The egg is truly the unsung hero of the kitchen, changing its persona in a plethora of ways to suit the cook. As a workhorse, it also ‘cleans up’ well and can become the ‘Belle of the Ball’ as an elegant budget-friendly hors d’œuvre, side dish, main course or dessert.
Renowned for its casual lifestyle, patrons to the Seattle Opera House can be seen dressed in any degree of elegance. Dressed to the nines in ball gowns and tuxedoes to nice, dressed-up blue jeans and perfectly pressed Abercrombie & Fitch button-down shirts, Seattlites believe that savoir faire can come in many forms. Meals here can also ring of elegance with the use of a simple, humble ingredient cooked to perfection and served in an up-scale manner. The method however need not be complicated or tricky. Below are a few recipes and dish ideas elevating your eggs from kitchen help to royalty.
The basic methods of the various dishes are described below together with many variations taken from different cultures found here in Seattle.
FIRST & MAIN COURSE
This dish is basically a toasted, buttered English muffin topped with a piece of cooked Canadian bacon, a perfectly poached egg and a silky Hollandaise sauce drizzled over the whole thing.
Poached eggs are not as difficult to make as one might think. The trick is to use the freshest eggs possible and 1-2 teaspoons of vinegar in the water to help the egg stay in tact. The vinegar may be omitted, but it isn’t enough to flavor the eggs and really does make the process foolproof.
- 1-2 teaspoons white vinegar
- In a saucepan, bring the water to boiling, then lower the heat so that only tiny bubbles form at the bottom.
- Add the vinegar.
- Break an egg into a cup to make sure that it is good.
- Pour the egg slowly into the water. Repeat with up to 3 eggs, making sure not to crowd the saucepan.
- With a spoon, coax the whites around each of their yolks.
- Let eggs cook for about 4 minutes, until the egg whites are opaque.
- One by one, remove the eggs from the pan with a slotted spoon, making sure that all of the water is drained from the egg.
- Substitute the bacon for crab or other shellfish
- Substitute the bacon for fresh, cooked or smoked salmon or other fish
- Top Hollandaise sauce with caviar or fish roe
- Eggs Florentine: substitutes spinach for the ham
- Artichoke Benedict 2: replaces the English muffin with a hollowed artichoke.
- Eggs Royale: substitutes salmon for the ham
Soufflé ~ easier than you think!
There are just two primary elements to making a soufflé:
- A flavored cream sauce of some kind, savory or sweet
- Soft egg white meringue
A good guide to creating a luscious soufflé can be found in this Examiner article, Bringing back the soufflé.
- Cheese and rice
- Zucchini gruyere
- Garlic Ginger Cheese
- corn pudding soufflé
- Asparagus and Parmesan
- Spinach onion soufflé
- Gluten free chocolate soufflé
- Dark chocolate and orange soufflé
An omelet is an extremely versatile dish made when eggs are beaten and cooked quickly in oil or butter and folded. Often, the folded omelet is filled with sautéed vegetables, cheese or meat.
A good guide to making the quintessential omelet can be found in the article, Omelet Recipes.
- Kai yat sai (Thailand)1
- Tamagoyaki (Japan)1
- Roasted vegetables
- Blue cheese, caramelized pear, toasted & caramelized pecans
- Portobello mushrooms
- Basil, tomatoes & mozzarella
- Smoked turkey, Swiss cheese and tomatoes
- Spinach, sweet onion, red peppers, pitted Kalamata olives and feta
- Asparagus and Hollandaise sauce
- Mushrooms, Jack cheese, tomato Verde salsa, jalapeño peppers
Quiche is a French egg pie. It is made by blind-baking pastry crust in a pie dish and then pouring into and baking a combined egg and cream mixture. Many other ingredients may be added such as vegetables, meat and cheese.
- The fillings for omeletes are pretty much the same for quiche. The filling ideas are endless.
- Cheese of any kind
- Walla Walla onions
- Smoked turkey
Soft-boiled eggs served in egg cups
It may seem like a breakfast idea, but serving a lovely, rich, soft-boiled egg in an egg cup can be a very elegant first course. Topping it with a tiny mound of caviar, or if your budget is tighter, a small mound of salmon or flying fish roe along with batons of garlic or onion toast will elevate it even further.
This is a nice way for those who collect to showcase their variety of egg cups. If you don’t have any, you can buy them for very little money at thrift shops like Value Village or at retail shops like Fred Meyer. A very good buy can be had, however, during the Easter season. These tend to be of the much more colorful variety and can cost as little as .60 a cup. If your budget doesn’t allow for this type of purchase, do not fret. You only need something to keep the egg upright, such as an espresso cup or aluminum foil ring that is placed on a nice plate.
How to soft boil an egg
- In a saucepan, bring lightly salted cold water and your egg or eggs.
- When the water comes to a boil, turn off the stove and set your timer for 5 minutes for a runny yoke and 7 minutes for a firmer yolk.
- Remove egg or eggs from the water and rinse them under cold water.
- Put the egg in an egg cup and saw off about 1/4″ from the top to expose the cooked center.
- Serve with toast batons.
Eggs poached in tomato sauce
This lovely, versatile dish is both delicious and pretty as the white and yellow of the egg elegantly is offset by the vibrant red of the tomato sauce. There are many versions of this dish made around the world. The basic Israeli version that makes the method clear can be found on the Saveur Magazine website.
- Eggs in Purgatory (Italy)
- Huevos Rabo de Mestiza (Mexico)
- Shakshuka (Middle East)
- Poached Eggs in Pipérade (France)
Baked eggs coquette
These eggs sound and look fancier than they actually are. They are basically eggs baked in a cream and cheese sauce, possibly other foods in ramekins. So easy to prepare, but they do not present that way.
A good explanation of the cooking method and its variations can be found on Delia Online.
Other elegant egg ideas:
- Scotch Eggs (UK)
- Bibimbap (Korea)1
- Brick (pronounced breek) (Tunisia)1: Pastry within which a whole egg is fried and topped with onion, tuna, harissa and parsley.
- Egg khesh (India)1: Non-egg ingredients layered, topped with beaten eggs and baked in the oven.
- Egg drop soup (Seattle Budget Meals Examiner)
- Modified egg drop soup with caramelized garlic and red chili peppers (Seattle Budget Meals Examiner)
- Deep Fried Sous Vide Egg Yolks from the Seattle Food Geek.
- Egg Tart (China)
- Flan (Spain)
- Kanom mo Kaeng (Thailand)1
- Sweet egg bhurji (India)1
- Ovos moles de papaia (Mozambique)1
- Datemaki (Japan)1
Procuring the best main ingredient
The best laid plan when showcasing the beauty of the egg is to use the freshest possible egg. Take a gander at the local places below where you can make sure that your eggs are of supreme quality.
Broadview Farms Eggs
Vegetarianfed, noSteroids, no Antibiotics, no Hormones, free-range
Found at Seattle retail locations: 99 Ranch Markets, HT Oaktree Market. Look for these eggs at your local supermarket!
Pike Place Market Creamery
1514 Pike Place #3, Seattle, WA 98101
Hours: Monday Saturday 9 am 6 pm, Sunday 10 am 5 pm
Certified 100% Organic Eggs, Beef & Feed
800-482-7687 360-458-3333For a complete list of organic farms in and around the Seattle area, peruse this list. Note that not all farms produce eggs.
- List of egg dishes. Retrieved 2011-15-7.
- Eggs Florentine. Retrieved 2011-15-7.
- Artichoke Recipes. California Artichoke Advisory Board. Retrieved 2011-15-7.
- Eggs Royale. Retrieved 2011-15-7.