Beyond Hardboiled—Five Way More Interesting Things to do With Eggs
With the Easter holiday coming this weekend, we’ll be boiling and dying eggs with our niece and nephew, and it’s probably the only time this year I’ll be eating hardboiled eggs. And, while hardboiled eggs are fine, I thought I’d take the opportunity to share five more interesting ways to consume an egg.
The thing is, eggs may be one of nature’s most perfect foods. They’re delicious, nutritious, and versatile! An egg as an ingredient should be celebrated, so, here are some ways to enjoy them that you might not have considered before:
Something really magical happens when you empty the contents of your refrigerator into a skillet, cover with eggs, and bake. Leftovers are transformed and tastebuds delight. Essentially an oven-baked omelette, the frittata is the creative cook’s go-to tool to rejuvenate last night’s dinner into something fresh and new. And its simple:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill a ten-inch nonstick (or buttered) skillet with leftover Chinese food, pasta, vegetables and cheese, or whatever else you’ve got on hand, dicing ingredients to bite-sized pieces as necessary. Whisk together six eggs, salt to taste, and 1 tablespoon water or milk. Pour eggs into skillet to cover ingredients. Top with shredded cheese (if desired) and bake 20-30 minutes, or until a butterknife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool slightly, invert onto a plate, cut and serve.
Pasta alla Carbonara
Originally thought of as Coal Miner’s Pasta, this Italian country dish uses egg yolks to create a luscious, velvety sauce. I typically cook this one off the cuff, using plain old hickory smoked bacon, but any kind of cured, smoky meat will hold up great. Don’t be afraid of the raw yolk at the end. The heat from the pasta will cook it. . .
The Poached Scramble
This hybrid cooking technique allows you to make the fluffiest scrambled eggs you’ve ever eaten with absolutely no fat (though you can obviously add some in later). It’s incredibly simple, and again allows for a little creativity. Try serving them in a bowl with a little salty broth poured over the top.
For more details on this technique and it’s origins from chef Daniel Patterson, click here to visit the article on Food52.
If the leftover Chinese food frittata was too much for you, maybe consider transforming those leftovers into fried rice. We do this at my house (I’ll do anything to avoid reheating Chinese in the microwave). It’s simple and easy, especially if you have a wok. Even if you don’t, you could accomplish the same thing in a skillet. You just need a couple eggs, some old rice, and the remnants of your General Gao’s chicken, or, whatever:
Prepare your leftovers by chopping any meats into half-inch sized pieces. Vegetables may be left whole or chopped according to your preference. Heat a glug of peanut or vegetable oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Lightly whisk together two eggs and a dash of water. Allow some whites and yolk to remain separate. Pour the eggs into the middle of the wok and scramble, pulling them up onto the sides and then pushing them into the oil again. When eggs are cooked but not yet browned, add the chopped meat and/or vegetables, and then the rice. Add another glug of oil and a generous pour of soy sauce. Mix thoroughly, and stir-fry until heated through. Season with more soy sauce to taste. As a bonus, stir in sriracha or a little sesame oil during the last couple minutes of cooking.
It turns out homemade mayonnaise is really special. No offense to the stuff in the jar,
but it’s just not the same. Making this iconic condiment by hand takes a little effort, but it’s pretty simple; egg yolk, vinegar and/or lemon juice, oil. Every summer we make fresh mayo for potato salad, and you can really taste the difference.
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Revenge is better with a side of bacon. . .
Special shout-out to my mother for providing me pictures of fresh eggs from the hens she raises in her back yard to use in this post.
So, what do you think? Ready to branch out from hardboiled and sunny side up? What’s your favorite way to eat an egg? Let me know in the comments below. Oh, and if you’re doing the Easter thing, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a hardboiled egg now and again. Happy dying!