Simple Ways to Cook Eggs
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Simple Ways to Cook Eggs
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EASY EGG DISHES

Eggs are one of the least expensive and most versatile sources of animal protein, with a dozen sometimes priced as low as $1 on sale. A few good tips to keep in mind when cooking eggs: Cast-iron cookware can react chemically with egg whites, turning eggs a harmless — but unappetizing — green. If possible, use nonstick cookware instead. The best way to test an egg for freshness, is to put it in the bottom of a bowl of water. Fresh eggs rest on their sides, while questionable eggs float. Egg products are featured in a wide variety of sophisticated fare, but even an inexperienced cook can master these 10 simple dish recipes with ease — perfect for serving at breakfast or any time of the day — soft, hard, fried, baked, poached, scrambled or other method listed below. 

Hard-Boiled Eggs
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HARD-BOILED EGGS

Hard-boiled eggs take little time, are easy and simple to make, portable and convenient for eating on their own and serve as the chief ingredient in other tasty breakfast, lunch or dinner recipes, too, including salads and sandwiches. For easy-to-peel shells, boil eggs that have been sitting in the refrigerator for a few days. Place the raw eggs at the bottom of a pot just big enough to accommodate them (with too much room to move around, the shells may crack before the whites have solidified). Add cool water to a level 1 or 2 inches above the eggs. Put the pot on a cold burner, then turn on the stove and bring the water to a full, rolling boil. Turn off the heat and let the eggs sit in the water for 15 minutes. Remove the hard boiled eggs from the water and submerge in a bowl of ice water. Hard-boiled eggs can keep in the refrigerator for several days and still be good to eat in case you need a protein boost.

Soft-Boiled Eggs
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SOFT-BOILED EGGS

Soft-boiled eggs are also easy to make, take less time than hard boiled eggs, but need to be served in eggcups. If eggcups are unavailable, make do with a ramekin or teacup filled with dry rice or other small grains. To soft-boil eggs, follow the directions for hard-boiled eggs but let the eggs sit in the water for only 2 to 3 minutes. Although soft-boiled eggs can be eaten on their own, they're more popular as a sort of dipping sauce for toast — always a fun tasty addition to brunch. To eat, place the soft boiled egg with the smaller end facing upward. Gently crack the shell near the top, and either scoop out the runny insides with a spoon or dip toast directly inside the soft runny parts of the egg.

Poached Eggs
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POACHED EGGS RECIPE

The simplest use for poached eggs is to serve them on toast, although they're also an ingredient in recipes such as eggs Benedict. Start by filling a saucepan with water 2 inches deep. Add one-half teaspoon vinegar and bring to a simmer — not a full boil. Meanwhile, break an egg (be sure it's fresh) into a small cup or bowl. When the water is simmering, stir it gently to create a slow whirlpool in the center of the pan. Slide the egg into the water (don't let it touch the bottom). The egg should cook for about 2 minutes for a runny yolk, and 4 minutes for a firm yolk. Remove the poached egg with a slotted spoon and place on paper towel to absorb excess water. For perfect results, serve poached eggs immediately, over toast.

Deviled or Stuffed Eggs
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DEVILED EGGS RECIPE

"Deviled" eggs, sometimes called "stuffed" eggs, are simply hard-boiled eggs with the yolks removed, flavored, and returned to the white. Deviled eggs are a bite-sized tasty party classic that never goes out of style. They can also be perfect as a dinner or lunch appetizer to enjoy. When making, start by cutting the eggs in half lengthwise and scooping out the yolks. In a bowl, combine the yolks and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar, one-half teaspoon table salt, one-half teaspoon freshly ground pepper, and 1 and a half teaspoons yellow or spicy brown mustard. Mash together until smooth. Spoon the mixture back inside the yolk-less egg whites and sprinkle with paprika. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to three days. This standard deviled eggs recipe is delicious but can can be modified in an almost endless number of ways to cater to different tastes. 

Fried Eggs
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FRIED EGGS

For novicoe cooks, the hardest part of frying an egg is probably flipping it without breaking the yolk. Start by melting 1 tablespoon of butter or cooking oil in a nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. If using cooking spray instead, heat the pan until a drop of water sizzles instantly and evaporates on contact, then spray. Break the egg, pour it carefully into the pan so the white and the yellow don't intermix, and immediately turn the heat to medium-low. Once the white has set completely, flip it over carefully. Cook for another 1 to 3 minutes, until the yolk reaches the desired firmness and is less runny. Serve fried eggs immediately with toast to mop up any leftover yolk. Fried eggs are also popular as a sandwich ingredient or a topping for other breakfast items, such as corned beef hash.

