Matt Preston’s laying down egg facts.
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.