I’m lov­ing

Matt Pre­ston’s lay­ing down egg facts.

delicious - - CONTENTS -

WEL­COME TO THE sea­son of the Easter egg, but rather than rhap­sodise about choco­late, let’s cel­e­brate the egg. Af­ter all, eggs have been con­nected to Easter far longer. The pa­gan world saw them as the per­fect sym­bol of re­birth af­ter win­ter. Yup, the pan­cakes of the Chris­tians’ Shrove Tues­day are a hang­over from those pa­gan days – and my recipe for golden egg curry con­tin­ues that con­nec­tion. So let’s an­swer the big­gest egg ques­tion of all:

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO WITH AN EGG?

1. Make prawn scram­bled eggs with chunks of sweet prawn meat cooked with the eggs. Use the prawn shells to make a prawn but­ter to driz­zle over at the end with some chives or spring onions.

2. When slow scram­bling eggs, stir in cold cream or cubed but­ter when they are per­fect. This is done to halt the cook­ing process so the egg pro­teins don’t over­heat and set hard, rather than to add more rich­ness – al­though this is a lovely bonus.

3. Store your eggs with the pointed ends point­ing down. This helps cen­tre the yolks, ac­cord­ing to my favourite eggs-pert, the pi­o­neer of Bri­tish gas­tron­omy, Michel Roux.

4. Dev­illed eggs are quite the bar snack trend, but orig­i­nally (like 130 years ago) they had but­ter, ham and mus­tard mashed into the yolks, rather than the more re­cent ad­di­tion of some­thing hot (Tabasco, sriracha, pureed chilli, curry pow­der).

5. Dip some­thing other than sol­diers into soft-boiled eggs to make them a lit­tle sex­ier – whether that’s crisped ba­con, smoked mus­sels or oys­ters on tooth­picks. Crum­ble in smoked eel, dukkah or a fried ca­per pan­grat­tato to lift your go­ogy to new heights. WHAT SHOULDN’T YOU DO WITH AN EGG?

DON’T BOIL ‘EM ‘Boiled eggs’ is a mis­nomer. In fact, boiled eggs should be sim­mered to re­duce the chance of the egg crack­ing.

DON’T SALT ‘EM I know it’s very trendy to put egg yolks into salt to cure them. Mi­lanese chef Carlo Cracco started this fad for his egg-yolk-only ‘flour-free pasta’, but for my money, the re­sult­ing am­ber putty has all the gus­ta­tory plea­sure of scrap­ing yes­ter­day’s fried egg yolk off a plate you for­got to wash up.

DON’T PRE­SERVE ‘EM Those Chi­nese 100-year-old eggs are the stuff my night­mares are made off. If you must pre­serve eggs, ei­ther pickle them or turn them into lemon curd.

DON’T WORRY ABOUT THE COLOUR The shell colour is im­ma­te­rial. The per­cep­tion that brown eggs are health­ier stems from the fact that when the Rhode Is­land Red hen was in­tro­duced, the sur­round­ing New Eng­lan­ders pre­ferred the brown eggs the hens laid be­cause they could see they were lo­cal and there­fore fresher. Eggs from other parts were white-shelled.

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