College Kitchen: Make ’em bEgg.

Eggs: cheap, tasty and nearly perfect nutrition. Go grab a dozen, and we’ll see what we can do!

Samuel Linder

 

You have to remember when thinking about eggs that they are built to be completely self-sustaining. Nothing is more important in the great game of evolution than procreating, and eggs are the spaceship in which babies are blasted off to earth. Just as Kal-elâÄôs mighty Kryptonian vessel packed a life-support system, these oblong little ova are filled with all the nutrients necessary to maintain fragile existence for months. So now, in the time-honored human tradition, itâÄôs time to steal those sweet, sweet nutrients for ourselves.

The reason that eggs are always touted as a breakfast food is those incredibly high protein levels perfect for fueling busy college days. I hate to do this, but your momma was right when she said that your first meal is your most important. Think about it: It doesnâÄôt make much sense to pack in all your petroleum right before you turn off the engine and go to bed at night. That doesnâÄôt mean that you shouldnâÄôt cook eggs whenever you can, though. A&E is here to give you egg recipes for any time of day, any kind of way.

A note to vegans: IâÄôm sorry. Eggs are so important for everyone that isnâÄôt you; I had to include them here in detail. Obviously itâÄôs tough to substitute for such a unique, central ingredient (as anyone whoâÄôs ever tried powdered eggs can attest), but you can add sautéed tofu or seitan in place of eggs to most of the dishes in the âÄúAdditionsâÄù sections. I promise IâÄôll make it up to you next time, OK?

MomâÄôs Hard Boiled Eggs

Hard boiling eggs takes no concentration whatsoever, as long as you own a watch or phone with an alarm function. Which means everyone. Delicious on their own, hardboiled eggs get awesome when you start adding them into other dishes.

Instructions

Put the eggs in a saucepan and cover completely in water. Put the saucepan on the stove over high heat and bring to a boil; as soon as the bubbles are rolling, turn off the heat and set your timer. Wait three to four minutes for a soft boiled egg (the egg connoisseurâÄôs method, but potentially salmonellariffic), and up to nine for the perfect hardboiled egg (it will last forever but doesnâÄôt have that weird green yolk). Run the eggs under cool water until they can be handled and peel. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper for the perfect morning treat or stick in the fridge (indefinitely?!?) so you can add the eggs to another recipe later.

Additions

In this case, weâÄôre adding eggs to other things, but the thought remains the same. Chop a couple of hardboiled eggs and put them on top of any salad (especially Caesar or Cobb) to instantly create a balanced meal. Chop or crush into any pasta sauce or curry (trying to keep large, intact chunks) or sauté with tofu before adding the protein feast to another dish. Turn into deviled eggs by cutting in half, removing the yolks and mixing with mustard, mayonnaise, chives, salt, pepper and a little paprika. Crumble on top of buttered toast or bring them along in your pack on a hiking/road trip for instant sustenance. Try anything here; you really canâÄôt fail!

Fried Eggs

Sunny-side up or fried on both surfaces, these can get rubbery and tough if not treated right. Give the eggs a little TLC, and theyâÄôll give it right back.

Instructions

The trick here is all in the heat, and itâÄôs really no trick at all: the lower the better. Put a skillet on the stove over medium heat for a minute, then add a tablespoon or so of butter or oil. Let it heat for another minute, swirling around the pan, then crack the eggs in. As soon as the white loses its translucence (barely 60 seconds), turn the heat down to low and sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired. Wait five to six minutes until the white is cooked through and devour. Flip over halfway through cooking if you want.

Additions

As with (nearly) any sautéed item, a dash of herbs, spices or minced garlic in the oil prior to egg touchdown adds a lot. Alternatively throw a dash of any liquid seasoning (Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, Sriracha, etc.) into the white just before it sets (loses its translucence). These are another wonderful salad addition; cut them into strips and toss with a cabbage or spinach salad for incomparable nutrition and flavor. Fried eggs are great over rice or noodles with a little vinaigrette or other seasoning. Fried eggs are also great in sandwiches, like the traditional Lent classic pepper and egg: layer fried eggs and sautéed bell peppers on good bread with some salt and pepper and perhaps a few sautéed onions as well.

In that vein, here are two breakfast classics that will remind you of home: make an Egg-in-the-Hole by cutting a circle out of a bread slice with a knife or cup rim. Butter both sides of the bread, and put into the pan with the oil at the start of cooking. After a minute, crack an egg into the hole and let cook for two minutes, then flip the whole contraption over for a few more minutes to finish.

Finally, thereâÄôs my little sisterâÄôs classic breakfast sandwich. As your egg is frying, toast a bagel. Put a couple slices of cheese onto one half of the bagel just before the egg is done (if youâÄôre feeling adventurous top the cheese with apple slices and cinnamon) and then put the finished egg on top of the cheese. Place the top half of the bagel down and wait a little for the heat of the egg to melt the cheese. When itâÄôs all sloppy and gooey, itâÄôs time to dig in.

Scrambled Eggs

This is an absolute classic, easy to make but harder to make right. Try this slow-cook method for a downright dreamy fluff, otherwise cook them faster if deadlines loom.

Instructions

The trick to great scrambled is medium-low heat, hardcore attention and a rubber spatula. Start with a couple tablespoons of oil in a large skillet on medium heat, scrambling up two to eight eggs in a mixing bowl with a whisk (or fork). Add a dash of water to the eggs as you scramble âÄî this will increase fluffiness. DonâÄôt use milk; it messes with the eggsâÄô structural proteins.

When the oil is warm (after a minute or so of heating), pour in the eggs and then let âÄôem sit for a while. Patience is key here because, for maximum fluffiness, you want the eggs to fully set on the bottom before you disturb them. Wait until the edges of the scramble are cooked through and then use the spatula in the following manner: Starting from one edge, slowly push the cooked egg bottoms in towards the center, allowing the uncooked top to flow into the gap. Repeat this process in a circle around the edge until all of the cooked egg is concentrated in the center and let the heating continue. Replicate this process as necessary until the eggs are cooked through, then serve.

Additions

Salt and pepper are key, but beyond that you can add pretty much anything to scrambled eggs. You can also add scrambled eggs to pretty much anything. Garlic, onions, herbs or spices can be thrown into the oil while heating, and any seasoning liquid will work as well. A little wine scrambled into the eggs before theyâÄôre cooked is downright decadent. Sauté any vegetable imaginable (bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, bok choi, bamboo shoots, etc.) and add to the mix. Top with any cheese, beans, sausage, sautéed tofu, ham steak, seitan, bacon or even chopped nuts for extra protein. Salsa of any kind is great over eggs, as are straight-up tomatoes.

Scrambled eggs are great in stir fries, fried rice, pad thai and even spaghetti sauce (try it!). Gentlemen, when a woman accompanies youhome (drunk or otherwise), and you think you might like her but donâÄôt know how to gauge her interest, there is one foolproof method: make her scrambled eggs. Wake up a little before she does (and fight back the urge to try for some sunrise shenanigans), cook up a batch of these airy delights with some peppers, onions and melted sharp cheddar and bring âÄôem to her nice and suave-like. Nothing says âÄúIâÄôm a skilled, sensitive guy with great tasteâÄù like home-cooked breakfast food.