I’ve been in a long term relationship with food for 28 years. To hear my aunt tell it, the first thing I ate after being weaned was custard and I couldn’t get enough of it. There aren’t too many things I won’t eat. The common denominator of those things that fall outside of the box is texture.
I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with eggs. Growing up, I would only eat the yolk from a hard boiled egg. Everything else that had a hint of egg in it was anathema to me. Funny because my aunt says I loved custard. The texture of egg whites, omelettes, scrambled eggs was guaranteed to make me gag but there was always something about the velvet-y mouth feel of a hard boiled egg yolk. Good job my sister detested them but loved egg whites. What are the odds eh?
My mum, in the clever way parents have, changed my world one day when she declared that particular Saturday eggy bread day. My 5 year old brain could not compute. How the hell was I supposed to eat soggy bread? Never mind eggy soggy bread. What was wrong with the world? I had to eat it. That was the way it worked. There was no cajoling or threatening in my house. We just knew that we had to eat whatever was put in front of us.
I have never looked back since.
I still have days when the smell of eggs put me completely off food. Days when I have to think of other things just to get and keep them down. But for every one of them, there are others when I can glory in the wonder that is an egg – versatile, nutritious, economical, and downright delicious.
To kick this off, I would like to refresh your memories of the last food post here when Signor Prisinzano put us through our crispy fried egg paces. This in fact was the catalyst for this post.
Crispy egg method at #chezfrank Put a small sauté pan on medium heat until its smoking hot. Add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan (it should smoke the second it hits the pan) then immediately after add the eggs and season with sea salt, pepper, dried herbs and or spices. The eggs should almost explode in the hot oil, the white should soufflé around the yolk and the bottom should form a crispy crust hard enough that you can remove the egg from a normal pan with a fish spatula with just a little scraping and shimmying. Eat immediately like a steak making sure to put the crispy bottom directly on your palate. #teachamantofish #feedhimforalifetime #crispyegg #perfection #letsdothis #foodporn #eggporn #foodcures #foodisviolent #foodchoreographer
A video posted by Food Choreography (@frankprisinzano) on Aug 30, 2014 at 3:35pm PDT
Here are some other ways you can enjoy a fried egg
Let’s continue with the classics shall we?
I used to reject scrambled eggs out of hand from an aesthetic viewpoint. Little did I know that I had been reveling in the presence of mediocrity. A few years ago (and she might not remember) @Sabirah0 tweeted about how much she enjoyed making scrambled eggs for guests. She went on to describe how she makes hers which spurred me on to try them. I don’t remember her recipe but I do remember reading an indecent amount of material on the interwebs before I attempted it. Let me tell you…the heavens opened and angels descended and…ok…that didn’t happen but it was pretty special. One thing I ask of you – Use. Real. Butter. You know, the stuff from real life cows. Thanks ☺
I put a small pat of butter in a pan at low heat and let it melt a bit. It’s all right if it’s not all the way melted. I lightly beat some eggs with milk (use cream if you want something richer). Seriously, just break up the yolks and mix in a little with the white. I let it sit for the few seconds it takes to sprinkle some salt and black pepper over it. At this point it should be set at the bottom but very runny on top. I gently scrape the sides in to the centre of the pan and give it a little shake to redistribute. Carry on until it’s all set but a little wobbly. It will continue cooking when you take it off the heat so this is fine. Turn it onto a plate, grab a fork and revel in your brand of awesome. You did that!
If you’re feeling fancy, you can throw almost anything in with the salt and pepper before you start to scramble the eggs. Here are some ideas to get you started.
There’s nothing like an omelet for a quick meal. You can posh it up or keep it simple. Whatever floats your boat. I personally like to have a green salad with mine. Young salad leaves, mint and a squeeze of lime or drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
Then there’s the poached egg. I think this is the last stronghold standing in my quest. I think it’s a yolk problem (ha!). I can’t deal with a runny yolk. Plus, it looks like it will be a faff to make and I don’t know that I’m ready to make that commitment. If you do enjoy a poached egg, here’s a good how-to:
Stuck for ways to enjoy your poached egg?
- Frisee Bacon Soft-Cooked Eggs (this gets a pass because I’m not going to write a how-to-boil-an-egg post, OK? OK!)
I can’t write this without a nod to my beloved egg and cress salad. As I have yet to spot watercress anywhere in Lagos and the seeds I got did not germinate (☹), here’s another egg salad recipe with all my favourites.
I have yet to host a brunch where these do not feature…
- I’m keen to expand my repertoire to include Shakshuka.
My first year at university, I had 13 flatmates. Yes, the joys of student housing. They were a good bunch though so it wasn’t as nightmarish as it sounds. We had our first birthday in the first month of living together. We somehow managed to fit 32 people in our kitchen and feed them all! We made two very decadent chocolate cakes and lasagna (the ultimate for feeding a crowd). One of our adopted flatmates ( we had 5) – The Spanish – turned up and decided on the spot he would make a Spanish Tortilla. We had never heard of or tasted one so we were all for it. There was that one hairy moment when he flipped the whole thing onto a plate without breaking it. Phew! If you need to add to your one pan recipe rolodex, here’s one for you:
If you would like to try something a little different, here’s a meatier version:
We’ll round off as we started – with custard.
There are no words to describe the magic of a crème brûlée. Don’t believe me? The first time I made it, my brothers demolishes the lot in less than 10 minutes while I complained about all the things that I perceived to be wrong with the custard. It’s definitely one to impress.
Pro tip: If you do not own a blow torch or grill/broiler, heat a metal ladle until it is very hot (do not touch!) and set it on the sugar at the very end to get the caramelized top.
What are you cooking up this weekend?