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Eggs 101! How To Make Endless Variations...
As everybody says, eggs are a great source if protein and provide lots if energy. Basically, I would say they are the perfect start to the day!
Eggs are a classic breakfast item; however, they are becoming more popular with evening dishes too. For example; the famous Portuguese steak is cooked in Peri peri sauce and has a Sunny side up fried egg on top of it. Just goes to prove that eggs are not just for breakfast.
Soft boiled eggs
1. Bring a pan of water to the boil. Meanwhile, prick the wider end of the egg with a pin. This will release the air trapped in a little pocket here and will stop the eggs from cracking while they cook. Gently plunge the eggs into water and boil them for 4-5 minutes, depending on the size. For medium sized eggs, boil them for 4 minutes and for larger eggs, boil for 5 minutes; turn them over once or twice whilst boiling to ensure that they cook evenly.
2. To serve, crack off the top of the egg, add a small knob of butter, if you wish, and a little salt and black pepper.
1. Serve with toast soldiers, served with butter and a little jam if you wish. Toasted flavoured breads also make a nice change to the usual: try italian cheese and herb, herby focaccia, black olive or sun-dried tomato ciabatta, cheese and onion loaf or tiger bread. I like to spread my toast soldiers with only butter and dip them into the yolk of the egg whilst it's still runny and warm.
1. Break an egg into a bowl and season with salt and black pepper. For best results use a room temperature egg. If you don't have time to let an egg cool, plunge it in a bowl of room temperature water for 5 minutes. Beat together lightly until combined. Melt one tablespoon of butter in a large non stick frying pan: swirl the butter around so it melts and coats the sides of the pan as well as the surface. Once the pan is significantly hot, add the egg mixture and swirl it around as it cooks so that it creates a thin layer of cooked egg on the sides and surface of the pan. Once you can see that layer forming, you can let the remaining uncooked egg sit on top of the layer. Cook the egg over a medium heat, using a spoon to pour liquid butter over the uncooked parts of the egg until almost cooked. As the egg cooks, stir it with a wooden spoon to 'scramble' the egg and break it up. Take the pan off the heat and add another tablespoon of butter and some milk (optional) to make your eggs fluffy. Keep stirring and return to low heat until the eggs are soft and creamy.
2. Serve in split croissants or toasted bagels, sprinkled with pepper and chopped chives if you wish.
1. Break an egg into a bowl and season with salt and black pepper. For best results use a room temperature egg. If you don't have time to let an egg cool, plunge it in a bowl of room temperature water for 5 minutes. Beat together lightly until combined. Melt one tablespoon of butter in a large non stick frying pan: swirl the butter around so it melts and coats the sides of the pan as well as the surface. Once the pan is significantly hot, add the egg mixture and swirl it around as it cooks so that it creates a thin layer of cooked egg on the sides and surface of the pan. Once you can see that layer forming, you can let the remaining uncooked egg sit on top of the layer. Cook the egg over a medium heat, using a spoon to pour liquid butter over the uncooked parts of the egg until almost cooked.
2. Optional. Add grated mild cheddar and slices of yellow and red pepper, red onion and Spanish, green halkidiki olives to your plain omelette to make it into a truly Spanish omelette. This enhances the flavour of the omelette and creates a sensational experience for the tastebuds.
3. Once your omelette is fully cooked ( or, if you added cheese then once the cheese is fully melted), use a wooden spatula to fold the omelette in half if preferred or just scrape the sides of the pan to lift the omelette and slide it gently into your plate.
4. Serve on it's own sprinkled with some pepper or serve accompanied with some hash browns or toasted bread. Toasted flavoured breads also make a nice change to the usual: try italian cheese and herb, herby focaccia, black olive or sun-dried tomato ciabatta, cheese and onion loaf or tiger bread.
Fried Sunny Side Up Eggs
1. Heat a teaspoon of oil in a non stick frying pan over a medium to high heat. Reduce the heat a little, break an egg straight into the frying pan and leave it to fry a little, spooning hot oil on top of the yolks, until you can see a very thin translucent layer form on top of the yolk and it is set. If the layer on too of the yolk cooks too much and becomes white and thicker, your yolk will not be runny.
2. Serve with bread toasted on a hot, ridged iron griddle pan and drizzled with a little truffle or olive oil. Toasted flavoured breads also make a nice change to the usual: try italian cheese and herb, herby focaccia, black olive or sun-dried tomato ciabatta, cheese and onion loaf or tiger bread.
3. Sit the egg on top of the toasted bread, sprinkle with some herbs, salt and pepper and if preferred, some spicy relish.
1. Heat 4 cm water in a large, deep saucepan until little bubbles begin to rise on the surface. Add 1 tablespoon vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Break a very fresh egg into a teacup. Then, slide the teacup into the water and once it is as deep as possible, lower it horizontally so that the egg slips out into the water but stays in one piece. 2.Cook the egg for 3 1/2 minutes, making sure that the water only stays at a very gentle simmer and does not boil or your eggs will spoil. Lift the egg out of the water with a slotted spoon (eg: a spoon or ladle with holes at the bottom, similar to a colander) and drain briefly on kitchen paper before serving
3. Serve your poached egg in a sandwich style or in an American bagel. Place it between 2 muffins with cheese and mortadella for a McDonalds Egg McMuffin style sandwich.
4. If you'd like to do more than 4 eggs, cook them for just 3 minutes and then lift them out into a bowl of tepid water. When you have cooked all your eggs, slip them back into the barely simmering water for 30 seconds just to finish off the cooking and heat them through.
