The egg is a very versatile food item. It has many amazing uses and is a high source of protein as well as being packed with vitamins and minerals. In this article, let’s explore some of the most awesome ways that we can use eggs in everyday life.
Eggs on their own
- Fried – As the name suggests, the humble fried egg is cracked into a frying pan in a shallow amount of oil and allowed to cook for about three minutes. Some enjoy them Sunny side up, others prefer them turned. This is quite possibly the most popular way of cooking eggs and it is the way you will get them in most restaurants.
- Scrambled – If you have a big family and you need to cook them breakfast, chances are you don’t want to be taking egg orders. This is where scrambled eggs are the saving grace. This dish consists of eggs that are beaten in a bowl and then “scrambled” in the frying pan until they’re cooked. This is the best egg option when cooking for a large number of people.
- Boiled – Egg and soldiers are very popular amongst children and a great, fun way to get them to eat their breakfast. Pop your eggs in the shell into a pot of water and bring to the boil. Allow to rapidly boil for approximately three minutes for the perfect boiled egg.
- Poached – This method of cooking eggs is more sophisticated and is the star of the world famous dish eggs benedict. The correct way of poaching an egg is to bring a pot of water to the boil, add a few dashes of vinegar and drop the egg into the water when the water is boiling rapidly.
Eggs used in baking
Eggs are an essential ingredient in any baked goods that you buy or make yourself. Look at any recipe for cakes, biscuits or meringues and they will most definitely contain eggs. The egg white used in baking is a perfect raising agent and the egg yolk acts as an emulsifier and makes the batter creamy and smooth. Let’s look at a few baked food with egg as the main ingredient.
- Meringue – Meringue is an airy, whipped, sweet delight that is usually served with fresh fruit and whipped cream. The humble meringue consists of whipped egg whites and sugar and is usually baked at a low temperature for a long period of time. Meringue is the main ingredient in Pavlova, a sweet, Australian dessert.
- Chiffon Cake – A Chiffon cake has a lot of egg whites in the batter, and these egg whites are whipped before added to allow an extra rise in the cake.
- Macaroons – Macaroons are a traditionally French biscuit comprised of ground almonds and egg whites and are sandwiched together using a similarly flavored cream or icing.
- Egg Custard – An egg custard is an essential ingredient in many desserts, such as the traditional Portuguese Pasteis de Natas which is an egg custard in a crispy pastry shell. Egg custard is made using Egg yolks, milk and sugar and is usually baked as part of a dessert.
Eggs as part of a meal
If eggs are not being eaten on their own, or as part of a delicious bake, they are used as part of a meal and can quite possibly round off the entire recipe. Let’s have a look at a few of the scrumptious meals containing egg as the star.
- Quiche – A quiche is a little egg pie that is a popular dish on most restaurant menus. It is made with eggs and any other ingredients that you may like. The most traditional are the Quiche Lorraine made with spinach and cheese. Quiche is baked in a hot oven and can be served with a side of chips or vegetables.
- Omelets – An omelet is generally a breakfast dish and you can very freely add anything to this to make it delicious. Add ham, cheese and tomatoes for a classic omelet which is poured into a hot frying pan and flipped over without scrambling.
- French toast – French toast is popular amongst children and is made by dipping slices of bread into beaten egg and fried in a hot pan. This dish can be served with Bacon and syrup or a sprinkling of icing sugar.
- Scotch egg - A Scottish treat, the Scotch egg is made using a boiled egg that is covered in minced meat and deep fried. This is usually served as a canape and is a delicacy in Scotland.
- Egg Curry – This is a more unusual way of using eggs in the main meal. Instead of traditional Chicken and Lamb, people use eggs in curries. An egg curry is not very popular but is quite tasty and worth a try.
- Sandwiches – Have you ever been in the mood for breakfast and need to eat on the go? Bacon and egg sandwich might be just the thing to fill up your stomach. Try one of these delicious treats the next time your stomach tells you it needs food.
General purposes for eggs
Here are a few general uses for eggs that many people are not aware of.
- Binding Agent – Eggs can be used to bind a meat mixture together when making burgers prevent the mixture breaking apart in the oven.
- Egg Wash – When baking pastry, to achieve the crispness on top you need to do an egg wash on top. Brushing some beaten egg on top of your pastry will allow a crisp, golden top when baked.
- Garden Aid – Don’t throw away those egg shells when making your breakfast, egg shells are a great assistant in the garden. Crushed egg shells add calcium to the soil and help in the growth of certain vegetables such as tomatoes.
- Hangover Cure – Many people drink raw egg as a hangover cure and find it very effective, however, one would have to have a particularly strong stomach in order to drink this.
- Egg and Spoon Race – In any children’s sporting event there is most definitely an egg and spoon race. The objective of this race is to balance an egg on a spoon and make it to the finish line without dropping the egg.
- Leather Cleaner – This may sound unusual but egg whites are an excellent leather cleaner. Try brushing some egg white on leather that has scuff marks on it and watches the marks disappear. Egg whites also form a protective coating on the leather.
- Hair Mask – Combine egg yolks with olive oil and avocado and apply to the hair. Let this mask sit on the hair for about half an hour and then thoroughly rinse.
In conclusion, there are some truly awesome ways to use eggs and you should always make sure that you have an abundance of this gems in your kitchen. Try something new when cooking your next breakfast or use these eggs for their general purposes. Eggs are packed with protein and they are by far the best addition to your next meal.