Eggs, eggs, eggs: In the Easter time, there seems to be no other topic. If from chocolate, hard candy or the ‘real’ ones – supermarkets almost seem to offer nothing else these days. One reason for The Uni Cookbook to make a little Easter special!
Eggs – what’s in them?
If you buy eggs in the supermarket, they are usually chicken eggs (although you can sometimes also get the larger goose eggs or small quail eggs. A medium sized quicken egg contains between 70 and 80 kcal, 7g of fat and up to 6g of protein. This is especially important for people who eat only a few or no meat at all. Our metabolism can only use relativesly small amounts from vegetable protein, so to get to your daily protein dose, you need to eat much more vegetable protein than animal products. But consider how you eat your egg: a study published in the Journal of Nutrition shows, that in raw eggs, only 51 per cent of the protein is bio-available, whereas in cooked egg you have 91 per cent bio-available protein. So with simply cooking an egg, your body can absorb almost twice as much protein as from raw eggs!
Eggs – how to store them
Although in the supermarket (or on a farmers market if you’re lucky to have one in your area) eggs are not cooled, you should keep them refrigerated at home. This is to keep them fresh and make sure that they don’t go off before the ‘best before’ date stamped on them. If you have boiled an egg, you can even store it outside the fridge for a couple of weeks. But if it is still raw, do you have to throw it away after the expiration date? Not necessarily – the next paragraph tells you why!
Eggs – how to test if their are still eatable
The ‘best before’ date was yesterday and you don’t know if you can still eat the egg? Don’t worry, there is a simple trick with which you can test if the egg has already gone off or if you can eat it without hesitation. Fill a pot, measuring jug or any other jar which is bigger than the egg with water, and (gently please – you don’t want to crack it) drop the egg in the water. Does it swim? Uuuuuh – away with it in the bin! If an egg goes off, it develops gases in the inside, which make them swim in the water, with the end with the air cell on top. If the egg ‘stands’ on the bottom of the jar, you can eat it with no worries, this shows that it is only a couple of weeks old and still eatable. If it lies ‘flat’ on the ground, it is just a few days old – very unlikely to see this when the expiration date has already passed, but just in case.
Eggs – how to eat them?
Now comes the yummy bit – there are thousand ways of eating eggs! I have already showed you to make the perfect scrambled eggs, but you have many other options to jazz up you breakfast (or any other meal). For fried eggs, simply heat some oil or butter in a pan and crack the egg right into the pan. If you want to make sure that no eggshell gets into your fried eggs, you can also first crack the eggs into a small bowl and then gently slide them into the pan. Fry the egg on one side until the egg white is set for a ‘sunny side egg’; if you want the yolk to be hard boiled as well, you can either fry it on both sides or add a little water and roast the egg in a pan with a lid. Top it with some salt and pepper before serving.
A nice variation of simple fried eggs is the ‘egg in a basket’. This is done by cutting a hole in a slice of bread and frying the bread in a pan until one side in brown. Then you flip the bread, crack an egg in the hole and season it with salt, pepper and some herbs (try this with rosemary – delicious!). Cover then pan with a lid and fry it as long as you wish – you can eat this ‘hard boiled’ or with a still creamy yolk. Enjoy!
Do you have any other favourite egg recipe? Then why not share it? Send an email with the recipe, your name and – if possible – a picture from the egg dish to email@example.com and I will post it here for you!
And now: Happy Easter!
Picture from Fir0002 via WikiMedia Commons