is made by blind-baking pastry crust in a pie dish and
then pouring into and baking a combined egg and cream mixture. Many other
ingredients may be added such as vegetables, meat and cheese.

Variations:
The fillings for omelets are pretty much the same for quiche. The filling ideas are
endless.
* Cheese of any kind
* Spinach
* Zucchini
* Walla Walla onions
* Artichokes
* Mushrooms
* Tomato
* Peppers
* Seafood
* Bacon (also bacon-flavored TVP, such as Baconbits)
* Ham
* Smoked turkey
* Chorizo (also soy chorizo)

Soft-boiled eggs served in egg cups

It may seem like a breakfast idea, but serving a lovely, rich, soft-boiled egg in an
egg cup can be a very elegant first course. Topping it with a tiny mound of caviar,
or if your budget is tighter, a small mound of salmon or flying fish roe along with
batons of garlic or onion toast will elevate it even further.

This is a nice way for those who collect to showcase their variety of egg cups. If
you don’t have any, you can buy them for very little money at thrift or retail shops.
A very good buy can be had during the Easter season. These tend to be
of the much more colorful variety and can cost as little as .60 a cup. If your budget
doesn’t allow for this type of purchase, do not fret. You only need something to
keep the egg upright, such as an espresso cup or aluminum foil ring that is placed
on a nice plate.

How to soft boil an egg

1. In a saucepan, bring lightly salted cold water and your egg or eggs.
2. When the water comes to a boil, turn off the stove and set your timer for 5 minutes
for a runny yoke and 7 minutes for a firmer yolk.
3. Remove egg or eggs from the water and rinse them under cold water.
4. Put the egg in an egg cup and saw off about 1/4" from the top to expose the
cooked center.
5. Serve with toast batons.

Eggs poached in tomato sauce

This lovely, versatile dish is both delicious and pretty as the white and yellow of the
egg elegantly is offset by the vibrant red of the tomato sauce. There are many
versions of this dish made around the world. The basic Israeli version that makes
the method clear can be found on the Saveur Magazine website.

Variations:
* Eggs in Purgatory (Italy)
* Huevos Rabo de Mestiza (Mexico)
* Shakshuka (Middle East)
* Poached Eggs in Pipérade (France)

Baked eggs coquette

These eggs sound and look fancier than they actually are. They are basically eggs
baked in a cream and cheese sauce, possibly with other foods in ramekins. So easy to
prepare, but they do not present that way.

A good explanation of the cooking method can be found at Pepin's Kitchen.

More elegent ideas with eggs

Other savory elegant egg ideas:
* Scotch Eggs (UK)
* Bibimbap (Korea)1
* Brick (pronounced breek) (Tunisia)1: Pastry within which a whole egg is fried and
topped with onion, tuna, harissa and parsley.
* Egg khesh (India)1: Non-egg ingredients layered, topped with beaten eggs and
baked in the oven.
* Egg drop soup
* Deep Fried Sous Vide Egg Yolks from the Seattle Food Geek.

Dessert Eggs
* Egg Tart (China)
* Custard
* Flan (Spain)
* Soufflé
* Meringue
* Kanom mo Kaeng (Thailand)1
* Sweet egg bhurji (India)1
* Ovos moles de papaia (Mozambique)1
* Datemaki (Japan)1

References

List of egg dishes. Retrieved 2011-15-7.
Eggs Florentine. Retrieved 2011-15-7.
Artichoke Recipes. California Artichoke Advisory Board. Retrieved 2011-15-7.
Eggs Royale. Retrieved 2011-15-7.

Tags

Budget, Eggs, Entertaining, Food, Gourmet, Recipe

Meet the author

author avatar Lori St. Kitts
Lori is an entrepreneur, aspiring anthropologist, traveler, homemaker and foodphile. She feels passionately that living and eating well is a right, not a privilege regardless of income or location.

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