Fun fact: did you know that in some part of the world, fried eggs (or scrambled or an omelet) and chopped tomato and cucumber salad aren't only a breakfast dish but are served in the evening meal (supper not dinner).

Sunny-Side-Up Eggs
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SUNNY-SIDE-UP EGGS

A slightly different yet delicious classic, sunny-side-up eggs are essentially fried eggs not flipped during cooking and take less time to cook. To cook a perfect sunny side up egg, add 1 tablespoon of butter or cooking oil to a nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. When the butter is melted and sizzling, break the egg (careful not to break the yolk and have it leak into the white), pour it into the pan, and turn the heat immediately to medium-low. The transparent white of the raw egg will solidify and whiten as the egg cooks. One school of thought says to leave the egg alone until the runny white has set completely, then remove from the pan and eat. If preferred, spoon some of the oil or melted butter in the pan over the egg white (but not the yolk) while the egg is cooking to add flavor. Serve with bacon or sausage or alone.

Scrambled Eggs
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SCRAMBLED EGGS

According to expert tips, a quick and easy way of making a breakfast staple, scrambled eggs must be cooked slowly, over medium-low heat, to give them a fluffy texture. To scramble two eggs, crack them into a bowl with 2 tablespoons of milk or cream and use a whisk to beat together. (The dairy makes the eggs creamier and less bland, but it is optional.) Pour the scrambled mixture content of the bowl into a hot, buttered pan. Let the eggs sit for half a minute to a minute, until the bottom starts to set. Add pepper and salt to taste, along with any additional flavoring such as herbs or shredded sharp cheese. Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to move the eggs gently around the pan. After a minute or two, the eggs should start forming "curds" in the pan. When the eggs still look wet but there's no more liquid in the pan, turn off the heat. Like all other fried eggs, the meal is perfect with bacon and can also be served in a sandwiches. 

Omelet
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OMELET RECIPE

Many novice cooks are intimidated by omelets, but a failed omelet can always be good as scrambled eggs and is still a tasty meal. To make an omelet, in a mixing bowl, whisk together two eggs, 2 tablespoons of milk or cream, and one-quarter teaspoon each of salt and pepper until blended. Beat well for a fluffier omelet. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a nonstick pan over medium heat until sizzling. Pour in the egg scramble and let sit for a minute or two, until the bottom starts to set. Use a spatula to spread the eggs gently and evenly around the pan. When the top starts to set, pour one-third cup of fillings such as shredded cheese, diced ham or bacon, , avocado, spinach, and other chopped vegetables over half of the omelet. Flip the empty half over the fillings and serve immediately.

By the way, if you're looking to enjoy something new, you can easily turn a omelet ingredients into a frittata by baking instead of frying it. However, for a frittata you would need a cast iron skillet.

Baked Eggs
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BAKED EGGS

The easiest and most elegant way to serve baked eggs is in small ramekins, although a muffin tin works too. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. For each serving, break two eggs and empty them into a greased ramekin or muffin tin. Carefully spoon 1 tablespoon milk or cream over the eggs, making sure to cover them evenly, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the eggs are set and baked to perfection. Enjoy!

Quiche
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QUICHE RECIPE

And now for something completely different:

Don't let the fancy French name fool you; a quiche is simply another name for a delicious egg and cheese pie, easy to make with crispy store-bought pie crust. While preheating the oven to 425 degrees, beat together four eggs and 1 cup milk or cream in a mixing bowl. Be sure to beat them well, or else the quiche will have a dense texture. Add 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon onion powder, and one-half teaspoon cayenne pepper, and beat again. Although any type of shredded cheese can be used to cook a quiche, a good sharp cheese is preferable; mild cheeses are more likely to be overwhelmed by the other ingredients. Sprinkle 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese over the bottom of a 9-inch pie crust and pour the content of the egg mixture carefully over it. Put the pie on the oven's center rack and bake for 15 minutes. Then, turn the oven down to 300 degrees and bake for another 35 minutes until crispy. After baking, let the baked quiche sit an additional 10 minutes before eating. It is perfect with salad and for lunch or dinner, and will also be tasty the next day when heated in the microwave.