Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunday Morning Confession

I can make a tender almond butter cake from scratch to serve 100 people, fill it with creamy lemon mousse and fresh raspberries, ice it with white chocolate buttercream then cover it with hand-molded white chocolate seashells,

but I can't fry a damn egg to save my soul.

It's very sad.


Kym said...

It's the pan. Teflon is evil!. Seasoned cast iron add a little melted butter. High heat turned down to low right after the egg is in. Flip when the white solidifies.

Now, Can you teach me how to do that cake? Or better yet just send me a piece. That looks absolutely decadently delicious!

"Bob" said...

Speaking from years of experience as a morning fry cook, I agree with Kym, the key is the pan. Teflon and similar modern "non-stick" cooking surfaces only work for awhile. My post-restaurant discovery is the olive oil atomizer, a thin, even spray under the egg does wonders.

Tricia said...

I use nonstick pans - not teflon - instead hard andonized aluminum. That and some butter and I can fry a perfect egg every time. BUT I could try every day for the rest of my life and not be able to decorate a cake like that. GORGEOUS!

Greg said...

Olive oil with a little butter, in a copper bottomed Revere Ware pan. We have both family's sets.

You can always default to scrambled. Soft-boiled is good, too.

The incredible, edible egg. It's what for breakfast!

Carol said...

I have a chemist friend who helped develop teflon - he would never use it.

Your fried egg is so funny! Did you cook it during the earthquake?

Greg said...

Now, Carol, don't yolk about K's egg. You might crack her up.

Kristabel said...

Ouch, Greg!

Thanks, Tricia!

Thanks for the tips, everyone. Bob, I don't know if it will help, but I've always wanted to try one of those olive oil atomizers.

Now here's another question, Kym. What's the best way to season a cast iron skillet?

Kym said...

With a little salt and pepper....

Here is Kitchen's suggestions. I would add that heat the pans in the oven when you are already cooking something (or your house is cold;>)

New Pans

1. Heat the oven to 250o - 300o
2. Coat the pan with lard or bacon grease. Don't use a liquid vegetable oil because it will leave a sticky surface and the pan will not be properly seasoned.
3. Put the pan in the oven. In 15 minutes, remove the pan & pour out any excess grease. Place the pan back in the oven and bake for 2 hours.

Repeating this process several times is recommended as it will help create a stronger "seasoning" bond.

Also, when you put the pan into service, it is recommended to use it initially for foods high in fat, such as bacon or foods cooked with fat, because the grease from these foods will help strengthen the seasoning.
Pans needing Re-Seasoning

If the pan was not seasoned properly or a portion of the seasoning wore off and food sticks to the surface or there is rust, then it should be properly cleaned and re-seasoned.

1. Remove any food residue by cleaning the pan thoroughly with hot water and a scouring pad. I understand that heating the pan first to a temperature that is still safe to touch helps open the pores of the metal and makes it easier to clean.
2. Dry the pan immediately with dish towel or paper towel.
3. Season the pan as outlined above.

Anonymous said...

A key with cast iron is to NEVER EVER EVER use soap or steel wool -- and Lodge now sells pre-seasoned cookware to save you the trouble ...

But the easiest solution to your eggs-hausting conundrum, which no one has mentioned, is to POACH instead.

I taught my S.O. to poach last year and she's been hooked ever since.

Easy method:

Add about 2-3 Cups of cold water to a small saucepan (enough so there's at least 3-4" of water in the pan).

Then add a splash of vinegar (about 1 Tablespoon) this helps the egg strands coagulate and does not impart flavor.

Apply medium-high flame until the bottom of the pot begins to send off small bubbles -- then reduce flame to medium-low.

Give your egg a good thunk to crack the shell -- but don't break it -- then carefully hold the cracked egg right above the surface of the water and open the goodliness into the steaming waterbath.

(Cheat for scaredycats: crack the egg into a shallow wide lipped bowl -- hold the bowl right on the surface of the water and pour gently into the poaching liquid.)

A three-minute poach yields an over-medium solidity to the yolk, and time enough to toast your English muffin/bread. Less time = runnier. More = golf balls. Vary suiting your taste.

If you're pan is too hot, the eggs may stick to the bottom: Don;t distress, wait until the poach is almost done, then gently pry them off the bottom.

