Science a la Carte

Green Eggs

When hard-cooked eggs are overcooked, a green ring may form around the egg yolks. The green color is the reaction between sulfur and iron compounds at the surface of the egg yolk. This is a harmless reaction, but it can make the eggs look unappealing. Green yolks in hard-cooked eggs can be avoided if you use the proper cooking time and heat level, and by rapidly cooling the cooked eggs. Scrambled eggs can also turn green with too much heat.

Procedure

Follow your teacher's instructions to divide into four teams. Each team should prepare a serving of eggs:

J Team A Prepare two hard-cooked eggs according to recipe directions for cooking and standing time.

j Team B Prepare two hard-cooked eggs following the recipe, but allow the eggs to stand for 5 minutes longer than the recipe directions. J Team C Prepare two scrambled eggs according to recipe directions using medium heat.

j Team D Prepare two scrambled eggs according to recipe directions, but use high heat.

Analysis

Record your observations about cooking time, and the appearance and flavor of the eggs. Contrast the eggs prepared by each cooking method. What are the differences between the cooked eggs? Why did they occur? Discuss your findings as a class.

NSES B Develop an understanding of chemical reactions.

When you make scrambled eggs that are mixed with a liquid such as milk, the coagulation temperature increases to 180°F (82°C). Most burners set on high are much hotter than that, meaning that eggs can easily become overcooked at that setting. The eggs and solids may separate, or curdle ('ksr-dsl).

Fried Eggs

Fried eggs are the most popular breakfast egg dish. For best results, use Grade AA eggs. Fried eggs must be cooked to order and served immediately. In some quick-service operations, fried eggs are cooked in egg rings to produce a uniform shape. However, most fried eggs are cooked in a pan on the range top or on the griddle. (See Figure 17.3 on page 438.)

When you turn an egg on the griddle, flip the egg by sliding the spatula underneath it. Then, lift one side up and over, leaving one edge of the egg touching the griddle. This will keep the yolk from breaking.

Poached Eggs

It is best to use very fresh eggs for poaching since they hold their shape better. Break one egg at a time into a small dish. Then, add each egg to simmering water that contains 1 or 2 teaspoons of an acid such as vinegar. This will cause the egg to coagulate quickly. Do not use boiling water to poach eggs because it causes the eggs to separate and become tough.

Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled eggs are usually made with whole eggs. However, egg whites can be used for customers who prefer fewer calories and less fat and cholesterol.

Omelets

The omelet ('am-lst) is an egg specialty dish made of beaten eggs that are cooked without stirring. Once the eggs are set, they are folded in half in the pan.

L 1FIGURE 173 Fried Egg Cooking Methods

' Fried Eggs The yolks of fried eggs can be prepared to different levels of doneness. What should you do if you break the yolk while preparing a fried egg?

Type of Egg

Sunny-Side Up

Sunny-Side Up

: Description

Egg is not flipped over during cooking, so the yellow yolk stands up. The yolk should be well-visible, highly mounded, and yellow.

Method

Make sure you do not break the yolk when cracking the egg into the pan. Cook on medium heat for about 4 minutes, until the white is firm.

Basted

A type of sunny-side up egg. The yolk will have a thin cover of white on it.

Egg is cooked in butter over low heat. The butter is spooned over the egg as it continues to cook, basting it. Variation: Instead of basting with butter, add 1-2 tsp. of water and cover the pan so the steam cooks the top of the egg.

Over-Easy

Egg is turned over during frying and cooked so that the yolk is still liquid when served and cut.

Cook about 3 minutes on the first side over medium heat, then turn it and cook about 2 minutes on the other side.

Over-Medium

Over-Medium

The yolk is partly cooked.

Cook a little longer than for over-easy.

Over-Hard

The yolk is firm and fully cooked.

Cook until the yolk is completely firm but not overcooked and rubbery.

A seasoned omelet pan and high heat can make a beautiful omelet. A nonstick coated omelet pan can also be used. Nonstick pans require no seasoning. When you season, or condition, a pan, you seal the surface with a layer of baked-on oil to prevent sticking. Seasoning must be done with cast-iron cookware.

Make sure that you care for omelet pans properly. Incorrect seasoning or misuse may cause omelets to stick.

French and American Omelets

Both French and American omelets are folded omelets. This means that toppings are added in the center of the omelet, and then it is folded around the toppings. French omelets must be stirred and shaken simultaneously, which takes practice. French omelets have two advantages over American omelets:

• They are lighter and puffier in texture.

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