The Art of the Egg
Tips, Tricks, & Techniques
Art of the Egg
Eggs are so versatile and a must have ingredient in your refrigerator. Buy the freshest eggs possible. They are great for a quick “30 second meal” in an omelet or can be used in desserts – there are hundreds of possibilities! Try my Pavlova as a mini dessert!
1 cup super-fine granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 large egg whites, at room temperature for 30 minutes
3 tablespoons cold water
1 teaspoon distilled vinegar
For the Lemon Curd
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon (a pinch) salt
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 stick unsalted butter
3 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
4 cups mixed berries
Preheat oven to 300 degrees, with rack in the middle. Trace a circle, approximately 7 inches in diameter, on a sheet of parchment paper. Turn parchment paper over and place on a baking sheet.
Whisk together sugar and cornstarch. With an electric mixer, beat egg whites and salt at medium speed until whites hold a soft peak. Add water (to loosen whites) and beat until whites hold a soft peak again. Increase speed to medium-high and beat in sugar mixture 1 tablespoon at a time. After all the sugar has been added, beat for an additional minute.
Add vinegar and beat at high speed until meringue is glossy and holds a stiff peak, about 5 minutes. Gently spread meringue inside the circle on the parchment, making the edge slightly higher than the center, to form a “crater.” Bake until meringue is pale golden and crusty, about 45 minutes. Turn off oven and prop door open slightly with a wooden spoon. Cool meringue in oven for 1 hour.
While meringue bakes, stir together sugar, cornstarch and salt in a heavy 2-quart saucepan; add lemon juice and butter. Bring to a simmer over medium heat; continue to simmer, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Lightly beat egg yoks in a small bowl, then whisk 1/4 cup of warm lemon juice mixture. Mix egg yolk-lemon mixture to lemon mixture in the saucepan. Reduce heat to low and cook, whisking constantly, until curd is thickened, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and stir in zest. Cover surface of curd with parchment paper and chill until cool, about 1-1/2 hours.
Assembling the Pavlova
Beat heavy cream until it just holds stiff peaks 8 – 10 minutes – then fold 1/4 cup beaten cream into curd to lighten it. Spoon lemon curd into meringue and mound berries on top.
Beat the 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar into remaining whipped cream and serve on the side.
Recipe amounts can be multiplied by 3 to make 50 individual 3 inch Pavlovas and filling.
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons of water
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon butter – unsalted
1/4 to 1/2 cup fillings – chopped tomato, chopped onion, olives, cheese, diced vegetables
Beat together eggs and water to blend. In a 10-inch non-stick pan, heat butter until it sizzles. Pour in egg mixture. As eggs cook, use an inverted spatula to pull cooked portions to the center so uncooked eggs can reach the hot pan surface, tilting the pan and moving it as necessary to keep the round of eggs on the bottom of the pan. Continue to tilt and move the pan until the eggs are set and no longer flow, but are still very wet on the top (about 20 seconds). Don’t overcook! Eggs will finish cooking when omelet is folded.
Sprinkle all of the chosen filling on the left side of the omelet (right side for left-handers); slide the spatula all the way under the unfilled side of the omelet up to the center. Fold the unfilled side entirely over the filled side. Set the spatula aside.
To serve, hold the pan in your right hand, a plate in your left and invert the pan so the omelet falls upside down on the plate. (Left-handers, reverse appropriately.) Garnish as desired.
Suitable filings for omelets could include meat, poultry or seafood – ham, bacon, chicken, and shrimp. Add some vegetables if you like – mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, black olive, tomatoes, spinach. Cheese is a natural with eggs, of course, and think of flavorings you might add… Salsa? Ranch dressing? Or make dessert omelets with pecans or apple pie filling! Truly, the options are endless.
Fill a large, deep skillet with 3 inches of water. Add vinegar and heat water until barely simmering.
Crack each egg into a custard cup; one at a time, slide eggs gently into the water in the skillet. Do not crowd the eggs – you can cook in batches if needed. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes for slightly runny yolks and remove with a slotted spoon. Place on salads. Repeat with the remaining eggs if needed.
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
6 cloves garlic peeled and thinly sliced
4 jalapeño peppers, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice (or use canned jalapeños)
1 teaspoon hot chili flakes
3 cups basic tomato sauce
8 large eggs
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Heat the skillet over medium heat – then swirl the extra virgin olive oil into the pan. Add chopped onion, garlic, jalapeño, and chili flakes and sauté until vegetables are soft, about 6 to 7 minutes. Add tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Immediately lower the heat until the mixture simmers, then carefully crack eggs into the skillet. Cook 5 to 6 minutes until eggs are set to your preference.
Sprinkle on cheese and allow to cool for 3 to 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted.