Cooking with eggs

Cooking with eggs

Contains
0 recipes
Published by
Quadrille Publishing
ISBN
9781849497886
Photographer
Louise Hagger

Boiling

You can boil eggs in cold or boiling water. Either way, accurate timing is essential.

For a soft-boiled egg, my preferred method is to place a small pan of water on the hob and bring to the boil. Carefully lower in your eggs, reduce to a simmer and leave for exactly 6 minutes before removing and quickly transferring to an egg cup.

For a hard-boiled egg, cook for 10 minutes, then immediately plunge into a bowl of iced water. This will stop the cooking process and make removing the shell easier.

Poaching

I admit to a problem with poaching eggs. In my early days as a food stylist, I would stay up late the night before a shoot creating the perfect poached egg, discarding many along the way.

For the perfect teardrop shape, use only the freshest eggs. Crack one egg into a cup. Use a wide pan filled 5cm deep with water, and bring to a simmer. Add a teaspoon of vinegar, to help solidify the white, and stir to create a good swirl with the end of a spoon. Once it slows, add the egg into the centre and leave to poach for 3 minutes or until the white has just set, while the yolk remains runny. Lift out with a slotted spoon.

Scrambling

So often overcooked, rubbery, weeping eggs are the stuff of hotel breakfast nightmares.

For a creamy, velvety result, whisk the eggs together in a bowl with a splash of cream or milk and a pinch of salt and pepper. Melt a knob of butter in a pan over a medium heat, pour in the eggs and draw a wooden spoon slowly through to allow large curds to form. Remove from the heat whilst there is still a spoonful of runniness and quickly pile onto hot buttered toast.

Frying

The temperature at which you fry your eggs will determine the texture and amount of fat absorbed. A high heat results in a crispy frilly edge and a bubbly white. A lower temperature ensures a silky, moist egg.

Lightly oil a non-stick pan and warm through. Carefully crack a fresh egg into the pan and leave to cook for 2–3 minutes, or until the white has set and the yolk is still runny (or to your liking). ‘Sunny-side up’ means cooked on just one side, while ‘over easy’ describes frying on both sides so that the yolk remains runny in the centre.

Omelette

An omelette, a golden wobbly plate of loveliness, should never be overcooked. There should be a degree of runniness, baveuse, as the French call it.

Blend 2–3 eggs together in a bowl with a pinch of salt and pepper. Place a medium pan (18cm across the base is perfect) over a medium-high heat with a dash of oil. Add the eggs, swirl to coat the base and then leave for 10 seconds. Begin drawing in the sides with a wooden spoon, tilting the pan so that the runny egg fills the gap. When there is a small amount of liquid left on the surface, carefully flip one side over to meet the other and wiggle onto a plate.

Notes on the recipes

Please note that all the recipes in this book use medium eggs unless otherwise stated.

If you keep your eggs in the fridge, always bring them up to room temperature half an hour or so before cooking.

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