Friday, April 10, 2009
The humble egg I must praise,
Its versatility does amaze,
No food is more delicious,
Or so highly nutritious.
If your pockets aren’t deep,
You can dine well on the cheap,
One full carton that you buy,
Will a dozen eggs supply,
Always select AA grade,
These have longest before they fade,
Large ones are best,
Do not choose any of the rest,
Recipes are always tested,
And this size is what’s requested.
Farm-fresh eggs in all their splendor,
Are so rich and so tender,
With yolks gold as the sun,
Cook in no time till done,
Fragile white and brown shells,
Also different colors pastel.
We owe many thanks to the chicken,
Eggs expertly clarify, bind, and thicken,
Then there’s duck egg and quail,
If only you can find them for sale,
Egg wash as a glaze or dip,
Browns and won’t let a crumb coating slip,
As a leaver eggs act,
So many possibilities once cracked.
For the first meal of the day,
I’ll take my eggs any way,
Scrambled or over-easy,
It’s not hard to please me,
Boiled soft or hard,
Fried, preferably in lard,
Or breakfast sandwich on ciabatta,
Even sunny side up,
As long as there’s coffee in my cup.
I like breakfast tacos so spicy,
Truffled eggs though pricey,
Omelettes with mushrooms and Swiss,
Coddled eggs I won’t miss,
No egg have I denied,
With sausage or bacon on the side.
And I haven’t even mentioned yet,
Morning quick breads, don’t forget,
Eggs are a must,
Without them crêpes would go bust,
There would be no pancakes or waffles,
How to make muffins would baffle.
Not just for breakfast or brunch,
Equally satisfying at lunch,
For a snack any time,
An egg is so sublime,
Even for late dinners,
Eggs are definitely a winner.
Serve a quiche with crust brown,
A poached egg with frisée and lardons around,
Egg salad on rye,
Scotch eggs deep-fried,
Homemade pasta knead,
Deviled eggs with dill weed.
So many Asian dishes,
Also fulfill my egg wishes,
Egg drop soup is nice,
My favorite part of fried rice,
Pad Thai noodles with stir-fried eggs please,
As does egg foo yung, omelette Chinese.
Eggs go on green salad sliced,
As a mimosa garnish diced,
Eggs sauces too make,
All of these examples take,
Over eggs Benedict hollandaise,
Everything’s better with aïoli or mayonnaise,
On the sweet side sabayon,
Or in Italian zabaglione.
Necessary no matter what you bake,
For genoise or sponge cake,
Angel food light as air,
Any custard you prepare,
Crème anglaise frozen till ice,
Pudding, chocolate, bread, or rice,
Cinnamon-scented French toast,
Pot de crème worthy of boast,
Crème brûlée, crème caramel, and flan,
Eggs are critical in the plan.
Without eggs you cannot do,
Perfect tasting pâte à choux,
Popovers filled with cheese,
Buttercream from pastry bags to squeeze,
Vanilla bean pastry cream,
Mousse as fluffy as a dream,
Marshmallows and divinity candy,
So many ways eggs are handy.
If floating islands you will create,
You don’t use whole eggs straight,
Separate yolk from white,
But be sure to do it right,
With a single drop of fat,
The foam will certainly go flat,
Whip whites and sugar together,
Your meringues will be light like a feather,
Soufflés savory or sweet,
Whites to stiff peaks you must beat.
Who cares what the name,
Eggs, oeufs, or huevos, they deserve acclaim,
The ovum is a wonder to behold,
Of this I have now much told,
Any cook must conclude,
Eggs are the perfect food,
It’s the generosity of the hen,
That can sustain the race of men.
No matter how many I ate,
The next with great anticipation I await,
Don’t make me beg,
For any meal, please cook me an egg.
Eggs en Cocotte
Unsalted butter, for greasing the ramekins
¼ cup heavy cream or crème fraîche
6 large eggs
Freshly ground black pepper
Minced fresh chives, for serving
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Butter 6 ramekins and divide the cream or crème fraîche among them. Add 1 of the eggs to each ramekin and place them into a roasting pan. Add enough hot water to the roasting pan to come half way up the sides of the ramekins and bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until the desired doneness. Remove from the water bath and season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with plenty of chives and serve immediately.
Serves 6. This is a most simple, yet delicious version of Eggs en Cocotte. If you like, add bit of chopped ham, browned sausage, diced tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, or cooked vegetables to the bottom of the ramekins. And feel free to top the eggs with a sprinkling of shredded cheese. You can cook 2 eggs per ramekin for big eaters. Serve with a baguette.