ie, chicken eggs!
It was too cold for old guys to ski again today, plus I was a bit under the weather, so I ended up on the sofa watching TV and surfing. I watched a few cooking shows on PBS, and it must've been Egg Weekend or something. First up was Martha Stewart's show (which I hadn't seen before) and she did the basic, six ways to cook eggs, and I have to admit I learned a few things. The following show had almost the identical format, but Jacques Pepin and Julia Child each cooked the six methods their own way, and they were quite different. I'll just post a few things here that I remember, and I'm actually anxious to cook breakfast tomorrow!
Scrambled: Pepin kinda did them the way I do: very hot pan, pour in and begin scraping immediately, serve as soon as they're dry. I use a rubber spatula to do this, but he used a metal wisk, and his eggs were all broken up when he plated them and they didn't look very good. He adds nothing to the eggs prior to beating, I usually add a tablespoon of water. Julia and Martha both use low heat on their pan, melt a tablespoon of butter first, and slowly stir until the eggs are set. Julia had an extra step: she dumped most of the eggs into the pan, cooked them, and just before they were done she added the remaining egg and stirred it in; I'm gonna try that tomorrow morning.
Soft-boiled: I've never tried cooking eggs this way. Martha put the eggs into already-boiling water, then as soon as the water returned to a boil, she killed the heat, covered the pan, and timed exactly three minutes. Once in an egg cup, she cut the top of the shell off with a serrated knife (!) and dipped toast "fries" (regular slice of toast cut into strips) down into the slightly set whites and gooey yolks, yum! The french cooks cracked their eggs into simmering water with a bit of white vinegar poured in, it again resulted in set whites and a gooey yolk (they made Eggs Benedict with those, and the sauce looked a bit complicated). Julia also pierced the eggshell at the bottom (where the air bubble is) with a pin before boiling.
Omelets: They all did omelets pretty much the same, but unlike I do. I fry my bacon first, and then slowly pour off the bacon fat, leaving as much of the crispy stuff behind in the pan, and then pour in the eggs (again with a tablespoon of water) and then cover the pan. I don't stir at all. As soon as I hear light popping sounds, that tells me the eggs are set and I sprinkle cheese or whatever on half the circle of egg, return the cover, and kill the heat. After the toast is buttered, I use a spatula to flip the un-cheesed half onto the cheesed, and slide it onto the plate (half-mooned shape). The egg is browned and has bacon stuff in it; I know that's not "classic" but its the way I like them. Those three stir the eggs around (again Martha and Julia in a low heat, Jacques over high), and then once dry the french folk roll the omelet out of the pan onto the plate, while Martha folded hers into thirds onto the plate.
All three stirred their eggs around in their non-stick pans with either a fork or a metal wisk, which kinda made me cringe. I'm careful to always use wooden or silicone tools in my non-stick pans, and my T-fal frypan I know is at least ten years old....
Fried: Martha did something interesting, she placed a couple egg rings into the frypan, cracked the eggs and only let the whites into the rings (keeping the yolk in the shell, something I'm not very good at). She covered the pan, and cooked for two minutes. She removed the cover, then plopped the yolk on top of the just-barely-set whites, and returned the cover, cooked for another two minutes. The resulting fried eggs fit on a muffin perfectly, and looked fantastic, with a gooey yolk. I want to try this method too.
Frittata: I make an artichoke frittata (Cook's Illustrated recipe) any time I have a guest in the morning (ahem). Mine comes out very delicious, but Martha half-cooked hers while it was still on the stove (again pushing the eggs around so uncooked egg could hit the hot pan) and then finished it in the oven, under the broiler. Her's puffed up like a souffle, mine does not. I have to try that also, it really looked good.
Anyway, there you go. Eggs.