Alright mom, I’m not one to outright ask for things, so I won’t. But this book:
Is the most game-changing cookbook I’ve ever read in my whole life. Seriously, it’s the perfect marriage of culinary passion and scientific rigor. J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is a truly inspired and thorough man. And while I’ve read (and tried!) a few of his recipes (the pesto I even talk about in this entry, though we made it too lemony…), by far, the most influence this book has had in my life is my treatment of eggs.
Eggs. 7 g of protein. A food that for YEARS I would only eat scrambled or in a well cooked omelette. Then one day, I had a poached egg, à la eggs Benedict. Then another day, sitting in a diner, I though, Huh, what if I got my eggs over easy…?
And it changed. My. World.
Runny yolks used to be something that grossed me out beyond compare. Now the thought of scrambled eggs repulses me, and only makes me miss that golden, rich treasure that hides at the center of every egg-over-easy.
….Okay, back to J. Kenji. So he talks about eggs of every style imaginable. He even conducts a thorough study of boiled eggs – and determined a method to make a perfect soft boiled egg every time. 180 degrees F (i.e., just before the water is boiling) for exactly five minutes. Transfer the egg to an ice bath and bam.
I know, I know, that’s from my ramen night…
But that’s not all!
I also have been working on my fried egg game, check it out:
So with fried eggs there’s a very straightforward, but practical trick. Use a fine-mesh strainer to strain the egg before frying. I know, it sounds weird! But it eliminates that messy runny part of the white that always pools across the whole pan. Tip number two from my man J. Kenji is to fry an egg in olive oil! Not only is this slighly healthier, but you can spoon excess oil onto the top of the egg (on the white only, leave that gorgeous yolk alone) to make sure the white is cooked through.
You can use the fine-mesh strainer to make better poached eggs, too! I’m terrified to poach eggs but KLA claims nothing but hot water and a strained egg is necessary.
Okay, phew. We’re almost done. Last but not least: The Omelette. And not just any omelette. The Jacques Pèpin omelette.
I learned to make an omelette from your brother, my uncle, down the shore one year. He taught me military style which is as follows: get the pan hot enough so the eggs start cooking on contact. Push down sides of omelette and tilt to get excess uncooked eggs in all the crevices. Fold once, onto plate.
And actually Jacques’ is somewhat similar. But the key to a good omelette is not overcooking the eggs, and rolling up all that just-barely-cooked goodness into a neat little sleeping bag of eggs, milk, salt, pepper, herbs (I use oregano, basil, thyme, and rosemary). I broke my omelette, sadly, but I got the texture/cooked-ness right, for sure.
This book though. Ma. Get it for the library. And keep in mind that my birthday is in August.
(He also says adding vodka to your pie crust makes it flakier – the vodka cooks out but the chemical reaction leaves the layered buttery crust even more flakey and buttery than ever. Ah, an experiment for another time!)
Love and miss you much!! xo
P.S. You’ll notice I’m also trying to incorporate avocados into breakfast.
P.P.S. I only eat eggs every other day or so. Other breakfasts include: smoothies, cottage cheese+fruit, oatmeal on weekends, and I made killer french toast for breakfast on Dad’s birthday when I got that freak snow storm.