Cooking 101: Eggs 4 Ways
Eggs are one of the most versatile ingredients available. They are rich in protein and healthy fats, which is a great way to kick start your day! Eggs are also relatively inexpensive.
Most of us grew-up eating eggs, of all sorts. As I've matured, I've realized that my love of eggs has truly grown, and it has become a staple in my house. "Sunny Side Up", scrambled, boiled, or fried, you name it, I love it. Whether you eat them alone, or alongside your favorite breakfast, lunch or dinner; eggs are a power-house ingredient that everyone should know how to make.
However, I find that the majority of adults and young adults don't know how to make much more than scrambled eggs. Even then, they have to call mom to ask for instructions. No big deal, but let's put on our big boy/girl pants, and try eggs a few different ways.
"Sunny Side Up" Eggs
Now, this is an older term for a fried egg that has the yolk exposed. Why do I love a "Sunny Side Up" Egg? Well, unlike with a fried egg, you have a more runny yolk (a great Instagramable moment), and the whites don't get as tough. Because your only frying the egg on one side, you get the nice contrast between the crispy edges and bottom, and the runny yolk.
To Prepare a "Sunny Side Up" Egg (Cook Time 2-3 minutes)
You want to begin by heating a small to medium-sized skillet over medium heat; add oil or butter of your choice. Once the butter or oil begins to sizzle, crack an egg into the skillet. You want to allow the whites to set. However, in order to get all of the whites to set properly, you need to go in and break up the thicker membrane surrounding the yolk. A fork or the edge of your spatula will do the trick nicely. Another tip is to spoon over some of the excess butter in the pan to help set the white and yolk. You can also add a tablespoon of water to the pan to create some steam to help move things along. Once your whites have set, you can remove the egg from the pan and serve how ever you would like.
Fried eggs, I believe, are the type of eggs that most of us are familiar with aside from scrambled eggs. Instead of an exposed yolk, the egg is flipped during the cooking process to further set the yolk. Most diners and breakfast spots will offer fried eggs for breakfast with the majority of their meals. The nice thing about fried eggs is that you can adjust the doneness of your yolk by adjusting your cooking time.
To Prepare a Fried Egg (Cook Time 3-5 minutes)
Similarly to a "Sunny Side Up" Egg, you want to begin by heating a small to medium-sized skillet over medium heat; add oil or butter of your choice. Once the butter or oil begins to sizzle, crack an egg into the skillet. You want to allow the whites to set. However, you don’t have to worry about setting them completely because you are going to flip your egg mid way through the cooking process, so that the whites and yolk can set even more. Once the whites are solidified enough to slide a spatula underneath the egg, you can go ahead and flip the egg. I always cook one egg at a time, so I leave myself enough room in the pan for errors to occur. Once you flip the egg, you are just going to let it continue to cook until you reach your desired firmness. You can test the firmness by tapping the yolk with the spatula. The more bounce, the more runny the yolk; less bounce, less runny. Once everything is cooked to your liking you can remove the egg and serve.
I said Fried Eggs were popular, however, I believe just about everyone has had Scrambled Eggs at some point in their lives. Scrambled eggs were the staple in my house growing up because there is so much less guess work. You cook them until they are set, and boom, done. There is less variation, therefore, less room for error.
There is a secret to perfectly scrambled eggs. Do you know what it is? Well, the secret to light, fluffy scrambled eggs is simple. Cook them over moderate heat, meaning medium, not high. Keep them moving. That’s it.
Most of us, I think, whisk our eggs then toss them into our pan to let them cook away, but we don't realized that doing so makes the eggs tough and turn color. The secret to perfectly fluffy scrambled eggs is to keep things moving.
To Prepare Scrambled Eggs
You want to begin by heating a small to medium-sized skillet over medium heat; add oil or butter of your choice. While the butter or oil is heating up, crack your eggs into a bowl and whisk (another secret for fluffier eggs is to add in about a tablespoon of milk for every 2 eggs used, but it's not necessary). Once the butter or oil begins to sizzle, pour in your whisked eggs. Using a heatproof spatula , pull the eggs from the edges to the center of the pan to allow the uncooked eggs to fill in the gaps. Continue to move and cook the eggs with your spatula until the eggs are set. Remove them from the pan and enjoy!
Next to "Sunny Side Up" Eggs, this is probably my favorite way to enjoy eggs. Most of you are probably thinking about Hard Boiled Eggs. However, Soft Boiled Eggs combine the best parts of "Sunny Side Up" Eggs and Hard Boiled Eggs into one. We are going to go through both.
Hard Boiled Eggs
Hard Boiled Eggs are probably the version you are all most familiar with, whether it be from actually eating Hard Boiled Eggs or Deviled Eggs, we've all had them at one point or another. Hard Boiled eggs have a completely set yolk and white. I love Hard Boiled Eggs in salads and as an on-the-go snack.
To Prepare Hard Boiled Eggs
Start out by placing your eggs in a pot in one even layer. You want to be sure you have a pot that is big enough to accommodate all of the eggs you are wanting to cook, so that they are in an even layer and cook properly. Once you have placed your eggs in the pot, cover the eggs with cold water. You need enough water to cover the eggs by about an inch. Place your pot on a burner over high heat, and bring to a boil. As soon as the water starts to boil, turn off the burner, cover the pot with the lid, and let the eggs stand in the water for 12 minutes. Once your timer goes off, place the eggs in an ice water bath and let stand for 2 minutes before peeling.
Soft Boiled Eggs
Soft Boiled Eggs, like Hard Boiled Eggs, have the completely set whites, but the yolk is still runny. I love these eggs because you get the smooth firm consistency of the white against the runny yolk. These are perfect over toast or in an scenario you would have a poached egg, they are simply easier to make in my opinion.
To Prepare Soft Boiled Eggs
Start out by placing your eggs in a pot in one layer. You want to be sure you have a pot that is big enough to accommodate all of the eggs you are wanting to cook, so that they are in an even layer and cook properly. Once you have placed your eggs in the pot, cover the eggs with cold water. You need enough water to cover the eggs by about an inch. Place your pot on a burner over high heat, and bring to a boil. As soon as the water starts to boil, turn off the burner, cover the pot with the lid, and let the eggs stand in the water for 1.5 -2 minutes. Once your timer goes off, place the eggs in an ice water bath and let stand for 2 minutes before peeling.
Be sure to watch the video for a neat trick when peeling Boiled Eggs!
Hopefully this first iteration of the Cooking 101 series helps you. Hopefully you have learned something you didn't know before! I challenge you all to try a new style of egg. Experiment, see what you like. Also, let me know in the comments below which version is your favorite!