Thursday, January 14, 2010

Nest Eggs

I do try to keep this blog vegetarian and vegan-friendly, so before I get started on this entry I'll explain why I'm featuring eggs.

Lately there have been more and more people who are taking care of chickens themselves and personally overseeing the process of egg-laying, discovering as well how intelligent and interesting chickens are. With the immense recent push towards local, organic, free range, and ethical farming -- rather than the horrible factory farming that has been so widespread for so long -- it is becoming easier to find eggs that aren't tainted with guilt and cruelty.

I will say that if you eat eggs, avoid factory farms and avoid, above all, eggs from battery hens: these are immensely cruel and completely unethical. True free-range eggs should generally note this on the package, but you can do research into any company online and see if they're free-range and ethical, or not. It is the age of information, so please take advantage of that information at your fingertips. There's an immense amount of data out there for you to enjoy, which wasn't so readily available even a mere two decades ago.

That having been said, if you have access to some cruelty-free eggs and want to put them to good use, one of the simplest and most delicious methods is a fried egg, ideally over medium. 'Over medium' means that the egg is fully cooked, but the yolk is still a little bit runny. It's thick, however, and not watery. That's generally the ideal. Serve two of these with a little salt and pepper, and you've got breakfast in five minutes.

Fried Eggs


2 eggs

1) Break the eggs into a bowl. This is so you can inspect them easily for any kind of impurity. Blood in the yolk, burst yolk, and so forth will mean you need to discard the egg. However, small impurities like a little shell fragment can be picked out and the egg salvaged. Handle them gently.

2) Oil a medium-sized frypan. You can also use cooking spray. Heat it to medium-high heat. When it's hot enough (it should take a few minutes, you can start it heating while you prepare the eggs), pour the eggs in. The whites should become...well, white...immediately.

3) Cover the frypan and let cook for 3-5 minutes.

4) Remove lid and inspect. Yolks should be golden yellow, and you should be able to touch the top of the whites at any point and not have it come off on your finger or spatula.

5) Remove from heat and slide them off onto a plate, carefully using a spatula. Garnish with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, because they cool quickly.

Tips and Such:

- It's best to use eggs that aren't fresh, when you're doing almost anything with them. Fresh eggs are harder to break and the yolks are easier to burst. Let eggs sit refrigerated for a couple of days before using them.

- Never let eggs sit out too long. Certain cooks call for them to come to room temperature, which is fine as long as you use them immediately. If you break open an egg, use it as soon as possible.

- You can use two separate small bowls or individual cups to break the eggs into, to avoid having to throw both away in case the second one is bad. If you break an egg directly into the frypan, you will run the risk of having a bad egg (no pun intended) cooking the moment it hits the surface. You'll have to throw out whatever's in there and wash the frypan, and start over, which takes time and wastes materials.

- If you cook the eggs for too long, the yolks will look milky. They aren't bad, this just tends to mean that most of the yolk has been cooked and will be solid. These are called 'over hard' naturally I can get behind that!

- Use exotic spices to make them even more enjoyable.

I hope you'll enjoy this quick little recipe. You can easily prepare eggs anytime, for a quick bit of nutrition and taste. Although you may not get them perfectly over medium the first time, with practise and experience you'll be able to make a perfect egg without even thinking. It's a quick, easy breakfast or dish any time of the day!

Until next time, keep on cooking!

};) Dhiar <3

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