How to Fry an Egg

Heather says:

Today we’re covering fried eggs -as new projects to procrastinate develop- I’ll also address: scrambled eggs, omelets, frittatas, quiche, and my as yet unnamed hybrid of the three techniques that feeds my family on a busy evening when I have no interest in effort.

So what is a fried egg? Well there are five ways to have them, in this tutorial:

The Great Fried Egg TutorialGot that?

If you do not have a nonstick pan before you even pull the eggs out of the fridge, you have a little prep work. Grab a bottle of vegetable oil, a paper towel, salt, and your pan. Wipe the pan with a thin coat of vegetable oil. Heat the pan over medium high heat until it is very hot, but not smoking. Turn off the burner and let it cool completely. Your pan is now conditioned and primed for use.

You must do this if you are using a stainless steel pan or the eggs will stick in the tiny scratches and pits on your pan’s surface. The vegetable oil seals these cracks and lets the eggs fry without making a horrific stuck on mess. If some bits of egg do stick to your pan, scrub with a little bit of salt and a paper towel between batches. If you use soap and water, you’ll have to recondition your pan before cooking more eggs.

Now we’re ready to fry some eggs.

Whether the eggs are basted, sunny side up, over light (easy), over medium, or over hard they all start the same:

Gather your conditioned or nonstick pan, your fat -butter, bacon grease, coconut oil, or vegetable oil,- and a spatula. Flipping eggs without a spatula will be covered in a future post. Just hang tight if that’s your goal.

The amount of fat you’ll use depends completely on the size of your pan. You want 1/8″ of fat / oil, less than that and the eggs may stick with more, they may be greasy.

Turn your burner to medium or your griddle to 325F. Allow the pan and fat to heat. To check and see if the pan is ready sprinkle a TINY -you read that right? TINY- amount of water. It should sizzle. If it pops, turn the heat DOWN.

Oil that is too hot causes brown, crispy edges.

Oil that is too cool lets the eggs spread too far which makes them harder to flip.

Reduce the heat to low, unless you’re using a griddle, in that case just leave it alone, but know you’ll have to flip sooner.

Now here’s where the methods diverge.

Baste with a lidFor basted eggs, sprinkle a few drops of water over the eggs and cover. Cook just until the whites are set. The steam will create a thin film of cooked white over the yolk.

For sunny side up eggs cook slowly until the whites are set, then use a spatula to remove from the pan. This is boring, but effective.

To fry eggs over light, medium, or hard they must be turned.

Egg Flip Slide the tip of your spatula all the way around the edge of the white, to ensure the egg is not sticking the pan. Then, slide the spatula halfway under the eggs, in one motion lift up and turn over toward the side of the egg that does not have the spatula under it. That edge (marked in my ever so spiffy illustration with a blue arrow) should never lose contact with the pan.

Remember! Flip gently or suffer the consequence of broken yolks. Remember you will probably break a few before you get the hang of the turn.

Ready to flipFor over light / easy eggs leave them alone until the edge of the white is set, there will still be a pool of unset white surrounding the yolk. Let the egg cook for only a few seconds to set the rest of the white and transfer it to a plate to serve.

Over medium eggs should cook until the white is mostly set, then turned and allowed to cook for 15 – 20 seconds. The yolk should be thick and partially, but not fully cooked. If you break it with a fork, it should still flow, but not be super runny.

Break YolksFor over hard eggs, break the yolk with a fork, then flip and allow to cook until the yolk is completely set.

Enjoy!

Related Post:

How to Hard Boil an Egg

Lowcountry Boil

It’s Memorial Day weekend in the US. Spend time with your loved ones and remember those who sacrificed so we could spend this time together. The recipe below is a classic great for get-togethers with the framily [sic].

Heather says:

Making Low Country Boil is a time honored tradition in the South. Remember how leery I was when I posted my recipe for fried chicken? Lowcountry boil* is another traditional recipe where people will bicker over the right way to get things done. What I’m sharing below is a framework; how you change the ingredients to fit your taste will depend on the tradition you are following or creating.

*notice that sometimes there is a space and sometimes there isn’t, that’s a whole other debate. I tend to stick to Lowcountry, but other people have strong opinions on the matter.

