College Kitchen: Eggcellent adventure

Which came first: the kitchen or the egg?

A poached egg served with tomato on top of buttered toast.

Bridget Bennett

A poached egg served with tomato on top of buttered toast.

Lucy Nieboer

Pink Peeps and Cadbury Eggs have some stiff competition from the contents of the brown and white shells care of Mother Hen/Mother Nature. No sugary treat can compete with a soft egg white, crisp and buttery on the edges and tender in the middle or with a broken middle — a flowing stream of rich, intensely yellow yolk.

According to the College Kitchenista’s research, a generation of college cooks is putting all their eggs in the lowest possible basket — scrambled. To add a touch of refinement to any holiday brunch function, use these methods to up your culinary game.

 

Deviled

This wickedly delicious appetizer isn’t tricky to tackle but can look really fancy if you nail the presentation.

 

1 dozen eggs, hard-boiled

2/3 cup mayonaise

1 tablespoon mustard

1 teaspoon salt

1 pinch tumeric

1 pinch cayenne pepper

1 pinch paprika

To hard boil the eggs, cover them in a large pan with about two inches of water. Bring the water to a full rolling boil, then switch it off and cover the pan. Let the eggs sit for 12 minutes. Submerge the eggs in a cold bowl of water until they are completely cool. Gently tap the shells to crack them and peel the shells away.

Cut each egg down the middle length-wise. Setting the clean whites aside, remove the yolks and put them into a bowl. Mash them with a fork until they are finely mashed. Add all the remaining ingredients except the paprika.

Put the mixture into a pastry bag or a plastic baggie with the corner snipped. Pipe a dollop of the yolk mixture into the empty whites. Sprinkle the finished product with paprika. Adapted from Shanon Lacy’s “The Best Deviled Eggs.”

 

Poached

This method of cooking eggs can be a killer if the proper steps aren’t taken. Follow the instructions to a tee and you should have a perfectly portioned, sophisticated breakfast for one.

 

1 egg

Distilled white vinegar

Slices of tomato

Butter

1 piece bread

Salt

Pepper

Fill a small pot with water. Add a splash of vinegar to the water. This will keep the poached egg’s white tighter and closer to the yolk. Bring the water and vinegar to a simmer. If the water begins to boil, turn the heat down.

Crack the egg into a small bowl. Be careful not to break the yolk. Using a spoon, vigorously swirl the water in the pan so there is a whirlpool effect in the middle. Drop the egg into the space created in the middle of the pan. This helps keep the white of the egg from flying up in slimy strands.

After three or four minutes, remove the egg from the water with a slotted spoon. Drain on a paper towel.

Toast and butter your piece of bread. Add slices of tomato and top with the egg. Add salt and pepper to taste.

 

Sunny side up

This breakfast not only tastes great, but it starts the day on a positive note. There’s no waking up on the wrong side of the bed when a bacon smiley face greets you at the breakfast table.

 

2 eggs

2 pieces of bacon

Salt

Pepper

Heat a cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the bacon to your preferred level of doneness. Drain on a paper towel. Without removing the fat from the pan, carefully crack the eggs onto the hot surface. The salty oil will make for a beautifully brown crust on the edges of the eggs.

Transfer the skillet to an oven preheated to 350 degrees. After about four minutes the whites should be solid, and the yolks still runny. Remove the pan from the oven, and plate the eggs and bacon. Season generously with salt and pepper.

 

One of the first steps to achieving the title of “Iron Chef: College Kitchenisto/a” is mastering the basics. Once you crack the case of the yolk and the white, tougher recipes will be a breeze.