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The Wit & Wisdom of Eggs

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When making a massive omelette like that, why would you use "small eggs"???

2 reasons. A higher yolk to white ratio, and the eggs are usually donated. Small eggs=cheaper.

And the way to prevent overcooking is in the way they build the fire underneath. It is slightly off center, so the pan has cool spots and hot spots. It's just a matter of moving them to where they need to be. This is in my home town, and I've had it many times. It's been surprisingly consistent. It does taste good, and you can scale down the recipe for use at home.

And it is a stunt, I guess, but it ties into history, and it gives the town yet another reason to get together and celebrate.

Screw it. It's a Butterball.
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Eggs in Literature

I just remembered a favored riddle which Golem tried to stump Bilbo with from J.R.R. Tolkein's The Hobbit:

A box without hinges,

Key, or a lid

Yet golden treasure

Inside is hid.

Edited by Carolyn Tillie (log)
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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm a little late returning to the scene of the crime but just had to add a tip of the hat to Fat Guy and Slkinsey. Those two omelet(te)s are fine examples of the species. I couldn't agree more with the pragmatics of your techniques as well as you editorial comments. Just a note towards questions of authenticty. After some reading on the subject, I've had to conclude that there is no authentic omelet. There are a few. Another is cooked like silkinsey's but in a smaller pan and with loads of butter, folded more in half than in thirds. It makes the eggs thicker and uses the stirring with a fork technique. The CIA endorses this method. I like it less than JC's but must admit that when an overqualified CIA grad produced one of these omelets for me I found it quite excellent.

Great work.

Here's an oldie but goodie from Escoffier:

1484 Omelette Brillat-Savarin

Stuff the omelette with a small spoonful each of diced breast of cooked woodcock and truffle, mixed together with a little cullis of woodcock. Place 3 nice slices of truffle on top of the omelette and surround with a cordon of game glaze finished with truffle essence.

Edited by ned (log)

You shouldn't eat grouse and woodcock, venison, a quail and dove pate, abalone and oysters, caviar, calf sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, and ducks all during the same week with several cases of wine. That's a health tip.

Jim Harrison from "Off to the Side"

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  • 2 months later...

One of the dishes I have on at work is a starter of chargrilled asparagus with maldon salt, gruyere hollandaise and a soft-boiled egg.

The executive chef decided we were going to soft-boil eggs to order. If you work in a preofessional kitchen doing 100+ covers, you'll know that this is more easily thought of than achieved.

The need here is to cook the white of the egg to a stage where the egg has enough structural rigidity to be shelled and stored, without overcooking the yolk, so when reheated you have a perfect soft-boiled egg.

After much trial and error, I've arrived at what is a pretty foolproof method of soft-boiling eggs ahead of time, to be reheated later. I'd appreciate feedback.

I'm going to try and explain the reasoning behind the method too, as I find it helps.

equpiment :

one pan of boiling salted water, approximately 2 litres, on a high-heat burner

one timer

one scalpel or sharp needle

one ice bath (container with about 2 litres of heavily iced water)

eight ~fresh~ eggs, at refrigerator temperature (this is important)

a holed spoon or skimmer with which to lift the eggs out of the boiling water into the ice bath.

1) set your timer to four minutes.

it's important that the eggs are at fridge temperature, as this affects timing, and means that the yolks are more protected against overcookng as the white sets. Eggs should be UK size 3.

2) on the rounded end of each egg, use the scalpel or needle to puncture a very small hole in the shell, to a depth of about 5mm (1/4 inch). This is to puncture the air sac inside the shell. Early attempts didn't include this, and I found that the air sac was insulating the bottom part of the egg from the heat, leading to a weak point in the cooked white. Pricking the sac like this also makes the egg fill the shell out as it cookes giving a complete egg shape instead of one with a hollow at the base. It also means that the egg has somewhere to expand into, leading to fewer eggs cracking as the egg expands in the shell during cooking.

3) Put all the eggs in a dish - this is so you can put all the eggs in at once. If you take 20 seconds to put all the eggs in it means that some eggs will be more cooked than others.

3) Get the water to a rolling boil and slide the eggs in together. The water will then go off the boil due to the chilling effect of the eggs. You will see bubbles coming out of the holes you made in the eggs.

4) When the water comes to a full boil again (don't confuse the eggs bubbling with this) start your timer.

5) Hum an appropriate tune, preferably of four minutes or less.

6) When the timer goes off, immediately take the eggs out as fast as you can, and put them into the ice bath.

7) Wait five minutes, until the eggs are cool(ish)

8) Taking one egg out of the ice bath at a time, tap the egg with the back of a teaspoon at the bottom (where you pierced it). Put back into the bath when you'v done this. This makes the shell easier to come off (for reasons I don;t fully understand, but perhaps capillary action allows the water to seep into the space between the cooked egg and the shell)

9) wait until aggs completely cold - another 15 minutes or so.

10) shell the eggs, in this way : starting from the rounded side (pointing upwards), peel down and around in a spiral pattern, as if you were peeling an apple with a peeler. As you work down and around the egg, sup the egg in your non-dominant hand, because as the egg is divested of its shell it becomes liable to split it you're rough with it.

When you get to the pointed end, carefully turn the egg so that the pointed end points upward (still cupping it carefully). Gently nip away at the shell until only the very top remains, and then lever the top off ~gently~... if you rush it, you'll take away a chunk of egg white and the smooth surface will be spoiled. Place back in the ice bath and repeat.

The eggs can now be stored in slightly salted iced water in the refrigerator for a maximum of 72 hours.

To reheat, place in a ladle and lower into a chauffon (a pan of boiling water used tfor reheating things). wait 50 seconds - any less and your egg will be cold, any more and you'll start cooking the yolk.


Allan Brown

"If you're a chef on a salary, there's usually a very good reason. Never, ever, work out your hourly rate."

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  • 1 year later...

Having moved to Chicago I discoved an interesting take on eggs. Saturday nights between midnight and 2:30am the Twisted Spoke bar in Chicago features "Smut & Eggs". At midight they shout "It's time for smut" and serve anything from the brunch menu and show Porn...and not the softcore stuff.


"What a Country!" - Yakov Smirnoff

My soup looked like an above ground pool in a bad neighborhood.

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