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Egg Tips



Always use free-range eggs – happy chickens lay tasty eggs.

Wherever possible use a non-stick pan, otherwise a well-seasoned cast iron pan, but make sure that your frying pan has rounded sides for rolling the omelette.

Whatever your filling, remember that things like spinach, onions or mushrooms should be cooked first – a folded omelette should only generate enough heat inside to melt cheese and warm the rest of the ingredients. So uncooked onions etc. will remain raw.

Make sure the pan is not too hot – a good omelette should have very little colour on the outside. A pan that is too hot will cause the egg to be unpleasant and crispy.

Omelettes should always be a little moist in the centre – hard rubbery, over cooked eggs are a no-no!

When cooking frittata or Spanish tortilla, follow the same rule for cooking the filling first. The reasons are exactly the same as for a traditional or French omelette.

Cooking a frittata is a little more aggressive than cooking a French omelette ­– a little caramelisation on the outside is not undesirable.

After allowing a crust to form in the pan, place the pan into a hot oven (200˚C) but be careful not to leave the frittata in the oven too long as you don’t want it to overcook and dry out. Remember, the egg will continue to cook once you remove it from the oven. Ideally the egg mixture should still be a little wobbly in the centre.

When turning a frittata out, leave it in the pan for a few minutes if it looks like it may stick. As the frittata steams a little in the pan it will naturally loosen itself and be easier to turn out.

Poached Eggs:

The most important thing about poaching eggs is the freshness of the eggs. The fresher the egg, the more the white congeals or “gels” around the yoke when its broken.

A good freshness test is to put an egg in a glass of water – if it sinks to the bottom, then it is fresh. The older an egg gets, the more air it will absorb through the porous shell – older eggs will either only sink marginally and really old eggs will float.

Older eggs make poaching problematic as the egg white disperses in the water rather than holding together – this is why you should always put a couple of tablespoons of vinegar in the poaching water.

Break each egg into a small coffee cup or dariole mould. This makes it much easier to gently pour the egg into the water rather than dropping it in from breaking it over the water.

The water temperature is also very important when poaching eggs – it should just simmer. Remember, you are not boiling the eggs you want a gentle cooking process that will keep the egg intact.

Always use a slotted spoon when removing the eggs from the water.

There is a trick if you need to make a lot of poached eggs: When you remove the eggs for the poaching liquid, place them in an ice bath so that they cool down immediately. When you need to serve them, simply drop them back into hot water for a few seconds to reheat them. This way you can serve a number of eggs at a time with stressing about poaching multiple eggs at once.

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