Farm to Table Cooking Portion

by Ann on April 1, 2010

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Okay, remember that earlier this month I went on the Egg Farm Tour sponsored by The Good Egg Project ?  We wrapped it up with this cooking session!  Isn’t this egg chair awesome?  Also, that’s me on my 31st birthday with a four month pregnant belly, it’s only been a month but I’m pretty sure another baby crawled in there because I look way bigger now!  Of course, the cooking section was my favorite:)  I don’t get to cook near as often at home as I’d like to, so it was nice to be able to finish off my whirlwind egg tour with a cooking session where I didn’t have to prep or clean up and there were no really cute toddlers there to tug my hand away from the kitchen.  So, upon concentrating on our teachers, the first thing I learned was that the 100 notches in a a chef’s hat symbolize the 100 different ways the chef can cook an egg.  We did not learn 100 ways, but quite a few and I’ll share some of them with you!

First up, nutritionist Mary Lee Chin was up to bat chatting with us a little about eggs and nutrition. Eggs have 13 vitamins and minerals that you can read more about here.   Her main focus from the beginning was the importance of breakfast.  She said 50% of kids do not eat breakfast which can lead to concentration, behavioral and nutritional problems.  We need nutrients to learn and the best way to start a day is to eat a nutritious breakfast.  The top excuses kids have for not eating breakfast is that they are not hungry, have no time, or their parents are too busy.  I’m an avid breakfst eater and always feed my child breakfast – so I just never really thought that it’s possible that 50% of people don’t feed their kids breakfast!  Wow!  Obviously, eggs are a fantastic choice for a nutritious breakfast and take no time to make.  However, if the clean-up is an issue for you, at least grab an apple and a yogurt drink or something fast!

Howard Helmer is the Guinness record-holder for fastest omelet maker, so who better to teach us how to make omelets?  He says, use a non-stick 10″ pan on medium heat with a little bit of butter or oil spread around.  Add 2 eggs plus 2 tablespoons of water (the water/milk helps steam to rise making the eggs lighter and fluffier and coats the protein so it’s not dry) and whisk together.  When pan is hot, add the eggs  and allow to spread all over the pan.  With a spatula (plastic turner), constantly “paint” the eggs toward the center and turn the pan to fill in that blank spot with uncooked egg – do this constantly on all sides until the egg starts to settle and cook on top.  When it appears mostly done but slightly watery, it’s time to remove from heat and add whatever you want to the middle..such as cheese, and flip in half!  The residual heat should cook the rest of the egg and it should be done perfectly without being dry.  If you cook the top portion of the omelet to the point where there is no more moisture on top before adding the filling, your omelet will be dry!  Here’s his blog.  You really can’t be in his presence without getting a huge smile on your face -and so it was such a pleasure to be able to learn from the master himself!  OH!  I almost forgot to mention how he made breakfast burritos!  I usually scramble the eggs and put them in a straight line in the center of the tortilla.  Howard made his usual omelet, but instead of adding the filling to the middle and flipping it, he added the filling right in there with the egg (cheese on top).  When the omelet was done, he just put the whole thing on top of the tortilla leaving about an inch of tortilla on the outside circumference.  Then, he folded two sides in a little and rolled up the the rest of the omelet lengthwise.  A bite of egg in every bite!  Far better than my old breakfast burritos.  Why didn’t I think of that?

Anybody watch The Next Food Network Star?  Jeffrey Saad, runner up on season five, was there to help us learn some more egg recipes.  I could definitely see why he made it so far on the show!   He was quite charismatic and held our attention as he whipped up a bunch of different and imaginitive styles of eggs!  He’s jazzed up the most popular egg style I’ve seen lately in food blogs- the egg or toad-in-the-hole by making it making it nach0-style, see recipe here.  It’s a kid-friendly recipe but of course, my toddler still wants everything fairly plain, so I just make the toad-in-the-hole for him with whipped eggs using a car cookie-cutter.  Don’t be afraid of making one of these!  The egg/bread combo is super-easy to flip!  If for some reason you still can’t get it, try baking it in the oven at 350 until the egg is cooked-through.  Voila!  For a more grown-up breakfast sandwich, why not try eggs, tomato, mozzarella and fresh basil sandwiched between two slices of toast?  Yummy!!!  I had the most fun watching Jeffrey teaching some of the other moms how to flip an egg with just the pan and the flick of the wrist.  This is something I do at home but was too embarrassed to try in front of others – just because I figured the pressure would get to me and I’d lose my touch!  What a wimp, but it was fun watching a few egg disasters:)

And for a couple more egg tidbits that friends have since asked me since my last post:  Why don’t our eggs hatch at home?  Hens are able to produce an egg every 24 to 26 hours.  If during that time the hens have mated with a rooster, chances are the egg may be fertilized.  Eggs sold at the store are eggs where a rooster has not be in presence and so they are not fertilized.  However, a hen with a fertilized egg has a natural instinct to sit on the egg and turn it, rarely leaving the nest, keeping it at a perfect temperature and humidity.  My other question I received was – Can I eat an egg with a really-cloudy egg white?  The answer is yes, a cloudy egg white is just a sign that the egg is really fresh!  Bon Appetit!

Now for the giveaway!  Thanks to the folks at The Good Egg Project that sent me on this fabulous informational egg trip,they are giving away TWO sets of this Norpro Egg Rite Egg Timer (featured in a recent food mag article {too bad I can’t remember what it was!} as a MUST HAVE item!) – and this Norpro Silicone 3 Piece Egg/Pancake Ring Set.  This means – two winners win one set each!  I could see my son having lots of fun with different shape pancakes and eggs.  Plus, when I’m not pregnant, I’m planning on making some soft cooked eggs and dipping bread hunks and asparagus spears in it, yummm!  Right now I have a feeling I’d probably end up hard cooking them accidentally and then no dipping for me.  How to enter?

  • Comment below
  • Follow me on twitter
  • Tweet about this giveaway with a link to the post
  • Mention this in your blog
  • Check out the Incredible Edible Egg recipe portion and tell me what looks the yummiest to you
  • If you get creative and think of something fun that I didn’t, please comment again on what you did and I’ll see if it seems fair, probably will allow it:)
  • Giveaway ends Friday, April 9th  (US residents only)

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nicole April 1, 2010 at 6:49 pm

I checked out the recipes, and the pasta/egg skillet looked really good to me. We tried something similar (but of course, more caloric…) last weekend – a pasta with radicchio, lemon, parm, bagna cauda, and a fried egg on top. Delish.

2 sue April 3, 2010 at 8:24 pm

I really , really need a timer

3 Michaela April 6, 2010 at 7:03 pm

commenting on the timer, come on, draw my name already!!!!! :)

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