Types of eggs
There are several categories of eggs available today, but what do all the words mean?
All organic eggs are free range* (see below), which means that small flocks of birds are allowed to range freely outside, with easy access to shelter and have been fed a primarily organic diet with no genetically modified ingredients or artificial colourings to enhance the colour of the yolk
FREE RANGE EGGS*
The birds are reared in barns and have daytime access to open air runs that are mainly covered in vegetation. However, the more dominant birds can prevent some birds from getting to the outside
Very large flocks of birds are housed in barns that have the addition of nesting boxes and perches, but they are still mainly reared indoors
The majority of eggs sold in the UK come from battery hens. Tens of thousands of birds are kept crammed into large, artificially lit barns, with three to five birds a cage, which have sloping floors so that the eggs roll down to await collection. This is a really bad condition for the hens and it can injure their wings and legs. Basically, farms producing battery eggs practically torture the hens and deprive them of life for the sole purpose of making money :(
Do you buy Free Range or Battery Eggs?
How to use eggs safely:
• Stored properly, an egg will last up to a month.
• Keep them at a cool and consistent temperature, or in the least cold part of the fridge, which is often nearest to the top (but check the manufacturers instructions to be sure)
• Keep them on a shelf away from raw meat and other raw products
• Use eggs before the 'best before' date usually printed on the box and egg
• Allow eggs to come to room temperature before using. If you don't have time to let an egg cool, plunge it in a bowl of room temperature water for 5 minutes.
• Avoid buying eggs in reusable boxes no matter how Eco-Friendly they may be be because they could be contaminated or contain the remains of broken eggs
• Very slightly cracked eggs should be used immediately, and only where they are going to be fully cooked; for example, in cakes. Crack them into a tea cup first to check they are still fresh
• Any recipe containing raw it lightly cooked eggs should be avoided by anybody who is pregnant or in a vulnerable health group. For example, hollandaise sauce or meringues, etc
Put your newly found egg making skills into use!
Full English Breakfast
Long day? Go full whack on the energy scales with a full english breakfast with a nutritious, superfood filled smoothie to keep you going for the whole day!
Preparation 5 minutes
Cooking 25 minutes
For the breakfast
1-2 sausages of your choice
Sunflower oil for frying
Butter, for grilling and frying
2 rashers of your choice
1 slice white bread, cut in half in a triangular shape
50 g button mushrooms
Salt and black pepper
1. Pre heat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius/gas mark 2 and pre heat the grill to high
2. Fry the sausages in a little sun flour oil over medium heat, turning them over every now and then, for 8-10 minutes until cooked through. Put onto a baking tray and slide into the oven to keep hot
3. Cut the tomatoes side up into the rack of the grill pan, dot each one with a little butter and season. Grill for 4 minutes, then keep warm with the sausages.
4. Meanwhile, wipe out the frying pan, add a teaspoon or two of oil and fry the rashers for 1-2 minutes until crisp and golden on both sides. Keep warm with the sausages and tomatoes.
5. Heat another tablespoon of oil to the frying pan and fry the bread for 1-2 minutes on each side until crisp and golden. Put onto a second baking tray and slide into the oven
6. Melt a small knob of butter in a medium sized frying pan. Add mushrooms and some seasoning and cook over a high heat for 2-3 minutes
7. Wipe the frying pan clean and heat another layer of oil on medium-high heat and fry your eggs sunny side up style!
8. Serve all the food on a plate with tomato ketchup or a sauce of your choice.
You'll love this classic, french breakfast item so much that you'll probably wake up earlier so that you can make it! Now that has GOT to mean something...
Preparation 15 minutes
Cooking 10 minutes
For the Eggs Benedict:
Salt and black pepper
2 toasted english muffins
1 tablespoon butter
4 slices mortadella slices of your choice
4 cm water
For the hollandaise sauce:
2 egg yolks
A pinch of salt
225 g unsalted butter
1. Firstly, poach 4 eggs using the technique above. Once these are done, switch off the heat so that the eggs do not cook any more and the water only heats them slightly.
2. Prepare your hollandaise sauce. Place the egg yolks, egg and salt into a food processor and blend until it is all finely combined.
3. Gently melt the butter in a heavy based pan until just beginning to foam. Turn on your food processor, and, on medium speed, pour the melted butter through the feeder tube in a thin, steady stream. Continue to blitz for another 5 seconds, then pour back into the pan, but do not return to the heat. Allow the heat from the pan to thicken the sauce as you stir it gently.
4. Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large frying pan and gently fry your slices mortadella until they are slightly firmer and crispy on the edges
5. Cut the 2 english muffins in half. Divide the halves onto 4 serving plates.
6. On each half, place a slice of the mortadella. Remove your poached eggs from the pan using a slotted spoon and blot them on kitchen paper. Place one on each muffin, topped with salt and pepper. Spoon 3 generous tablespoons of hollandaise sauce and pour it on top of your poached egg, allowing it to naturally run down the sides of the muffin.
7. Before serving, with the remaining hollandaise sauce, on the side of the plate, place half a teaspoon of sauce in a round blob and use a teaspoon to make a teardrop design on the plate. In order to achieve this, rest your spoon in the middle of the blob, and scrape your spoon in a flick outward, the spoon touching the plate at all times. See below for a picture of how it should look on your plate. This will simply make your dish more aesthetically pleasing
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