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Over and above their terrific nutritional profile, eggs enjoy solid cultural roots. The sweet memory of dunking buttery soldiers into soft-boiled eggs undoubtedly contributes to the place that this food item occupies in our daily lives. The yolk would overflow around the plunging soldiers, and our taste buds would clamour for more.
These days, eggs are prepared in many ways and enjoyed in every conceivable form. The possibilities are so vast that some “single-minded” restaurants have made them the dominant feature of their menus. For example, they may celebrate eggs in an atmosphere like a chicken coop, complete with a hayloft and amazing innovations in flavour. Read on for a quick look at some of the infinite ways to prepare eggs.
#1 Scrambled eggs, the cream of the crop
In the words of Auguste Escoffier, “This dish is undoubtedly the finest of all egg-preparations, provided the eggs be not over-cooked, and they be kept soft and creamy”. And then there is the great debate over using milk versus cream, die-hard fans of the water bath, vintage styles and the convenience of a saucepan. Whatever the method, scrambling eggs means inviting velvety smoothness onto your plate. People enjoy them with a simple garnish of finely chopped chives, but also fancier versions for foodies who jump at the chance for a Sunday brunch. So, impress your guests with a lavish breakfast by pairing your scrambled eggs with some black truffles from Italy.
#2 Medium-boiled eggs with a slightly runny centre
In between soft-boiled and hard-boiled eggs, medium-boiled eggs have a hidden treasure: a liquidy interior concealed by a well-cooked exterior. The yolk, both firm and runny, really melts in your mouth. Medium-boiled eggs go fabulously with grilled vegetables, tomatoes, courgettes, aubergines, fresh garlic and chives. They are relished by graceful, retro and authentic eaters, whose taste buds are attuned to rustic flavours full of character.
#3 Soft-boiled eggs, a popular favourite
These eggs are said to have a royal past (Louis XV apparently loved them), but their present is no less distinguished. In spite of their apparent simplicity, real soft-boiled eggs, the kind that rekindles childhood memories, is a technical feat that can take up a lot of time in the food service industry. Cocotine has given them a new lease of life though, by laser-cutting them to simplify your daily life. When served in a lovely detachable, biodegradable egg cup, Cocotine’s soft-boiled eggs are a real treat for diners and yet another tool in a chef’s box.
#4 Soft baked eggs: A tricky preparation
Making sure the whites coagulate without hardening the yolks is a daily challenge that no single technique can definitively resolve. And that’s part of the charm of these eggs baked in a buttered ramekin and served with whole crème fraîche. Soft baked eggs are the result of a novel blend of culinary arts with science, with contributions from the physical chemists Nicholas Kurti and Hervé This.
#5 Eggs are also great…
… hard-boiled (on their own, in a salad and sometime even devilled or marbled), poached (with an attractive and more technical variation on medium-boiled eggs when cooked in a red wine sauce and served with garlic bread), fried (salted and peppered) or in a Benedict (a poached egg between two halves of an English muffin topped with a slice of ham, bacon or salmon and covered in hollandaise sauce).