This recipe for Lowcountry boil can be multiplied to feed a crowd. The proportions are for 4lbs medium to large headless, deveined shrimp.

It’s a casual dinner, meant to be enjoyed with cold beer, lots of napkins, talk about the heat, and good friends.

Lowcountry Boil is a one pot wonder. The sausage, potatoes (and onions, if you’d like) are tossed in first, then comes the sweet corn, and finally, at just the last minute the shrimp join in the fun. Never forget, over cooked shrimp are rubber shrimp; as soon as they are cooked through, it’s time to lift the basket or strain the contents.  I’m not cool enough to have a basket insert. Large batches can be prepared outdoors in a turkey fryer, with the exact same timeline.

If you have a picnic table, cover it with newspaper or butcher’s paper, dump out the spread and everyone can pick at the Lowcountry boil to their hearts’ content. Having to peel the shrimp slows people down enough to enjoy the meal and complain about the heat and bugs. It’s a bonding experience.

Lacking a picnic table, we chose to eat indoors, but enjoyed it all the same.

Recipe for Lowcountry Boil

  • 2 lbs smoked or kielbasa sausage, cut into 1 inch pieces  (We prefer smoked, sorry Mom)
  • 3 lbs new or Yukon Gold potatoes – If they are large, quarter them
  • Optional 1 – 2 onions, paper removed and quartered
  • 6 ears of corn, husks and silk removed, broken or cut in half
  • 4 lbs medium shrimp, headless and deveined
  • Crab Boil (love me some Zatarains) or Old Bay Seasoning (I two time on Zatarains w/ Old Bay)  – to taste, somewhere between 2 tsp per quart of water – 1 TBSP per quart
  • 3 – 4 whole cloves (not heads) of garlic

Heat a large pot of water over medium-high heat and add the crab boil or Old Bay.

While waiting for the water to boil, beware of sneak thieves, they will lurk about.

When the water boils add the potatoes, garlic, optional onions, and sausage. You can reduce the heat a little, but keep it boiling. After 10 minutes add the corn

Cook for 5 minutes.

Add the shrimp, turn off the heat, and cook for 3 minutes.

Strain.

Serve.

Enjoy.

Shrimp Quesadillas

Heather says:

I promise you, that if you can make grilled cheese, you’ve got these shrimp quesadillas in the bag. In our house as the weather gets warmer we find ourselves reaching for lighter and lighter fare. Shrimp quesadillas are a perfect main dish item for spring and summer. Don’t go too heavy on the cheese, allow the shrimp to take center stage. If you want to go even lighter, skip the butter on the tortilla, it’s delicious with or without. Serve these as a main dish or appetizer with salsa and guacamole. A handful of raw bell peppers are a perfect side. If you’re only cooking for two, just reduce the shrimp to one pound and use half the tortillas.

If you want these shrimp quesadillas to have a kick, go ahead and leave the jalapeño seeds and ribs intact. Just don’t come crying to me later. Be careful not to boil the shrimp too long, they’ll get rubbery.

I will note that if you use carb balance tortillas, you just might find yourself eating just the filling. Not that anyone around here is guilty of that.

 

Shrimp Quesadillas

Recipe: Shrimp Quesadillas

Summary: Quick and easy shrimp quesadillas, perfect for a beginner cook.

Ingredients

  1. 2 lbs peeled and deveined shrimp
  2. 1/2 cup lime juice – about 2 medium limes
  3. 2 TBSP ground cumin
  4. 3 green onions, chopped
  5. 1 handful cilantro, chopped
  6. 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
  7. 8 tortillas (burrito size)
  8. Shredded cheese
  9. Butter

Instructions

  1. Bring a stockpot of water to a full boil. Add the shrimp to the pot and cook for one to two minutes.
  2. Drain the shrimp and run under cold water to stop the cooking process.
  3. While the water is coming to a boil, mix together the lime juice, cumin, jalapeno, green onions, and cilantro in a large bowl. Once the shrimp are cold, add them to the bowl and toss to evenly coat. Allow to marinate for 10 – 30 minutes.
  4. Heat a large skillet or griddle to medium. Place a buttered tortilla in the skillet and add 1/4 lb of the shrimp mixture to one half of the tortilla. Sprinkle with cheese and fold the tortilla. Cook for a couple minutes on each side until the desired level of browning has been achieved. (If you skip the butter your tortilla won’t brown)

Cooking time (duration): 30

Diet type: Pescatarian

Number of servings (yield): 4

Meal type: dinner

Culinary tradition: USA (Southwestern)

I’m trying out some new recipe software, tell me what you think. Do you like the format?

