Friday, February 24, 2012

Hints and Tips - Eggs

Todays H&T is all about eggs

1. Eggs are beautifully ovoid and delicately shaded in whites and creams but despite their beauty they shouldn’t be stored on public display – they should be stored in the fridge.

2. Refrigerate eggs in the carton – the shells are porous and can absorb flavors and ordors from the kitchen – but the cartons keep them safe.

3. If you collect eggs from your own chooks, never wash them – once they have become wet they are even more porous – allowing smells and bacteria to permeate the egg. Instead, lightly brush them with some steel wool to remove and droppings, dirt or other mess.

4. When cooking, unless the recipe states otherwise, always use eggs that have been removed from the fridge and allowed to return to room temperature. It takes about 30 minutes for an egg to come to room temperature. If you are short of time – and going to use the egg straight away, you can rest it in some warm (not hot) water.

5. When beating egg whites, use a stainless steel, glass or ceramic bowl and make sure it is scrupulously clean from any residue fatty deposits. If there is any risk it might not have been washed properly, wipe out the bowl with some white vinegar on a paper cloth and allow to dry before using.

6. Don’t let beaten eggs sit while you complete other stages of a recipe – use them immediately.

7. To check the freshness of an egg drop them into a tall glass of water – the lower the air sits in the glass the fresher it is. Each egg has a small air sack and this expands the older the egg – which is why they begin to float as they age.

8. Older eggs are easier to peel than really fresh eggs.

9. When beating eggs a soft peak is achieved when you lift up the beater (after turning it off) and a peak forms and then gently falls over. A stiff peak has been achieved if the little peak stays standing up.

10. If you crack an egg and find a bit of shell has broken off, use the remaining shell as a scoop – it appears to attract any random bits whereas they run away from cutlery and fingers.

Basic egg recipes: boiled egg, fried egg, omelette, pavlova, frittata, mayonnaise, meringue, devilled eggs, egg salad, quiche, egg nests, scrambled eggs, poached eggs,  scotch eggs, French toast (eggy bread), custard, baked egg, huevos rancheros. Check out the recipe links on the left hand side for more recipe ideas or share your own recipes as a comment.

And for something completely random - if you are cooking with emu eggs, 1 emu egg is equivalent to about 9 chicken eggs :-)

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