January is National Egg Month!

By Chris Burchell, MediLodge of Monroe Executive Chef

I hope everyone had happy holidays and enjoyed all the loved ones in their lives. Man, time is flying, and 2014 is upon us. Well, January is National Egg Month. The egg…nowhere in the culinary arts is an item/ingredient so prevalently used and in so many different types of applications. The egg, as a “universal” food product for humans around the globe, probably predates any other food product known with the exception of salt; but then I personally would throw salt into the “seasoning” category as opposed to “food product.”

group

Generally the chicken egg, but also eggs of various other fowl, is the most commonly eaten egg. But let’s not forget that amphibians, reptiles, and fish all lay eggs. Almost all of these animal’s eggs have been consumed by some peoples of the world at some time or another. Eggs have been known to, and enjoyed by, humans for many centuries. Jungle fowl were domesticated in India by 3200 B.C.E. Record from China and Egypt show that fowl were domesticated and laying eggs for human consumption around 1400 B.C.E., and there is archaeological evidence for egg consumption dating back to the Neolithic age. The Romans found egg-laying hens in England, Gaul, and among the Germans. The first domesticated fowl reached North America with the second voyage of Columbus in 1493.

Eggs can be eaten by themselves as their own, whether by frying, boiling, or poaching. Eggs can be a binding agent in cooking, or a leavening agent in baking. They can be whipped to further increase volume. The whites and the yolk can be handled independently and in completely different ways in the same dish. The egg has such a large culinary impact that the “toque” or chef ’s hat, which is pleated, is supposed to have as many pleats as the number of ways the chef wearing said item can prepare eggs.

I am going to give directions for making the perfect hard boiled egg as well as the perfect soft boiled egg as my experience has shown that most people have difficulties with egg preparation.

*Additional tip: Older eggs used for hard boiling peel easier due to a change in the pH level of the egg. If you can, buy eggs needed to be hardboiled well in advance (3 weeks) before needing them. If you cannot do this, then add 1 Tbsp. Baking Soda to every quart of cooking water.

eggsHard Boiled Egg

Directions:

1. Place eggs in pot. Add cold tap water until eggs are completely covered. Place pot on burner on high heat.

2. As soon as the water comes to boil, remove pot from the heat source, cover and start a 13 minute timer.

3. Meanwhile get a bowl, which is sized to hold double the amount of eggs being boiled. Fill bowl halfway with ice. When the timer ends, remove eggs from hot water and place into ice in bowl.

4. Add enough cold tap water to completely cover eggs, stir around to disperse heat from eggs. As soon as the egg doesn’t feel warm it is ready to be peeled or put into the refrigerator.

 

Soft Boiled Eggcup

Directions:

1. 1. Fill a saucepan about halfway with water and bring it to a boil.

2. 2. Decrease the temperature so that the water reduces to a rapid simmer and gently lower the eggs into the water one at a time.

3. 3. Cook the eggs for 5-7 minutes: 5 minutes for a yolk that is still runny and 7 minutes for a yolk that is barely set.

4. 4. Drain the eggs and run them under cold tap water for 30-60 seconds.

5. 5. To eat, use a knife or egg-cutter to take the cap off the tip of the egg and eat it straight from the shell, preferably with plenty of toast for dipping. More firmly-cooked eggs can be cracked (carefully!) and peeled like a hard boiled egg. All soft-boiled eggs should be cooked to order and eaten immediately.

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For more information on The MediLodge Group, visit our website, find us on Facebook or tune in to our YouTube Channel.

MediLodge of Monroe

MediLodge of Monroe

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