 

Print Friendly
 Shared on Mouthwatering Monday and Tasty Tuesday.

Garlic and Soy Chicken Thighs

Heather says:

The humble chicken thigh certainly doesn’t get as much attention as its counterpart the boneless skinless chicken breast.  In my area BSCB have been running in the neighborhood of $5 a pound on sale, which makes thighs much more attractive. This recipe is flexible, substitute low sodium soy sauce if you wish.  If you have it on hand, consider adding fresh, grated ginger.

Printable Grocery List.

Garlic and Soy Chicken Thighs

Ingredients

  • 6 – 8 chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 spring onion or 2 green onions, chopped
  • 3 – 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • black pepper* to taste

Directions:

Trim the excess skin and fat from each chicken thigh. I leave just enough skin to cover the meat.  Place the breasts in a baking dish just big enough to accomodate the chicken.  If you have too much space between the pieces the sugars in the sauce will burn and your evening’s entertainment will consist of dish scrubbing.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Whisk together the soy sauce, honey, onion, garlic, and pepper*.  Pour the sauce over the chicken.  Turn each piece so it is well coated and then leave it skin side up.

Bake at 350°F for 30 – 40 minutes.

*If you aren’t cooking for sensitive palates (ie young kids or picky spouses) consider substituting crushed red pepper flakes for the black pepper.  These will add a nice kick.

Homemade Challah

Heather says: see the end for a note

 

retrochick.JPGMichele says:

Now that September is nigh, relief from the insanity of summer is in sight.  Kids go back to school, vacations cease, and life gets back to normal until the seemingly just around the corner winter holiday season.  Assuming you’re not Jewish, that is.  And if you are Jewish, getting the kids to school on time is the last thing on your mind, because you know that September is the beginning of what feels like a month of constant holidays.

Since Jewish holidays are based on the Hebrew calendar, the holidays are on different dates on any given year.  This year, September kicks off with Rosh Hashana, followed—a mere nine days later—by Yom Kippur.  But that’s not all, folks!  This year September is also the time for the week-long Sukkot, which winds down with Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah.  Just in case you were counting, that’s 12 days of holidays in a 30 day month.  And, as with most holidays, they all call for a whole lot of cooking (well, except for that pesky fast on Yom Kippur).

I have no idea how they do it, but year after year all the balboste don their Super Woman capes and bang out dish after dish without breaking a sweat.  Briskets are braised and served up with tzimmes, an obligatory kugel will appear from the oven looking so delicious you want to eat it then and there (who cares about burning your tongue?), dry matzo will magically turn into floating balls, and of course there will be challah—a bread rightfully loved by Jews and gentiles alike.

Challah (the “ch” is guttural; think “holla!”) is a rich, eggy, slightly sweet bread similar to brioche.  It is traditionally braided, but it can also be baked in a loaf pan to use as sandwich bread.  Challah makes wonderful French toast, excellent bread puddings, and is awesome eaten out of hand.  As a bonus, it’s an excellent cure for “how did all of these eggs get in my refrigerator?” syndrome.

 photo challah-1_zpsc7edef7b.jpg

All of that to say…  Happy challah-days everyone!  Now let’s get baking.

P.S.  Shanah tovah to those ringing in the new year!

PICTURE ONE HERE

Homemade Challah

For dough:

  • ½ cup warm water
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 + 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 + 2 cups of bread flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 whole eggs, divided
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons kosher salt

For egg wash:

  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 teaspoon water

Step One: Combine ½ cup warm water with 2 teaspoons yeast in the bowl of the stand mixer.  Add 1 tablespoon of sugar to the water and yeast.  Let sit until the yeast is foamy, about five minutes.

