Eggs. They are one of the cheapest (even if you buy the pasture-raised, organic ones!) and most flexible protein sources around. But many people feel like they are incapable of making them well. The truth is, eggs are actually quite simple, they just need a little bit of attention. So today I want to break down for you the different ways to cook an egg so that you can add these to your rotation for breakfasts, lunches, and dinners and then next time I will talk about different ways to use eggs in baking (i.e., beating an egg in all its stages).
When to eat them: Hard-boiled eggs are a lunchbox and breakfast-on-the-go staple for our family. I also use them for egg salad, deviled eggs, and sliced up on a salad.
How to cook them: Put the number of eggs you would like to hard-boil in a pot of cold water. Bring the pot of water to a boil. When it reaches boiling, take the lid off a set a timer for 10 minutes. When the timer goes off, pour the hot water down your kitchen sink and run the eggs under cold water for a few moments to cool them down. To peel them, knock them on their larger end, where there is likely an air bubble so that you can break through easily and get the shell off without losing too much of the white.
When to eat them: We love these for breakfast. I grew up with eggs cups where you would just take off the small top, sprinkle in some salt and pepper, and dip toast fingers into the yolk, before eating the white. My husband grew up scooping them out into a bowl. Both ways are delicious!
How to cook them: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Using a slotted spoon, gently place the eggs into the boiling water. Set a timer for 5 minutes. When the timer goes off, pour the hot water down your kitchen sink and run the eggs under cold water. Gently crack the eggs around the small top, open the top, and serve in your favorite way.
When to eat them: Breakfast is the obvious answer here, but my kids love scrambled egg sandwiches and we also will have scrambled eggs loaded with vegetables and cheese for quick weeknight dinners.
How to cook them: Here is the no frills, super easy method we use in our house that constantly blows people away. No dirty bowls or splashes of milk required! Melt some butter, about 1 Tablespoon for 1-2 eggs, more as you go up in number of eggs, in a frying pan over a medium-high heat (for heat level directions, see this Cooking 101 post). Crack your eggs directly into the pan. Salt and pepper to taste. Just as the egg white starts to solidify a tiny bit, use a spoon or spatula to break up the yolk and mix up the egg. Scramble to your level of dry-ness.
When we eat them: Breakfast and dinner, unless we’re eating lunch at home and then they are a solid option then, too. For breakfast we’ll have them with toast, with eggs, or in a sandwich. For dinner we’ll have them on top of grains, mixed into pastas, or with toast.
How to cook them: Melt some butter, about 1 Tablespoon for 1-2 eggs, more as you go up in number of eggs, in a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Crack your eggs into the pan and salt and pepper to taste. Watch the eggs pretty closely as you get used to frying eggs and your stove. If the edges start to get too crispy before the center is cooked, turn the heat down to medium and cover the pan with a lid for a minute or so. When the white is solid but the yolk is still liquid-y, slide a thin spatula underneath the egg to gently lift it out of the pan to put it on your plate.
When to eat them: Breakfast, lunch (leftovers), or dinner!
How to cook them: The first thing you need to know about making an omelet is that any fillings that you are going to put in that would need to be cooked, need to be cooked before you start making your omelet. So any onion or vegetables that you wanted sautéed, sauté them first, or better yet, use leftovers! I love leftover roasted vegetables in an omelet (or frittata! See below). Grated cheese or sliced up cooked/deli meat are also good additions. So once you have your fillings prepared and ready to go, crack two eggs into a bowl and beat well, until it is completely blended, no clear whites left. Salt and pepper the beaten eggs. Melt 1 Tablespoon of butter in an 8-inch frying pan over a medium-high heat. Swirl the butter around so that the whole bottom of the pan in coated. If you need to add a little more butter, go ahead and do that. Once the butter has stopped sizzling, pour your eggs in. Gently use a spatula to move the eggs around a little bit (it will look sort of like waves), so that they are evenly distributed across the pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until the edges look crisp but the middle is still kind of wet, but not flowing liquid. Place your fillings in the middle and fold over either in half to make a half-circle or in thirds. Gently slide the omelet off onto a plate. Don’t worry if the middle isn’t completely solid, it will still keep cooking off the heat. Serves 1-2 people, increase number of eggs and size of pan as necessary. And, if it all falls apart, then just scramble it up and serve as loaded scrambled eggs! Or if this is too scary, use my waffle omelet recipe until you are comfortable/forever!
When to eat them: Anytime! They are amazing hot or room temperature.
How to cook them: Pre-heat the oven to 400. Pull out a 10-12” oven-safe skillet. Prepare whatever mix-ins you are going to include, some of our favorites are onion/shallot, bell peppers, asparagus, roasted vegetables, chopped up leftover meat, grated or crumbled cheese. You want about 3 cups total of filling. If the fillings need to be cooked, like raw vegetables, melt some butter in the skillet and sauté them until they are ready. While the filling is cooking, crack six eggs into a bowl and beat well. Salt and pepper the filling to taste. Add any other fresh or fried herbs or seasonings you like to filling (oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, chili powder, garam masala, and za’atar are some of our favorite options). When the filling that needs cooking is cooked, add any others you were going to add in and then spread it all out evenly. Sprinkle the cheese over (if using) and then pour the eggs on top. Cook on the stove for a minute until just beginning to set and then put into the oven for 8-10 minutes. To check if it is done, use a sharp knife to cut a tiny hole in the middle. If egg runs it, put it back in for a minute. If not, then it is done and pull it out. Let it sit for 5 minutes and then serve!