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IndyRob

"How would you like those eggs cooked?"

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Checking in on the Breakfast Adventures thread, I was reminded of a breakfast story from long ago. My wife is a fairly worldly person. I mean, she's arranged golf dates between executives and movie stars, has worked a corporate booth in a Vegas industry show for years. Her mother was also a country cook (known locally for her fried chicken) who later in life had a great affinity for the Cracker Barrel.

So I was surprised one morning as we sat in a restaraunt ordering breakfast, that she appeared to be stymied by the waitress's question "How would you like your eggs cooked?" After some apparent consternation, she said "Um, fried?"

Maybe it was a case of brain freeze, but she said afterwards that she just didn't have the vocabulary (perhaps mom's affinity for the Cracker Barrel didn't appear until after the nest was empty).

And, although I tried to suggest some hopefully helpful suggestions (Sunny Side Up? Over Easy?, etc.), I later thought that my own knowledge was probably limited to only that which I had heard others order.

So in that spirit, I ask "What are all the breakfast egg preparation options? And what what should be one's expectations for each?"

(There is, of course, EGCI's All About Eggs - Cooking With the Pros, but I'm thinking about a more concise guide to ordering.

And relevant diner slang is always fun, as well as any "stump the breakfast guy" type preparations.

[ETA] Note that, unless anyone is bursting at the seams to display their encyclopedic egg knowledge, I'm not asking that any one person define the whole compendium. Just pick your own preference and expectations. The compendium will come.


Edited by IndyRob (log)

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I can tell you that scrambled is not the way to order in a diner. They are never pillowy mounds of eggy wonder. Invariably they are chopped up flattop disasters.

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I can tell you that scrambled is not the way to order in a diner. They are never pillowy mounds of eggy wonder. Invariably they are chopped up flattop disasters.

Well, this is kind of a good start because as I was posting, I was wondering if I could order "Scrambled Easy" or "Scrambled Medium" like I could with the "Over-" varieties.

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Well, this is kind of a good start because as I was posting, I was wondering if I could order "Scrambled Easy" or "Scrambled Medium" like I could with the "Over-" varieties.

I don't know if you can, but I have done so frequently.


 ... Shel


 

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I'm reminded of a favorite vignette. I had gone downtown to pick up something for my husband, only to find that the target shop didn't open for an hour. I looked across the street to see Zuni Cafe. Woohoo! What luck! I found a table in a sunny window, a copy of the morning paper and ordered two poached eggs on rye toast and a pot of coffee, feeling indulged indeed.


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In Idaho at a well know pancake place I was introduced to the concept of ordering the eggs "over easy covered". That, however, is not the term they used. The concept was they are on the flat top and covered to steam as well so that the top sets more evenly with the bottom. Is there a term for this?

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In Idaho at a well know pancake place I was introduced to the concept of ordering the eggs "over easy covered". That, however, is not the term they used. The concept was they are on the flat top and covered to steam as well so that the top sets more evenly with the bottom. Is there a term for this?

Basted.

Edit: I guess I should add my own preference to the conversation. I like my fried eggs cooked until the yolk is thickish-custard in texture but I order over easy in restaurants because there's a fine line between the way I like them and too done. Choosing between less-done and more-done than I actually want, I'll go with less done.


Edited by Tri2Cook (log)

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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In Idaho at a well know pancake place I was introduced to the concept of ordering the eggs "over easy covered". That, however, is not the term they used. The concept was they are on the flat top and covered to steam as well so that the top sets more evenly with the bottom. Is there a term for this?

This seems similar to how Jacques Pepin said he liked his eggs on one of his programs. There's no 'over' part, just a 'sunny side up' egg (in a pan) with a cover so the top of the yolk gets a bit cloudy.


Edited by IndyRob (log)

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In Idaho at a well know pancake place I was introduced to the concept of ordering the eggs "over easy covered". That, however, is not the term they used. The concept was they are on the flat top and covered to steam as well so that the top sets more evenly with the bottom. Is there a term for this?

This seems similar to how Jacques Pepin said he liked his eggs on one of his programs. There's no 'over' part, just a 'sunny side up' egg (in a pan) with a cover so the top of the yolk gets a bit cloudy.