Step Two: Add 1 cup of bread flour to the yeast mixture, using your unattached dough hook as a “spoon” to combine the mixture.  Mix in 2 whole eggs and 2 egg yolks, then stir in 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil.

Step Three: Once the dough is a sticky, gloopy mess, attach the dough hook to the mixer.  Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar and 1 – 2 teaspoons kosher salt to the mess, followed by 1 cup of bread flour.

Start the mixer on “stir” and let the dough mix until well combined, about 5 minutes; the dough will be sticky at this point.  Stop the mixer, then add the remaining 1 cup of bread flour.

Restart the mixer on “stir” and let the dough knead until it passes the “poke test” described in Step Five of this post.  When the dough cleans the side of the bowl and passes the poke test, turn it out onto the counter and form it into a ball.

Grease your mixing bowl with vegetable oil (or nonstick spray) before returning the dough to the bowl to rise.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until doubled, about 90 minutes.

Step Four: When the dough is doubled, punch it down.  Recover the bowl and let the dough rise until it doubles again.  After the second rise, punch the dough down again and form it into a ball.

Make an egg wash by combining 1 whole egg and 1 teaspoon water.

Step Five A (braided challah): Divide the ball into six (or three) evenly sized pieces.  Roll the pieces into 12 inch long ropes, then roll the ropes in bread flour to prevent sticking.

Pinch the ends of the ropes together to form something that looks like a six-bodied snake.

 photo challah-2_zpsed00a938.jpg

 photo challah-3_zps0ea7bb79.jpg

To make a six stranded braid, pick up the outermost left rope and place it over the two ropes to its right.

 photo challah-5_zpsb43bb5bb.jpg

Then, guide the same rope of dough under the rope in the middle.

 photo challah-6_zpsdb815b6c.jpg

Finally, place the rope over the outermost two right ropes.  (My mantra: over two, under one, over two.)

 photo challah-7_zps5ba590f5.jpg

Repeat the process, making sure to always start with the outermost left rope of dough.  (You can also just make your standard issue three-stranded braid.)

 photo challah-8_zps59ebdc79.jpg

When you have no more dough to braid, squeeze the ends together and tuck them under the body of the loaf.

 photo challah-9_zps0c275bae.jpg

Place the loaf on a parchment- or nonstick baking mat-lined baking sheet (make sure the edges are tucked!), then brush with egg wash.  Cover with greased plastic wrap and preheat the oven to 375 F.

 photo challah-1_zpsc7edef7b.jpg

Step Five B (sandwich challah): Roll the dough up as described in the sandwich bread post.  Place the prepared dough into a greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pan, slash the dough as described in the previously linked sandwich bread post then brush with egg wash.

Loosely cover the pan with a greased piece of plastic wrap and preheat the oven to 375 F.

Step Six: Once the oven is hot and the dough has risen for 20 to 30 minutes, remove the plastic wrap and brush with another layer of egg wash.

Place either loaf in the center of the preheated oven and bake about 35 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

Let cool on a rack before cutting (or just tear off a hunk and have at it).

Makes 1 braided or 9×5-inch loaf.  L’chaim!

 

Michele Newell is a housewife turned blogger turned Home Ec 101 contributor.  You can read her near daily ramblings at Dreams Unreal.

Michelle had this post finished in a timely fashion and it was too good not to use. I was the one remiss in getting it published. I want to thank her and for all of you for your support during this time. I thought that for sure I’d be feeling more human by now. I thought that since we weren’t particularly close that I wouldn’t take it as hard as I did. I’m finding the opposite to be true. The guilt and grief are still as real as they were the day of the funeral, only now it’s time to begin to return to normal. I take great comfort in what Bruce Sallan told me on the phone the other day as we spoke about an upcoming event on suicide prevention: This too shall pass.

I also want to note that together with PostSecret and the Weiskopf family and Team Trey, that we managed to raise $50,000, enough to keep Iamalive around another year. To all who participated I say thank you, from the bottom of my very broken heart, thank you. And I wish we weren’t coming together over something terrible.