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12/16/2012

~ A Simply Satisfying Breakfast: Soft-Cooked Eggs ~

IMG_7596A far back as I can remember, a soft-cooked, 3-minute egg has been my favorite breakfast.  On school days, if mom was making soft-boiled eggs (she called them soft-"boiled"), my brother and I did not have to be called to the breakfast counter twice.  We'd hop up onto our counter-height bar stools and commence to watching the salt drizzle down through the hourglass-shaped 3-minute egg timer.  The moment the salt stopped its journey through the timer, mom took the eggs out of the pot and transferred them to a couple of white egg cups that had yellow chicken feet painted on the bottom of them.  After a few taps around the top of the egg with a knife blade, my mom would carefully peel back the shell to expose the jello-like, jiggly white.  It was up to us to use our teaspoon to break through to the sunny-yellow drizzly, steaming hot yolk! 

IMG_7585We both salted and peppered our eggs as needed, but after that, my brother I had two different approaches to eating our egg. David liked to make a mess of the whole thing by stirring it around, to combine the yolk with the white. Next, he would submerge small pieces of untoasted, crustless, Wonder-type white bread into it. When he had successfuly concocted glop, he ate the entire dripping, soupy mess!  

IMG_7600I ate my egg in a more refined, organized manner.  I was not a dunker or a dipper.  I savored small spoonfuls of yolk like I was sipping liquid gold, avoiding the white at all cost, licking the spoon after each yummy, yellow slurp.  When the yolk was no more, I used the spoon to scrape the white loose from the shell, adding a bit more salt and pepper, to taste.  When I had nothing left but an empty white shell, I proceeded to eat my slice of toast and drink my orange juice!

A Perfect Soft-Cooked Egg:  Eggciting, Eggcellent, Eggceptional!

Culinarily, the ideal soft-cooked egg is cooked until the white is opaque and tender (not rubbery) and the yolk is completely liquid and velvety-smooth.  There are two methods for soft-cooking eggs:  the cold-water method, and, the boiling-water method.  The cold-water method instructs to place the egg(s) in a saucepan with enough cold water to cover, bring to a boil, turn the heat off, cover and allow to sit for 2-3-4 minutes.  That sounds easy enough, but, I find this method to be very inconsistent.  Why?  Because different stoves heat at different rates of speed, which affects the time it takes the water to reach a boil.  As the water heats, the eggs begin to cook, so, the end result will be different on each stove.  I always use the boiling-water method: 

IMG_7516~ Step 1.  Bring the egg(s) to room temperature, so they don't crack when added to the hot water, about 30 minutes before cooking them. My 3-minute recipe is timed for:

large eggs (bigger eggs can be used but will require a longer cooking time, 30-60 seconds)

I (almost) never soft-cook more than 3 eggs at a time.  Why?  Too many eggs added at the same time lower the water temperature too quickly, which affects the cooking time.

IMG_7524 IMG_7523~ Step 2.  In a 2-quart saucepan, bring 5 cups of water to a boil over high heat.  Place your egg on a slotted spoon.  Just before gently lowering it into the boiling water, turn the heat as low as it will go. Gently lower the egg into the water. If you are cooking more than one egg, add them one-at-a-time.

IMG_7544

IMG_7555~ Step 3. Begin the 3-minute timing immediately. Keep an eye on the pot for the entire 3 minutes, adjusting the heat as necessary to keep the water barely simmering. Ideally, the water should be what I refer to as "shivering" or "quivering". Using the slotted spoon, lift the egg(s) out of the water.

IMG_7575 IMG_7567~ Step 4. Using the blunt side of an ordinary table knife, tap around the top of the egg, using just enough force to crack the shell.

~ Step 5.  Carefully remove the peel from the cracked surface, to expose the perfectly cooked egg white!

Stick your spoon into the top, add a bit of salt and pepper and enjoy: 

IMG_7600A Simply Satisfying Breakfast:  Soft-Cooked Eggs:  Recipe yields instructions to perfectly soft-cook as many eggs as you want.

Special Equipment List:  2-quart saucepan; slotted spoon; tableknife

6a0120a8551282970b0147e15b8413970b-800wi 6a0120a8551282970b0147e15c479c970b-800wiCook's Note: Want toast with those perfectly cooked soft-cooked eggs?  You can find my recipe for ~ How to: Make Croutons (& Toasts) ~ in Categories 2, 5, 9 or 15!

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2012)

Comments

Thanks Mel! Don't be tooo jealous. Here for only 5 days and have had to delay golf until mid morning. It's been cool. At least not 12 degrees, like in WI.!
Family coming next weekend, and with 5 grandchildren,I know I will be cooking up eggs of all kinds. I just love it!
Thanks again for your quick response. I'm sure you are swamped. Hope you are getting to Hometown to see your folks? Just talked with Jeanne Towle last week.
Miss the ol' stomping grounds!

Good Morning Marilyn! Florida? I am jealous!

Always remove your eggs from the refrigerator at least 15 minutes prior to cooking them (I prefer 30 minutes).

Sunny-side up eggs are eggs that are fried on just one side.

Eggs-over-easy are eggs that are gently flipped over to fry on the second side and get served with a runny, soft-cooked yolk.

When someone asks me for an egg-over-medium, I cook the egg exactly like I do for an egg-over-easy. Then I remove the pan from the heat and count out 15-30-45 extra seconds, until the egg is the texture the person wants. Once your son perfects his count, his eggs will come out perfect every time!

Mel ~ I have enjoyed your posts for the perfect scrambled eggs and soft cooked eggs too, but I am wondering about eggs over "easy" or "medium?"
Having breakfast in the hotel in Florida this morning, my son asks, " How do you make an egg over medium?" He said he has tried, but can't seem to get it right!
Since I like them over easy, I had no good answer, but knew just who to ask!
Thanks ~ Marilyn!

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