Use a slotted spoon to remove the eggs from the waterbath -- I keep a clean, folded towel nearby -- and dot the bottom of the spoon on the towel for a few seconds to drain the residual drops of water from your yummy egg.

Do with it as you desire. Spank it, slaver it, worship it. (and rejoice! it's healthier than a fried egg, as there are no added fats)

Nanoo, Nanoo. Mork out!

Kristabel said...

Thanks, Kym and Snickerdoodles!

Do with it as you desire. Spank it, slaver it, worship it. (and rejoice! it's healthier than a fried egg, as there are no added fats)

Fabulous! Then I won't feel so bad when I smother it with naughty and decadent hollandaise sauce.

Indie said...

Wow, such good and useful ideas!!! I can relate with the dilemma, Kristabel. I too am capable of lots of useful (and useless) things, but cannot fry an egg, or even boil one without looking at a cookbook! It's embarrassing. And I dearly love eggs. I am going to try Snickerdoodles' poaching method right now.

And your cake is GORGEOUS, on of the most beautiful I've seen. I wish I could pluck one of those white chocolate seashells off it!

Joel Mielke said...

Carol's chemical engineering friend probably wouldn't use teflon, because he knows that it works by shedding a thing layer of polymers every time something sticks to it. Yum.

I'll try Snickerdoodles poaching method. No polymers.

If you can bake a regal cake, who cares if you bungle up the eggs. Scrambled is good. But get rid of that frying pan.

Anonymous said...

Yeah. Ixnay on the anpay.

Poached eggs are great. I suggest cover while they cook.

mresquan said...

If you insist on using a teflon pan,you've gotta get it real hot and well oiled with butter.Plop the egg in there and let it cook for about 30 secs. then grab a spatula and repeatedly run it under the egg to prevent sticking.You'll have yourself a tasty friend egg within 3 minutes.I'll come back here with a recipe when I have more time.Oh,and it always helps when you are enjoying an Irish coffee.

Joel Mielke said...

Using the mresquen method, you'll only get a single layer or two of teflon polymers in your food.

Kristabel said...

Thanks, Indie! It's nice to know that someone else is egglically challenged.

Looks to me like Heraldo and CPR are volunteering to come over and spank me until I throw out all my teflon. No?

mresquan said...

I'm going to spank you with your teflon!!

Kristabel said...

I don't know....are there risks of polymers entering my bloodstream from the spanking?

Ernie Branscomb said...

Kristabel got some good advice.

My trick is to never ever, never, never, ever let a woman get near an egg pan! I know this is going to sound real sexist, but there is just something female and genetic that everything has to be scrubbed clean and polished shinny around a woman.

Long ago, I bought myself a small aluminum pan that I use to cook eggs, it’s only large enough for two eggs and it has a rounded “flip the egg” edge on it. I use drawn butter to oil the pan, start with high heat, dump the eggs in, turn the heat down. Flip when bottom is done. Cook the top gently flip back right side up and slide on a dish.

Nothing touches my pan but me and butter and eggs. The girls in the family have a whole drawer full of nice shiny pans to burn things in. They don’t get to touch mine. I told them that it was on of those male taboo things that “if they touched my pan they would go blind!” Then I keep in in the back of a tall cabinet were they can’t see it and it eases their “Clean Compulsion”.

Anonymous said...

Um, contrary to Ernie's statement, I can do eggs over easy so well, my husband (who never liked eggs over easy)makes me cook them all the time.

I use a non stick pan with LOTS of butter or marg. I know. Healthy, eh?
I can flip them and not break them without a spatula. But not if I use cast iron.

I have a special pan that is only for eggs-small and easy to use.

I think the cake wins, though.

Anonymous said...

call me a bad egg but suzy wouldnt mind getting dresssed up in white rubbber, yellow leather, adn brown lace... specially if i get to get spanked with a spatula when im fryed!


Robin Shelley said...

I'm here because I saw mention of this post over at Ernie's Place... hope you don't mind if I add to the thread. It looks to me like you need to add a little of your favorite grease to the pan & turn the heat DOWN just a little bit... though, to be honest, my eggs sometimes look just like the ones you have pictured here.

Joel Mielke said...

I forgot all of Snickerdoodles' instructions when I poached eggs this morning, except for the splash of vinegar.

It worked! Perfect poached eggs without the usual, hard-as-a-rock eggy residue on the pan.

Thanks, Snickerdoodles!