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Coddled Eggs


Jinmyo
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There's a nice article on the joys of coddled eggs in the NYT. Click here. While I often serve them poured into a cocktail glass as they suggest, I haven't tried their cooking method. But will, perhaps today.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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What a clean, elegant, striking image Jinmyo--credit to the Times for including it online--and of course to you for noticing it.

A little effort at presentation goes a long way.  And I'm a sucker for colorful things in clear glass.

Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

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Eggs are among my favorite foods. I regret the loss of flavor in mass produced eggs and even the organic ones we find in the supermarket, health food store or greenmarket don't compare with what I remember from my youth or still run across from time to time in France. In France at a top restaurant or inn, a soft boiled egg may be the highlight of a wonderful breakfast or the center of a great first course with truffles or caviar.

A nice presentation is always a an added attraction to a flavorful dish of any kind, but there's an attractiveness to a soft boiled egg in its shell and in reverse to serving the egg out of its shell I've had custards cooked in a hollow shell precisely for the visual effect. I suppose one element of visual appeal is seeing the egg presented differently from how you expect it, which is what fashion is about.

For me, one of the nicest ways to serve a coddled egg is to remove it intact from the shell and place it on a bed of something like spinach, frisee salad, or just on a piece of toast or muffin in lieu of the poached egg that would normally be called for in a recipe. Cutting the egg, which has a quality akin to a "quenelle" of jello, and watching the sauce pour out is an ultimate table presentation unassisted by a waiter.

I don't know if there were differences between slow cooked, soft boiled and coddled eggs. Cooking terminology seems to get fuzzier with time, at least in these times. For me, "coddled" has always had the connotations of an egg that is soft cooked in the shell and removed intact. I believe that's what the French call oeuf mollet and I suspect that's how the term "molley coddle," meaning treated very gently, came about.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

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I thought coddled eggs were cooked in an egg coddler? Like this: Egg%20Coddler.GIF

I good recipe for this is to crumble cooked bacon in the bottom, add a few snips of chive or scallion, break in the egg, top with a spoonful of cream and then I think you steam it.

That article made me want to try a soft cooked egg, and I've never cared for runny yolks before.

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Rachel - those are indeed, egg coddlers and thus you must be correct. Another instance of fuzzy terminology? I've thought of baked eggs as "shirred eggs." Could those terms apply differently to eggs baked in ramekins of different heights? Are huevos rancheros shirred eggs? I wouldn't leave out the possibility that coddled eggs were eggs cooked in the shell and removed intact until someone noticed the difficulty of peeling them and invented a cup for coddling the eggs in a steamer. I certainly don't have the definitive answer and it's quite possible that "coddle" meant handling with kid gloves before it meant cooking an egg though my handy pocket dictionary offers: 1. to cook (esp. eggs) in water not quite boiling  2. to pamper

Hmm, off topic, but anyone want to invest in marketing a new disposable diaper called "Coddles?"  :biggrin:

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Rachel, those are indeed coddlers. I believe they were used in the oven.

My Gran always called soft-cooked eggs removed from the shell (entire or poured) "coddled". When I was wee I thought "coddled" referred to all of the butter that was put on them. :wink:

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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You might say that a child who was coddled had is life greased with butter.  :biggrin:

Escoffier codified all the terms and names of garnishes so anyone who knew the code knew exactly what they were getting. Nowadays it's guess work for all the claims that the names describe the dish. We're referring to our soft boiled eggs as oeufs confits henceforth.

 :biggrin:

When they're served on toast, that's sur lit de carpaccio de pain.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Ha ha ha. :biggrin:

I'm going to try their soft-cooking method tomorrow. Though ten minutes sounds too long to me.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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I regret the loss of flavor in mass produced eggs and even the organic ones we find in the supermarket, health food store or greenmarket don't compare with what I remember from my youth or still run across from time to time in France.

The thought that an egg could taste much better than it does has driven me to look for eggs that "taste the way they used to."  Apart from pheasant eggs, which do have an eggier taste, I have not noticed any great shakes even with suppposedly "fresh eggs."  Is it possible to buy eggs in New York that "taste the way they used to?" or is this just a nostalgaic fantasy?

