When I was a child, the resident bully would say, “Go suck an egg”; while I was not sure what that meant exactly, I was sure that it was unfriendly. Later one Easter I found you could blow an egg to empty its’ shell for decorating. Pretty neat I thought.
Last year, I saw someone blowing a hard-boiled egg right from its shell. The secret is one makes a small opening in the fat end of the egg about the diameter of your thumb and a small “blow-hole” in the pointy end. If the boiled egg is rolled a little to loosen the shell from the egg, a strong lung full can blow an egg right from its shell. Make sure you cup the large end to catch the egg. This works best if the eggs are five or more days old.
Nutritionally the egg is a good deal for the money. The egg is America’s original fast food and can expedite many a meal when a quick solution is needed. Did you know that there is one egg-laying hen for every person in the United States and each egg is turned over by the sitting hen about fifty times per day so the yolk will not stick to the sides of the shell?
My family had roaming chickens at our Rustic Canyon home in Southern California and on the Appian Way farm in Rome, Italy. I have been spoiled with the best natural eggs chickens can lay. These eggs not only look better they taste better too. The best breakfast I ever had was farm-fresh eggs cooked with a touch of cream in butter topped with fresh shaved truffles.
“Love and eggs are best when they are fresh.” - Russian proverb.
Shirred or Baked Eggs (Oeufs en Cocotte)
One of my favorite ways to eat an egg is soft-boiled turned out over torn bits of buttered toast. Shirred or baked eggs results are similar to a soft-boiled egg with less fuss and muss. This is a great way to cook eggs if you are serving a large crowd. Butter oven-safe cups or ramekins and add a small patty of butter. Break two or three eggs into each cup without breaking the yolk. Top the eggs with a teaspoon of heavy cream, some salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 350 F. Have a kettle handy with very hot water. Place cups in a bain-marie adding the hot water half way up on the ramekins from the kettle. Bake until whites are set but yolks are still soft 15 to 20 minutes. Serve cups/ramekins on a plate reminding guests the cups are very hot. Garnish with fine chopped chives.