Thursday, 3 October 2013

A good egg :o)

It is British Egg Week and a while back I promised my blogger pal Jen that I'd share my favourite Egg dishes in a blog post. So that time has now come. Here - in no particular order - are my personal favourite egg dishes. Nothing quite as fancy as recipes using eggs you understand, just ways to cook eggs that are simple, tasty and relatively good for you.

Silicone egg mould Poached eggs: 

I know there is a proper 'cheffy' way to make poached eggs using a pan of water on a rolling boil and my gorgeous friend Sharon can do this fantastically well. I have tried the old school poaching pans that leave you with a rock hard egg and an electronic gadget that Hubbie bought me that exploded the eggs and made the kitchen smell terrible for weeks after it's inaugural (and only) use.

poached egg and bread and marmite
I have finally settled on these fab little silicone moulds for making poached eggs. You lightly oil them (I use spray oil) and crack the egg into the mould and pop it into a pan of water and bring it to a boil. The timings are pretty exact on this and I find 4 mins creates my perfect egg. In this piccie you will see it's a little over as the yolk isn't as runny as I'd like, but it's still a pretty good brunch with some baguette slices and butter and marmite with a big cup of tea - yummy !!

Boiled egg and soldiers:

boiled egg timer. I love boiled egg and toast soldiers for breakfast or lunch. When I was pregnant I stopped eating them as I'd read that you could only eat fully cooked eggs while pregnant and I missed them like crazy. Then I found out (in my last few weeks of pregnancy) that I could have eaten Lion brand eggs all along as they are safe to eat. It is, however, an effort to make a 'dippy egg' and involves some scientific timing. I occasionally get it just right with a lovely runny yolk and solid white as well as perfect toast for dipping. More often though, I over or under cook the egg and the toast is either a bit too crunchy or a bit soggy and it makes for an ok meal rather than the one I've been so longing to enjoy with a lovely big mug of tea.

So imagine my joy when we stayed in a hotel in Edinburgh where the chef made my perfect egg and toast for me. I actually considered moving in permanently just for the sheer joy of perfect boiled egg and soldiers every day. Until then I have this gadget which my lovely friend Adrian gave me as he had two of them. You pop it into the pan with the cold water and egg(s) and it changes colour to indicate how well done it is. I've found that using larger eggs can throw this system though, so it does take some testing to get it just right. Can anyone tell me why they are called soldiers by the way ?

boiled egg and toast soldierseegg and timer in pan of water

Fried Egg:

Fried egg in small panDead simple this one - spray the frying pan with a light spritz of oil and crack the egg into the pan. My chef friend Ajay told me the right way to make a fried egg so that it is cooked and the top is not too soft, but the yolk is runny. It involves cooking in a lot of oil on a low heat which makes me feel a bit ill so I do it this way instead. As I don't like the top of my egg to be too wet I have discovered - thanks to an unlikely tip from my father in law - that popping a lid over the pan will enable the steam to cook the top of the egg and prevents the edges or underside going crunchy (yeuch !!) If you have the grill on to do tomatoes, sausages, etc you can pop the pan under the grill and it will cook the top, but you also risk overcooking the yolk too, so I advise caution with this method. 

Scrambled egg: 

scrambled eggs on toastThe fat free version of this is my personal choice, but you can make it in a pan and stir cream into it slowly until it's all rich and luxurious. I choose this method as it's fast and not as messy as a pan and it uses no fat at all. Firstly break the egg(s) into a microwavable bowl. Beat the egg with a fork and if want to you can add milk. Now depending on the strength of your microwave this bit can be tricky. I give the egg a blast of around 30-40 seconds and then stir the mixture. I keep giving it 10 seconds at a time and stirring between hits. Remember it will keep cooking even after you take it out of the microwave so don't overdo it. I like my scrambled eggs soft, but not runny, and on a piece of toast with - you guessed it - a cup of tea :o)

egg starting to cook in bowl.
beaten egg in a bowl

semi-scrambled eggs.

Eggy Bread: 

eggy bread I know that this is called French Toast and all sorts of other fancy names, but let's keep it simple and call it what it is - eggy bread. This is actually my favourite way to use up eggs that are on the way out and to revive any bread I have that is going a bit stale. I make eggy bread with slices of leftover baguette, sliced up rolls, the scrag ends of bread and essentially anything bready - if you have it why not try brioche ? Soaking a dry crust of bread in beaten egg gives it a whole new life and it can be a sweet or savoury dish. When I'm feeling really fancy I have a savoury one with a side helping of HP sauce followed by a sweet one with a smattering of maple syrup (and if I've got any fruit to use up that goes on as well). This truly is the most versatile dish, but it does involve a little bit of effort to make. I beat the egg and leave it plain. My Mum seasons the beaten egg mixture with salt and pepper for savoury and sugar for sweet. I've added a smidgeon of maple syrup to the egg mix before now and it makes a delicious sticky coating on on the individual slices which works really well with sliced bananas and strawberries. If you're being proper fancy you can shake some icing sugar over the top too.

So these are my preferred ways to cook eggs.  I haven't even mentioned omelettes, or baked eggs, but here are some ideas that you might not have tried before. They're really simple and I find them filling and tasty.

It's often said that eggs are very versatile and it is true. Why not see how many different ways you can cook eggs and tell me what your favourite is ?

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