Eggs: Cracking good ideas
Stuck for what to eat? It's eggs to the rescue again. Here are some delicious ways to serve them up and good uses for leftover whites and yolks.
Eggs are a dietary mainstay. As Dr Libby says: “A source of complete protein, they contain all the essential amino acids necessary in correct proportions to support biological function.
Eggs are one of only a few foods that naturally contain Vitamin D, a vitamin essential to mood and numerous critical processes in the body, including immune function and bone health. Considered by many as a powerhouse of nutrients they also contain disease-fighting nutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin. These nutrients are carotenoids that have been indicated to reduce the risk of macular degeneration, one of the leading causes of blindness in older adults. They also contain choline which is an essential component of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter found in the brain involved in memory and muscle control.”
Nature’s convenience food, eggs make a healthy meal in a minute and they give leavening, structure and richness to cakes and desserts.
Check out our collection of egg recipes and the sweet and savoury ways with eggs below.
Seems everyone has their own preferred way to soft boil an egg. Michel Roux in his authoritative book Eggs suggests taking the eggs out of the fridge about two hours in advance to prevent them from cracking, or piercing the rounded egg of the shell with a pin to allow the air to escape during cooking. Remember to use a pan large enough for all the eggs to lie comfortably. If they knock each other during cooking the shells may crack and some white will escape.
Here is Michel Roux's soft boil technique: "Put your eggs in a saucepan, cover generously with cold water and set over a medium heat. As soon as the water comes to the boil, count up to 60 seconds for a medium egg: the white will be lightly set. If you prefer the white slightly firmer but the yolk still runny, cook the egg for another 30 seconds. For an even firmer white with the yolk just beginning to set, allow 30 seconds more (1½ minutes in total). As soon as the eggs are boiled to your liking, lift them out of the water or they will continue to cook."
For hard-boiled eggs, he suggests turning down the heat as soon as the water boils and simmering for six minutes, then cooling the eggs in a bowl of icy water for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile here are eight ways to add hard-boileds to your day, including Angela Casley's scotch eggs (pictured at the top of the page) which make perfect picnic fare.
- Egg potato and cauliflower salad
- Jewish egg salad
- Stuffed eggs
- Spicy egg on toast
- Bacon, egg and leeks
- Cauliflower with warm spices and egg
- Scotch eggs
- Salad of smoked snapper, fried potatoes, wilted spinach, egg, bacon and labneh
Top it with a fried egg
Ray shows how to perfectly fry eggs in his video and we've got 5 ways to show off your new skill.
- Turkish eggs
- Fish and egg tortilla
- Fried eggs with fresh baked beans and harissa
- Flounder gremolata with fried egg
- Black pudding and fried egg sandwich
... Or a poached egg
Celia's step-by-step to poaching and 7 ways to serve them.
- Pea soup with parmesan croutons and poached egg
- Poached egg on crushed avocado with gruyere cheese and buttery toast
- Smoked fish cakes with poached eggs
- Mince on toast, poached egg, rocket and tomato
- Kumara patties with poached eggs
- Curry crushed potatoes with haloumi and poached eggs
- Eggs benedict
Make an omelette ... or a frittata
Should you ever have wondered, there’s a subtle difference between a frittata and an omelette. The perfect brunch, lunch or dinner for one, in an omelette the partly cooked egg is folded over the filling. Celia Hay shows the way with her classic recipe here.
A frittata is cooked flat, the filling mixed into the raw egg and the whole thing is either flipped to cook the other side or it’s set under a grill to cook the top. An omelette is French and a frittata is Italian. And then there’s the Spanish version, the tortilla, where potato is always included. Frittatas and tortillas are great hot, or taken cold for picnics and lunches and, sliced thin, they make a traditional tapas dish.
- Chilli chicken omelette
- Herb and creme fraiche omelette
- Classic omelette with tomato, basil and feta
- Asian-style tuna omelette
- Peking duck omelette
- Sandwich press omelette
- Crab, ricotta and herb omelettes
- Pumpkin and leafy green frittata
- Basil, goat's cheese and asparagus frittata
- Pasta frittata
- Baby spanish omelettes
- Courgette frittata with pumpkin crust
Make a bacon and egg pie
A Kiwi favourite, however you make it.
Got leftover whites or yolks? Here's how to use them up
10 ways to use up egg yolks
Egg yolks will also keep for two days in the fridge but dry out easily. Add a little water to the dish to help prevent this. Egg yolks don’t freeze well but there’s lots you can do with them, including mayo – homemade is much, much better than anything you could buy. Ray has a video to show you how. Meanwhile here are nine other ways to use them.
- Honey creme brulee
- Real egg custard
- Porterhouse with bearnaise sauce
- Eggs benedict
- Chocolate custard mousse
- Butterscotch custard sauce
- Custard tart with prunes
- Liquorice ice cream
- Passionfruit and coconut ice cream sandwich
5 scrummy ways to use up whites
Don’t throw those egg whites away! They can be refrigerated for a couple of days or frozen in labelled freezer bags or ice cube trays for up the three months. Defrost in the fridge overnight before using.These tempting recipes will put them to good use.
- Feijoa and walnut meringue cake
- Raspberry and passionfruit marshmallows
- Almond meringue cookies
- Baby pavs with kiwifruit and vanilla syrup
- Gluten-free sweet almond friands
Make lemon curd
Get set for the citrus season and use those eggs and lemons to make jars of curd and these easy trifles using it.