How you want them eggs?

When we are out and about in the world, I notice a number of people dining in restaurants who are unsure of how to order their eggs. They ask a lot of questions, then simply default to scrambled if they still don’t get it.

To alleviate some of this, I’ve gathered together terms and descriptions of some of the most common cooking styles for eggs.

The first thing I notice is that a lot of folks don’t know the proper names for the parts inside the egg. What most people call “egg whites” is the clear protective jelly albumen. The “egg yellah” is the yolk. For the sake of clarity in the descriptions below, I’ve stuck to albumen and yolk.

SCRAMBLED –  Scrambled means that the albumen and yolks are broken and mixed together, cooked quickly in a hot skillet. Most restaurants serve them “hard” which is often a little dryer than one might prefer. Ask for “wet” and you should get scrambled eggs that still look a little shiny.

SUNNY SIDE UP – An egg that is fried only on one side. The albumen should be slightly browned at the edges, while the yolk is warm and runny. Also known as “runny eggs” or “dipping eggs” as the yolk will go everywhere and is tasty when sopped with toast or biscuit.

OVER EASY – This is most often a Sunny Side Up flipped over int he skillet just long enough for the raw egg to seal itself up with a thin film of cooked albumen. The yolk, and sometimes part of the albumen, are still warm and runny.

OVER MEDIUM –  The next step after Easy, this egg is flipped and allowed to cook until the albumen is mostly hardened up, leaving the yolk mostly runny.

OVER HARD or OVER WELL –  As it’s name hints, this egg has been fried, flipped, fried some more, until both the albumen and yolk are “hard”.

POACHED – This is an egg that has been boiled without the shell. It may have been added directly to the boiling water, or with the use of a ramekin. The albumen is cooked while the yolk remains runny. Poached eggs are usually offered as part of Eggs Benedict.

SOFT BOILED – The albumen is partially cooked, with the yolk warm and runny. This is also known as a “six-minute” egg.

HARD BOILED –  The albumen and yolk are both solidified.

SHIRRED or BAKED – This refers to an egg that has been cracked and baked in a flat-bottomed pan, or added on top of a dish.

 

Hopefully this will help anyone who is unfamiliar with the wide range of how eggs are prepared, whether ordering breakfast or reading descriptions on a menu.

— Ann Cathey

 

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Food Porn Episode 6

This episode of Food Porn is brought to you by my kitchen. The food photos were, as they have been in this series, culled from stock photography. I’ve added a little info about each one, though I’m told they speak for themselves, especially the ones that scream, “BACON!”

DSC_0247Bunless bacon cheeseburgers! Broiled beef patties, hickory smoked bacon, shredded colbyjack cheese, and kosher dill slices.

 

DSC_0489Okay this one is not from my kitchen, but from a campout we enjoyed a month or so ago. Chicken Enchilada Lasagne with fresh diced tomatoes, a corn and black bean mix, with a side of French bread and butter.

 

Yellow curried chicken over white rice with mini pita on the side.

 

Scrambled ham with spices and ham sandwiched on a fresh butter croissant.

 

photoA heart attack on a butter croissant with coarse mustard, three layers of maple bacon, kosher dills, and colbyjack cheddar cheese.

 

DSC_0248Let’s get another look at that bunless bacon cheeseburger, shall we?

–Ann Cathey

Quiche!

Quiche, while it sounds all French and difficult, is actually a very simple dish. I bless the Frenchman who invented it. I could get into the history and etymology, but I’d rather just link you to Wikipedia rather than quote them heavily.

Quiche is typically a pie-style crust filled with meat, cheese, seafood, and/or vegetables. It is often served as tarts, mini-tarts, and is a popular party food.

Quiche with crab, Swiss Cheese, and tomato

Quiche with crab, Swiss Cheese, and tomato

My favorite quiche recipe is from Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, and is courtesy of William Rolle, owner of Cafe Rolle in Sacramento, CA. I often use a pre-made crust, much to my shame. My daughter can whip up a delightful crust every time, but I do not seem to have a good hand for it.

With this recipe, I have literally walked into my kitchen, started pulling random items from the refrigerator and cabinets, a pie crust from the freezer, and about 45 minutes later have a hot quiche in hand to share with my foodie partner. He loves quiche!

Quiche Provencial (tomatoes and Swiss cheese)

Quiche Provençale (tomatoes and Swiss cheese)

Some simple and delightful combinations have included:
• Quiche Lorraine (ham and Swiss)
• Quiche au fromage (cheese, to your taste)
• Quiche aux champignons (mushrooms)
• Provençale (tomatoes)
• Florentine (spinach)
• Florentine Special (spinach, grilled onions and mushrooms)
• Ham and cheddar
• Bacon and any cheese you like
• Breakfast (hashbrowns, bacon or sausage)
• Southwestern (taco meat, Monterrey Jack cheese, chilis, salsa on top)

Quiche with roasted carrots and asparagus

Quiche with roasted carrots and asparagus

Of course quiche requires eggs. Adding a little cream or half and half as Chef Rolle’s recipe requires is essential. The eggs will smooth out and maintain a light a fluffy texture, rather than becoming hard and rubbery when cooking.

If you are looking for a light and quick breakfast or brunch idea, you can’t go wrong with quiche.

 

— Ann Cathey