Eggs are for all seasons. Sapna Sarfare finds ways to prepare offbeat egg dishes for any time of the year
It is always said that there is a time and place for everything. But this rule doesn’t apply to food. Why not break that rule? Why not start with your favourite breakfast item – eggs? All over the globe, eggs are the very dependable item for energy. Yet many think that you cannot eat eggs anytime you want to. And we are here to break those myths.
A versatile ingredient
Sudip Misra, Executive Sous Chef, JW Marriott Kolkata, finds egg a versatile ingredient serving multiple purposes. “It is used to thicken, bind, leaven, glaze as well as garnish. They can be the showstopper to a dish like in quiches and omelettes and can also blend in the background like the fluff in a soufflé. They are quick to cook and are a great source of protein. In short, eggs are very versatile – healthy, readily available and the most inexpensive food item.”
Anuj Thapar of Aqaba, a Mediterranean and Middle-eastern restaurant located in Lower Parel, Mumbai, too thinks the same especially regarding breakfast dishes. “It can be cooked in varieties of ways like poached, scrambled, sunny side up, boiled, omelette and more. It is often used in dishes to make a wholesome meal. In all, it is versatile because it can be used in range of cooking methods.”
Chef Noah Barnes, Executive Chef, The Hungry Monkey says, “Egg can be used in not sweet and savoury with an endless use for textures and taste, but also acts as catalyst to help other ingredients when combined.”
For any season
Anuj nullifies the notion of egg not being okay for certain season. “Like it said that it should be avoided during the summer, which is not very true. However, according to experts it can be eaten in any day and time irrespective of the season.” Chef Misra just suggests, “Having said that, during summer where temperature soar over 35 – 40 degrees Celsius, we should monitor the amount of egg being consumed, as it produces a lot of heat.”
The world is in love with eggs. The number of egg dishes is proof of this. Chef Noah can think of Kolkata Biryani, the classic French Soufflé and Pide which is a Georgian bread preparation. Chef Misra reveals, “There is this Japanese egg dish called Tamagoyaki, where thin layers of egg is rolled into a log and is eaten for breakfast. Then we have the English Scotch Eggs, which is a delectable item of rolling a hard-boiled egg in sausage meet and deep frying it. And our very own Egg Curry, which Bengalis fondly call Dimer Devil. Eggs are cooked in a spicy masala and then enjoy it with steamed rice. I have also prepared a few egg dishes with a twist that have been very popular. There is ‘Egg Benedict on Sour Dough Bread with Marinated Avocado’ and ‘Brioche French Toast with Raspberry Compote and Crumble’.”
Anuj suggests offbeat egg dishes like Mediterranean Egg Casserole, Shashuka, Egg Custard, Egg Soufflé, and Frittatas. “When it comes to India, nothing can beat our classics such as Masala Omelette, Bhurji and Egg Curry.”
Tips to go
Chef Noah thinks overcooking eggs is the easiest mistake made by many and should be avoided. Chef Misra thinks regarding cooking time too. “Cooking time for eggs is also important, especially for boiling eggs. And it differs too, like if boiled for 5 minutes then you get the runny yolk, if cooked for 8 minutes then you get the soft set yolk. Temperature is important too. If undercooked it is raw, if it’s overcooked it becomes it loses its texture. So, it is best to handle eggs with attention to detail.”
Anuj wants everyone to use fresh eggs as it can effect on the taste of the dish. “When you’re going for scrambled, fried or omelette, always use a non-stick pan. The eggs do not stick to the pan and it is way easier to clean up. A lot us tend to overcook eggs hence always keep the time in mind.”
Frozen Mango and Coconut Parfait
6 Egg Yolks
100 gm Caster Sugar
375 ml Double Cream
250 ml Mango Purée
400 ml Coconut Milk
2 tbsp Sweetener, Maple or Rice Malt Syrup
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
Whip the cream until soft peaks form and return to the fridge. Place the coconut milk in a small pot with the vanilla and sweetener and heat, stirring until the sweetener dissolves (only a minute or so) then remove from the heat immediately and allow it to cool. Using a whisk attachment beat the egg yolks on a high speed with one tablespoon of warm water until they double in size. Next, heat the sugar to 121˚C and slowly pour down the edge of the mixing bowl to combine with the yolks while mixing. Once the sugar and yolk mix has cooled, add the mango purée until combined. Fold in the cream and coconut milk mixture. Place in the moulds and set in the freezer for a minimum of 4 hours. Serve up each parfait with a small dice of tropical seasonal fruit, extra mango purée and some toasted coconut to really top the dish off.
- Recipe by Sudip Misra
Tuna and Egg Salad
Chickpeas and Potatoes
Spring Onion Greens
Lemon and Oil Dressing
On the bed of crisp iceberg lettuce, add chopped shallots, spring onion greens, cucumber, gherkins, cherry tomatoes, flaked tuna, boiled eggs, chickpeas, potatoes and dill. Season it well with salt and pepper. Add Zataar. This summery salad is served best with lime and olive oil dressing.
- Recipe by Anuj Thapar
3½ tbsp Lemon Juice
1 pinch Ground White Pepper
1/8 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tbsp Water
1 cup Butter, melted
¼ tsp Salt
1 tsp Distilled White Vinegar
8 strips Canadian-style Bacon
4 English Muffins, split
2 tbsp Butter, softened
To Make Hollandaise:
Fill the bottom of a double boiler part-way with water. Make sure that water does not touch the top pan. Bring water to a gentle simmer. In the top of the double boiler, whisk together egg yolks, lemon juice, white pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and 1 tablespoon water.
Add the melted butter to egg yolk mixture 1 or 2 tablespoons at a time while whisking yolks constantly. If hollandaise begins to get too thick, add a teaspoon or two of hot water. Continue whisking until all butter is incorporated. Whisk in salt, and then remove from heat. Place a lid on pan to keep sauce warm.
To Poach Eggs:
Preheat oven on broiler setting. Fill a large saucepan with 3 inches of water. Bring water to a gentle simmer, and then add vinegar. Carefully break eggs into simmering water, and allow cooking for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Yolks should still be soft in centre. Remove eggs from water with a slotted spoon and set on a warm plate.
While eggs are poaching, brown the bacon in a medium skillet over medium-high heat and toast the English muffins on a baking sheet under the broiler.
Spread toasted muffins with softened butter, and top each one with a slice of bacon, followed by one poached egg. Place 2 muffins on each plate and drizzle with hollandaise sauce. Sprinkle with chopped chives and serve immediately
- Recipe by Chef Noah Barnes