Like I said, basted. Egg on cooking surface, little shot of liquid (usually water), pop on lid, cook as desired.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I had no idea that was called "basted" ... I frankly never had any idea what "basted" meant, WRT eggs, actually. So is that terminology actually common enough to use at a diner?


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
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I had no idea that was called "basted" ... I frankly never had any idea what "basted" meant, WRT eggs, actually. So is that terminology actually common enough to use at a diner?

I remember a family care giver waxing euphoric over the bastard eggs her mother used to make. Whaaaat? Yeah, she says, they were fried eggs but she used to spoon the fat over them to lightly cook the tops. :blink:

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I had no idea that was called "basted" ... I frankly never had any idea what "basted" meant, WRT eggs, actually. So is that terminology actually common enough to use at a diner?

I remember a family care giver waxing euphoric over the bastard eggs her mother used to make. Whaaaat? Yeah, she says, they were fried eggs but she used to spoon the fat over them to lightly cook the tops. :blink:

That is what I thought basted eggs were. My grandmother would fry them in the same pan that she'd fried the bacon in and baste the hot bacon grease over them with a spoon, no flipping. Am I wrong?

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Since I am the guy from the restaurant adventures post, I'll elaborate as much as I will serve. We will do scrambled from soft to hard. Over easy to hard e.I. fried; poached soft to hard boiled, soft and hard, sheered, basted. I also will do a poached scrambled(a la Daniel Patterson from COI). We are using farm fresh eggs for our scrams and omelettes. We will crack them individually and blend them with a touch of buttermilk. I love soft scrambled and we are technically a diner. Working breakfast at a five star resort taught me the best way to make a scrambled egg is by low heat and lots of whipping. If you guys are ever in Rock Hill, SC come by the YOLK and we will give you the best scrambled eggs you ever had. Or will duty try.


A jazz musician can improvise based on his knowledge of music. He understands how things go together. For a chef, once you have that basis, that’s when cuisine is truly exciting.

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I had no idea that was called "basted" ... I frankly never had any idea what "basted" meant, WRT eggs, actually. So is that terminology actually common enough to use at a diner?

I remember a family care giver waxing euphoric over the bastard eggs her mother used to make. Whaaaat? Yeah, she says, they were fried eggs but she used to spoon the fat over them to lightly cook the tops. :blink:

That is what I thought basted eggs were. My grandmother would fry them in the same pan that she'd fried the bacon in and baste the hot bacon grease over them with a spoon, no flipping. Am I wrong?

That is how my mom and grandmom cooked eggs. They had a stamped steel skillet, cooked bacon first then added the eggs and spooned ( with a spatula) over the tops of the eggs until they were white. When someone asked for basted eggs, that is what I thought they meant.

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I remember a family care giver waxing euphoric over the bastard eggs her mother used to make. Whaaaat? Yeah, she says, they were fried eggs but she used to spoon the fat over them to lightly cook the tops. :blink:

Good Lord, "Bastard eggs?" That's the only way fried eggs were ever cooked in my parents' house, and in mine. If I can't baste fried eggs in bacon fat I don't make fried eggs.

My feelings about fried eggs, in a thousand words or so, can be found Here.

In a diner, I'm as over easy kinda gal.


Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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I remember a family care giver waxing euphoric over the bastard eggs her mother used to make. Whaaaat? Yeah, she says, they were fried eggs but she used to spoon the fat over them to lightly cook the tops. :blink:

Good Lord, "Bastard eggs?"

Don't you love spelling checkers that "correct" your typing as you go along. :raz:


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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If I am out for breakfast and want eggs, I usually go for poached(if offered) , then sunnyside up if I feel I can deal with the little bit of runny white that normally comes with that at a restaurant.

At home I do them sunnyside up but separate them first and let the white go at least halfway before perching the yolks on top. towards the end you can even cover and still have bright yellow yolks without the cloudy white. I have no idea what you would call that process.


Edited by Ashen (log)

"Why is the rum always gone?"

