Eggs Made Easy

Alton Brown is one of the pioneer chefs on Food Network. His show, "Good Eats," combines the fun and science of food while creating fantastic recipes. It originally aired in 1997, and has been on the Food Network ever since. Alton is about to release a book called "Good Eats: The Early Years," which is chock full of all sorts of facts, recipes and food information.

October 9th is World Egg Day, an event that celebrates the diversity and nutritional benefits of the egg. So, in recognition of World Egg Day, Alton, who also hosts the American version of the Food Network show "Iron Chef," shared some of his favorite facts and recipes from his new book.

According to Alton, when people tell me they want to start to learn to cook, he says "eggs." Some interesting facts from Alton's book: The egg is considered to be the worldwide standard for protein (nutritionally speaking). He tells us that most eggs in the United States sell quickly, and he has never seen an expired one. He has, however, seen plenty of eggs improperly refrigerated, so tread with caution. An unrefrigerated egg ages in a day as much as a refrigerated ages in a week. Most eggs will actually dry out before they spoil. Never wash store-bought eggs. You will remove the mineral oil coating, which is applied at the process plant to keep the eggs fresher longer.

Alton also suggests that the most effective way to separate an egg from a yolk is by using your hand, and letting the white drip through your fingers. He says it is more effective than pouring the yolk from shell to shell, as most people do. Why? Because this opens up the possibility of contaminating the egg with whatever is on the shell. He also suggests that when you crack an egg, you do so on a flat surface rather than on the edge of a bowl. Cracking an egg against a bowl can send small shards up and into the edible section you are trying to preserve.

EGGS OVER EASY

1 or 2 servings

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1 pinch of kosher salt
1 grind of freshly ground pepper

Place an 8 inch skillet over low heat and add the butter. When the butter stops foaming, crack the eggs into the pan, then quickly lift the handle just enough for the eggs to pool slightly on the far side. This will prevent the thin albumin from running all over the pan.

After 10 to 15 seconds, smoothly lower the handle. Wait another 10 seconds, then lightly jiggle the pan just to make sure that nothing is sticking. Season with the salt and pepper and cook, still over low heat, for 1 and 1 1/2 minutes. Jiggle again and examine the white for opaqueness; when it is fully set but not hard, it's time to flip.

Here comes the hard part: flip the egg by pushing the pan away from you and snapping the far edge upward. As the egg turns, try to bring the pan up to meet it, thus preventing a hard-and potentially yolk bursting-landing.

Return the pan to the heat and slowly count to 10. Reflip the egg to it's original side-this time it won't be so difficult.

Slide onto a warm plate and serve immediately with toast for wiping up all the goodness.

SCRAMBLED EGGS

Tip: If you leave the eggs in contact with the heat too long, the proteins will coagulate so tightly that they will squeeze out all the liquid. If you've ever been served a plate of scrambled eggs and noticed that they seem to be sitting in a puddle of water, that's what happened: the water was supposed to be in the eggs, not under them. Also, Alton finds that beating some bubbles into the eggs helps to keep the march of heat into the eggs slow and steady, as air acts as an insulator.

Milk is added to scrambled eggs to make them softer, creamier, and richer.

2 servings

3 large eggs
1 pinch kosher salt
1 grind of freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons of whole milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Warm a platter, either in a low temp oven or in warm water while cooking. Whisk the eggs, salt, pepper and milk together until light and foamy. Add the butter to a 10 to 12 nonstick skillet and put it over high heat.

When the butter bubbles (after about a minute), pour the eggs straight into the middle of the pan, which will force the butter to the edges, where it's needed. Stir slowly with a rubber or silicone spatula.

As soon as curds, big soft lumps, of eggs begin to form, drop the heat to low and shirt from stirring to folding the curds over on themselves while gently shaking the pan with the other hand.

As soon as no more liquidous egg is running around the pan, kill the heat and gently transfer the scramble to the warmed platter. Let the eggs rest for one minute to finish cooking before serving.

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