Thursday, September 16, 2010

Eggs can be the easiest, most versatile ingredient to use. Some cooks, however, find them challenging and difficult, with a few tips and tricks though, the egg can be demystified.


1. Go Fresh! Always use the freshest eggs possible; the longer eggs stay in the refrigerator, the more flavor they lose. 

2. Let them Warm. Taking eggs out of the refrigerator and putting them into boiling water can spell disaster; this can cause the eggs to crack and lose quality in taste and texture. Setting your eggs out to warm to room temperature is one of the best things you can do. If time is of the essence, place the eggs in cool water and allow it to slowly come to a boil to avoid cracking. 

3. Break 'em When you Need 'em. Many people make the mistake of breaking their eggs too early when they're cooking. This means keep your eggs whole until right before they are called for in the recipe. Leaving them broken in a dish for even a few minutes can cause loss of quality. 

4. Break 'em Flat. Many home cooks tend to break the eggs on the edge of the bowl, but this can be a huge mistake. When using the edge of anything, tiny pieces of shell can either get inside the egg, or fall into your mixture. Always break the eggs on a flat surface so the shell will break off into bigger pieces. 

5. Avoid Foam. Over mixing your eggs can cause them to foam and this causes them to lose quality. If you see foam, skim it off. 

6. Strain Away. Straining eggs can actually be a good thing. This allows the membrane and yolk to break up and mix better, therefore improving texture and flavor. 

7. Cover with a Cloth. While this could be dangerous in certain situations, if you're able to, put a cloth under the lid when you're cooking eggs; this prevents moisture from dripping onto the surface. 

8. Reduce Heat. Cook the eggs on a higher flame for the first two minutes then drop the heat back down to medium to finish. Steamed eggs are finished when the toothpick test produces clear liquid. Overcooking causes loss of flavor and bad texture. 

9. A soft-boiled egg is 5-6 minutes, hard is 10-12. Your egg is overcooked if the yolk is discolored; a perfectly colored yolk is the same shade of yellow inside and out. Also, the yolks will solidify without boiling if placed in hot water, while the whites will remain soft.


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