Captain Jack Sparrow

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Most decent diners here in NYC will give you your scrambled eggs either "soft" or "hard" (sometimes also called "dry") or "regular" (in which case you don't have to say anything). And you can get your fried eggs over "easy," "medium," "hard," "sunny side up"all with or without broken yolk. At some delis you can special order your egg on a roll "chopped," which means that they will fry an over-easy egg (rather than a blended egg) and chop it up right before putting it in the roll.


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Let us not forget Toad in the Hole - wherein you cut a circular hole in the middle of a slice of (preferably) rye bread, then butter the bread, flap it onto the griddle, and crack the egg into the hole. Flip when it's solid enough to do so. This is the only way that I can eat an egg on its own. Unfortunately, outside of one or two diners in northern Canada, it's not a common enough thing to order it in North America - last time I tried in a cafe in Toronto, the waitron looked at me like I had asked for some exotic delicacy. I had to explain to the cook what I wanted.

Rob, are you also interested in the Latin American egg preparations as well?


Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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When I make eggs for myself, I almost always have the poached or a plain omelet with a little "cheese" mixed in. Don't pillory me but I said "cheese" because I actually like processed cheese in eggs. I don't mind if it is browned a little on the outside (country style according to Pepin) but I want it creamy on the inside. I don't try to brown omelets but sometimes they brown if the butter browns before I add the eggs. My son likes hard scrambled eggs, his GF likes them soft scrambled. Nordic Ware makes a microwave egg cooker that actually hard cooks eggs very will with an easy peel shell and no discolored yolk. It steams the eggs instead of cooking them in hot water.


Edited by Norm Matthews (log)

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Though very few places know what I'm talking about, if I'm feeling like scrambled, I like mine "scrambled and pushed soft." Basically it is eggs cracked and lightly fork scrambled with still delineated white and yolk. They are put into a pan (never on a flat top) and cooked very slowly while occasionally being pushed with an inverted spatula into very large curds. The end result is a barely set scramble with easily identified white and yolk throughout.

I think this is likely very local nomenclature because noone outside of 100 mile radius from where I grew up ever knows what I'm talking about when I order it this way.

I'm in the "over easy" crowd if I'm getting fried.

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Poached medium soft or over medium soft, if I'm dining out.

At home it's soft boiled, so that the whites aren't runny.

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Several years ago I was at a restaurant in Orlando. The woman in the next booth

asked for her eggs to be cooked "rare". First and only time I've heard that. I'm

another over easy person.

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Let us not forget Toad in the Hole - wherein you cut a circular hole in the middle of a slice of (preferably) rye bread, then butter the bread, flap it onto the griddle, and crack the egg into the hole. Flip when it's solid enough to do so. This is the only way that I can eat an egg on its own. Unfortunately, outside of one or two diners in northern Canada, it's not a common enough thing to order it in North America - last time I tried in a cafe in Toronto, the waitron looked at me like I had asked for some exotic delicacy. I had to explain to the cook what I wanted.

As we found out a while back, there are many names for this dish.

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I had no idea that was called "basted" ... I frankly never had any idea what "basted" meant, WRT eggs, actually. So is that terminology actually common enough to use at a diner?

I remember a family care giver waxing euphoric over the bastard eggs her mother used to make. Whaaaat? Yeah, she says, they were fried eggs but she used to spoon the fat over them to lightly cook the tops. :blink:

That is what I thought basted eggs were. My grandmother would fry them in the same pan that she'd fried the bacon in and baste the hot bacon grease over them with a spoon, no flipping. Am I wrong?

That is how my mom and grandmom cooked eggs. They had a stamped steel skillet, cooked bacon first then added the eggs and spooned ( with a spatula) over the tops of the eggs until they were white. When someone asked for basted eggs, that is what I thought they meant.

I agree. Basted eggs are different than steamed eggs. Adding a liquid to a flattop or pan and then covering the eggs so the steam will cook the top surface of the eggs is steaming. Basting is the spooning of hot fat over the egg which cooks the top surface of the egg.

When making omlettes, my mom would use the steaming method to cook the little bit of egg left on the surface of the omlette that hadn't cooked, yet. Saint Jacques would not be happy with her. If you steam it too much, the omlette get puffy and doesn't taste as good, in my opinion. Sorry, Ma! :laugh:


 

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