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All this talk of eggs "the way they used to be" has got me longing to raise chickens just for free range eggs!

Adam Balic (or any other chicken expert out there): I know you need a rooster to get baby chickens, but will hens lay eggs at all if there is no rooster around? (I've wondered about this apart from this discussion.)

This is all, of course, pie in the sky, when we are rich and have a house in the country kind of thinking. Right now our backyard is too small, and I think my neighbors over the fence might object!

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Is it possible to buy eggs in New York that "taste the way they used to?" or is this just a nostalgaic fantasy?

The only answer I can give is that some eggs taste better than others. I've not found any source that consistently supplies the best tasting eggs. Not unreasonally, flavor seems to vary over the year. We had reasonably good luck at the Union Square Greenmarket where Knoll Krest seems to offer flavor and value. We've not tried all of the others there. Sometimes organic eggs from Farmer Green (or is it Greene?) available at health food stores and supermarkets have been better. Sometimes they take second  place. Others may have better sources or have done more exhaustive studies. I've certainly not found a source in NY that provides better eggs than I might find at a three star restaurant in the French provinces or ones raised on a small farm in Brittany.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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To anyone in NJ looking for  an "eggier" egg,  there is a small dairy, in Hopewell, with a retail shop in Trenton Farmer's market, that has distinctively "eggier" eggs, to the point where the kid's palate can tell the difference between a Halo egg and a supermarket egg.

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Thank you for the article link.  Soft cooked eggs have long been my favorite way to eat them (could be a genetic predispositon, as it's also my dad's favorite, too).  I have never tried to remove the egg from the shell, though, preferring to scoop it out of the shell a spoonful at a time.  Over the years, I have gone through 2 automatic egg cookers, and since the last one finally conked out a few months ago, I've been having a hard time cooking them the old fashioned way, and getting the yolk just right.  I'm going to try the method outlined in the article, and even attempt to serve it out of the shell in some of the ways suggested by Bux, which sound absolutely delicious.  Bux, I also enjoyed reading  where the term molley coddle comes from...I love that name, as it reminds me of one of my favorite Masterpiece Theater's... "Summer's Lease" w/ Sir John Gielgud.

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Blue Heron, I did too. Works beautifully

2 eggs for each person, poured out onto creme fraiche with a dab of butter and a bit of thyme in wide juice glasses. Fresh petit pain (de Pepin) with more Normandy butter. A bowl of tomato sauce with chorizo, Macedonian, and hot Italian sausages, celery, Cubanelle peppers, oyster mushrooms for dipping the bread into in between spoonfuls of eggy goodness.

I like eggs in any style but coddled are exceptional.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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 Bux, I also enjoyed reading  where the term molley coddle comes from...I love that name, as it reminds me of one of my favorite Masterpiece Theater's... "Summer's Lease" w/ Sir John Gielgud.

In that case it's completely irrelevant whether or not my derivation is correct or not. :biggrin:

I've often wondered if the truth is any better than a fiction if either can serve to stimulate one to think. That thought came to me as I was reading two guide books that offered rather separate and different stories about the same site in my travels.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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 Bux, I also enjoyed reading  where the term molley coddle comes from...I love that name, as it reminds me of one of my favorite Masterpiece Theater's... "Summer's Lease" w/ Sir John Gielgud.

In that case it's completely irrelevant whether or not my derivation is correct or not. :biggrin:

I've often wondered if the truth is any better than a fiction if either can serve to stimulate one to think. That thought came to me as I was reading two guide books that offered rather separate and different stories about the same site in my travels.

egg-zactly.  :biggrin:

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2 eggs for each person, poured out onto creme fraiche with a dab of butter and a bit of thyme in wide juice glasses. Fresh petit pain (de Pepin) with more Normandy butter. A bowl of tomato sauce with chorizo, Macedonian, and hot Italian sausages, celery, Cubanelle peppers, oyster mushrooms for dipping the bread into in between spoonfuls of eggy goodness.

This for Breakfast at about 9 AM, no need for Lunch,...nor Dinner

Peter
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