January 29th, 2008
Let there be Eggs

As you might guess from the entry title tonight the cooking class tackled eggs. All kinds of eggs, poached, boiled, fried, etc. Our menu was quite impressive: Deviled Eggs with Goat Cheese, Scallions and Dill, Eggs Benedict (with homemade hollandaise), Tortilla Espanola-Spanish Potato Omelet, Crustless Quiche, Potato Salad with Egg, Dill Pickle, Tarragon with Homemade Mayonnaise, Souffle Au Fromage (Cheese Souffle), and Chocolate Chip Banana Crepes.

I can say with complete sincerity this was the hardest cooking class I’ve taken thus far. A lot of physical work (whisking) and a lot of room for big mistakes (over cooking, souffles dropping, hollandaise separating, etc.). I have a newfound respect for breakfast chefs.

Here are few tips I learned about eggs: Put your egg shells down your garbage disposal (if you have one) because it sharpens the blades. If you don’t want to flip a fried egg because you’re worried about the yoke, you can add a little water to the hot pan and throw a lid on the skillet to steam the top. Add a splash of vinegar into boiling water to keep eggs together when poaching. Older eggs cook better. Always start with cold water when cooking an egg (unless you’re poaching) and don’t start counting cooking time until the water starts to boil. Add salt and vinegar to the water to make the egg easier to peel. Also drop the egg immediately into an ice bath. This also helps with peeling. If you’re going to fry an egg, make sure that the pan is very, very hot before you put it in. Never crack all your eggs into one bowl just in case you get a bad one. If you’re going to fry an egg in butter, make sure that it’s clarified butter because it has a much higher smoke point than regular butter.

Now a quick lesson on how to tell how old an egg is: Pour water into a bowl. Place the egg in the bowl. The flatter an egg sits in the water, the newer the egg is. Converse to that, if you crack an egg on a plate and it spreads really wide, the egg is older. If an egg stands on end in the water, it’s an older egg. Always cook eggs after they’ve had a chance to reach room temperature. And the weird one for the day: Cooks prefer older eggs because they work better in recipes. Now go forth and cook eggs until your heart’s content. 🙂

14 comments to “Let there be Eggs”

  1. Okay, what’s really scary here is that I already seemed to KNOW most of this, lol (and I LOVE deviled eggs).

    Good info, Jordan–thanks!

  2. Hey, nice tip on the disposal blade sharpening! And now I know how to determine an egg’s “age”.

  3. Thanks again for the tips. Here’s one in return for this, Jordan, ‘Here are few tips I learned about eggs: Put your egg shells down your garbage disposal (if you have one) because it sharpens the blades.’

    Unless you have a plumber on duty, or like to have your husband in the crawl space under the house (like my wife) skip this tip. Always treat a garbage disposal as if you don’t have one. All those pieces of stuff you grind up stick to the inner walls of drain pipes. One plumbing bill will wipe out all the supposed advantages of mulching stuff and sharpening blades. 🙂

  4. Raine, That’s wonderful. Then you are way ahead of the game when it comes to cooking eggs. 🙂

  5. Charli, I thought it was a good tip too. 🙂

  6. Bernard, I love my garbage disposal.:( I have heard that before, but then again, I don’t dump stuff from my plates straight into the disposal. I push it off into the garbage can, then whatever is left on the plate goes into the disposal. I’m sure if you dump everything in there you’re going to have trouble.

  7. I’m loving the weekly cooking advice! I learn something new everytime. 🙂

  8. Karen, Thank you! I’m glad you like it. 🙂 There’s a lot more to come.

  9. Very cool info, thanks, Jordan (the vinegar trick to get eggs to peel easier is one I have to try.)

    One tip for the people who might have problems whisking like I do (for scrambled eggs or eggs to add to a recipe) — I crack the raw eggs into a jar, put the lid on and shake them up until the whites and yolk blend.

  10. Lynn, I plan to try that one too. 🙂 Great tip for mixing the eggs. Thanks for sharing. 😀

  11. I always love it when I find out that I’ve been doing the right thing all along without knowing it. I often put my egg shells down the disposal, but it’s because I don’t want to touch the garbage can lid when working with food. Now I know I have another good reason for it. And I’ve noticed that sometimes it’s easier to peel hard-cooked eggs than at others. I think it’s because sometimes I want to cool them down really fast so that I can use them, so I put them in a glass with ice and cold water, and sometimes I’m cooking them ahead for something and just let them cool more slowly. Thanks for the tips!

  12. Caryn, You’re welcome. Yes, the ice baths were discussed, when it comes to making peeling easier. The other thing the chef suggested was to use older eggs to hardboil, since newer eggs are harder to peel. 🙂

  13. That’s good, because a carton of eggs can sometimes last a while in my household. (Then again, we can go through an entire carton in a weekend, depending on what we eat. You just never know.)

  14. Caryn, I’ve always been weird about eggs, tossing them the second they reach their expiration date. The chef in our class said that they actually last much longer than that, so I’ll have to reconsider my fridge strategy.