The Egg: “The Greatest of All Foods”

Monday, March 31, 2014

James Beard award-winning author Michael Ruhlman talks about his new cookbook, Egg: A Culinary Exploration of the World's Most Versatile Ingredient, and explains why the egg is the key to the craft of cooking. Starting with perfect poached and scrambled eggs and building up to brioche and Italian meringue, Ruhlman offers nearly 100 recipes that rely on the hidden powers of the egg.

Watch this video of Cynthia Keller of the Culinary Institute of America demonstrating how to poach an egg.


Michael Ruhlman

Comments [13]

Amy from Manhattan

The CDC still thinks (as of 2011) it's not safe to eat eggs w/runny yolks (from "...a lightly cooked egg with a runny egg white or yolk still poses a greater risk than a thoroughly cooked egg. Lightly cooked egg whites and yolks have both caused outbreaks of SE infections" & "4. Eggs should be thoroughly cooked until both the yolk and white are firm. Recipes containing eggs mixed with other foods should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C)." You can get eggs that are pasteurized to make them salmonella-free.

wayne Johnson, I heard on an earlier Leonard Lopate show (which I think predated Food Fridays) that the "Certified Humane" label is actually reliable. The segment was on food labeling, in case you want to look for it.

Diana Ventura, is shakshuka a specifically Israeli dish, or more generally Middle Eastern? I'm asking because it's also spelled "chakchouka," which implies it also exists in countries that were under French colonialism.

Mar. 31 2014 02:24 PM
Ruth from Queens

Enjoyed the piece but how can one write a book on eggs and never had tasted the difference between store bought and organic eggs??? Out chickens give us fresh eggs in Queens and when we do a tasting with our children there's a definite distinct taste. Home grown eggs have so much texture and taste. Also, never use non-stick appliances. A pat of butter will make any stainless steel skillet non stick. Lastly, albumen sticks to the shell when the eggs are fresh. I eat two boiled eggs everyday and all one has to do is crack it in half and scoop it out with a teaspoon.

Mar. 31 2014 02:13 PM
Diana Ventura from New York, NY

1. That Israeli egg dish (eggs cooked in tomato) that Michael couldn't pronounce is "Shakshuka." Easy to pronounce, and even better to eat. The Hummus Place (Amsterdam Ave @ 74th Street, 109 St. Marks Place, and 71 7th Ave South) serves up the best Shakshuka west of the Middle East!

2. Another sure-fire way to make a hard-boiled egg: Steam in a pot for 15 minutes, then peel off the shell while under running cold water (not you, the egg...)

Mar. 31 2014 02:07 PM
Tim from Montgomery, NY

All eggs are not created equally. Our farm's hens get a very healthy diet. As a result, the eggs are very rich (golden yolk, non-runny whites, hard shells).

Trick for hard-boiled egg: pin-prick the shell and it will peel easily after cooking.

Mar. 31 2014 02:00 PM
Robert from NYC

There is also an italian dish of peas and eggs in tomato sauce. My mother loves it.

Mar. 31 2014 01:58 PM
jf from a non toxic future

Teflon pans are plastic and cause cancer and endocrine disruption. Cast iron pans can be made non stick by heating it with oil on high and drying it upside down in the sink. Being upside down and heated makes it more and more non stick each time.

Mar. 31 2014 01:57 PM
The Truth from Becky

I eat an egg about 3 times per week for the protein because I don't eat red meat..either boiled egg for lunch or scrambled w/croissant for breakfast, in tuna for problems with cholesterol levels. Everything in moderation.

Mar. 31 2014 01:57 PM
wayne Johnson Ph.D. from Bk

Whatever the source, a tremendous amount of animal suffering goes into a carton of eggs.

Mar. 31 2014 01:57 PM
Amy from Manhattan

When people salt their own (originally unsalted) food, they generally don't add anywhere near as much salt as they'd get in the same dish sold commercially.

Mar. 31 2014 01:57 PM
Brian from Sunnyside

How do i keep the shell from sticking to a hard boiled egg?
I've heard lots of tricks (like adding baking soda to the water while boiling) but they never seem to work.

Mar. 31 2014 01:54 PM
jgarbuz from Queen

I never moved away from butter and eggs because I put my faith in Dr. Atkins and his diet and have done just fine. I believe that humans evolved with eggs and butter, and not with bread or pizza. Eggs were around long before man grew wheat to make bread. Carbohydrates and particular sugar are the problem and not eggs, butter nor well-cooked meat. Veggies are good too.

Mar. 31 2014 01:51 PM
Hal from NYC

While in Italy I noticed in the grocery store that there were eggs marketed particularly for making pasta.
What is different about these eggs, how much does it matter, and is there an equivalent in our markets?

Mar. 31 2014 12:56 PM
Rick from NYC!

Should we STILL have concerns over the CHOLESTOROL content of eggs, or has nutrition science changed its views? Thanks!

Mar. 31 2014 12:43 PM

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