…And how to make soft-boiled eggs.
Now, I know that I haven’t posted in a bit. I got bogged down by a lot of work, but I’m on a mini-vacation from parts of it. So, now I can focus on continuing writing for spaces like this one! Let’s talk about eggs.
I’m definitely the type of person that believes a fried egg on top of a burger, or really anything, improves it ten-fold. I love its protein, I love its yolk, I love its whites. All of it. My favorite type of egg? Large brown ones. Like these bad boys:
A History of Our Love for Eggs
I’m not the only one who enjoys eggs. So, why are they so popular? If we want to take it way back, we could look at how fowl have been domesticated for thousands of years, or eggs of some variant eaten for just as long or longer:
– History of Eggs, Quatr
According to foodtimeline.org, eggs popularity came down accessibility and adaptability:
“Because eggs are relatively easy to obtain, excellent protein sources, adaptable to many different types of recipes (from simply boiled, fried, or stuffed to complicated quiche, custards or meringue), and fit the bill for meatless fasting days required by some religions. In this last role? Eggs have been the object of much socio-religious symbolism and tradition.”
This is pretty easy to get behind when one considers the amount of recipes and meals eggs appear in – either as an invisible ingredient hiding in a mixture, to the star of the show.
Incredible Egg has a short timeline of the egg’s history. The main gist is that around the 1960s, fowl farmers were able to industrialize and harvest eggs at a lower cost to them and the consumer. Even though that is true for American eating habits, we certainly are a young nation with still a junior role in culinary exploration. Bon Appétit explores this a little in their post about eggs for breakfast.
But what about not-breakfast? Certainly we’ve all seen the soft-boiled eggs at brunch; the creative spins on the Eggs Benedict; the fried eggs atop a delicious Hawaiian meal; deviled eggs at a classic Easter meal.
Shirred eggs are eggs baked in ramekins with a water bath, and are most commonly associated with French cuisine. Traditionally this dish is served at breakfast and brunch, but a dish like this one can suit any occasion. It’s the deviled egg of the fancy food world. This dish became its most popular in the 19th and 20th centuries – made from simple ingredients and happily welcome in most post-war households.
Similarly, the Italian frittata is a dish easy to improvise and easy to serve all-day. But what originally derived as an Italian term for cooking eggs into a skillet, turned into a technique of making a thick, open-faced omelette-like meal packed with a variety of ingredients.
Mid-century homes took all the tradition they were raised on and sought to elevate those dishes for family and friends. It’s because of these innovations we have some of the same applications of cuisine in our own homes today. I certainly was inspired by the down-home restaurants that took Mamma’s recipe and made it an inspired take on history. It’s what drives me to try new things in my own kitchen. We owe eggs a lot.
Easy Soft-Boiled Egg Recipe
|Prep Time + Cooking Time||6-10 minutes.|
|Meal Prep Friendly||Not totally.|
|Yields||As many eggs as you want!|
|Meal Time||Snack, Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Dinner|
|Best Served As||An addition to a salad, a side to a brunch, atop toast, in whatever you want.|
Soft-boiled eggs are so, so tricky. And honestly, I’ve only gotten it right a few times. The rest of the time it’s just a little too runny or it’s straight-up hard-boiled.
I say this to ease your tension if you find yourself frustrated by your first few attempts. I managed to get a couple right when working on this post, though.
I put mine on top of toast, on top of greens, and covered it all in basil and cotija cheese.
Do you love eggs as much as I do?