Sunday, November 11, 2012

Todo Sobre Mis Huevos (All About Eggs)

The egg is one of nature's perfect foods.  The confusion over eggs stems from their cholesterol content. One large egg contains 213 mg of cholesterol, accounting for two-thirds of the recommended daily limit.

When scientists learned that high blood cholesterol was associated with heart disease, foods high in cholesterol logically became suspect. But after 25 years of study, it has become evident that cholesterol in food is not the culprit.  Saturated fat has a much bigger effect on blood cholesterol.

With science on our side, we can once again enjoy the wonderfully nutritious egg. Along with milk, eggs contain the highest biological value (or gold standard) for protein. One egg has only 75 calories but 7 grams of high-quality protein, 5 grams of fat, and 1.6 grams of saturated fat, along with iron, vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids.

The egg is a powerhouse of disease-fighting nutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin. These carotenoids may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in older adults. And brain development and memory may be enhanced by the choline content of eggs.

First let's talk about the perfect fried eggs, a French technique that very slowly cooks the eggs in butter. This method was developed by Master French Chef Fernand Point (1897-1955) at his three Michelin Star rated restaurant La Pyramide in the 1950’s. According to the book, The Perfectionist - Life and Death in Haute Cuisine by Rudolph Chelminski, Fernand Point's favorite saying was: "Du beurre! Donnez-moi du beurre! Toujours du beurre!" (Butter! Give me butter! Always butter!)
In the first chapter, Luxe, Calme et Volupté, Chelminski details how Loiseau’s mentor, the infamous Chef Fernand Point would test visiting chefs with a challenge to show him how they fried a simple egg, declaring that the easiest dishes were often the most difficult to prepare. When, inevitably, the chef insulted the egg with the sizzling hot surface of a frying pan, Point would cry, "Stop, unhappy man - you are making a dog’s bed of it!" And then he would proceed to demonstrate the one and only civilized manner of treating an egg. Very slowly, very gently, and swimming in butter of course.

Following is Chef Fernand Point's recipe:

Place a lump of fresh butter in a pan or egg dish and let it melt - that is, just enough for it to spread, and never, of course, to burn; open a very fresh egg onto a small plate or saucer and slide it carefully into the pan; cook it on heat so low that the white barely turns creamy, and the yolk becomes hot but remains liquid; in a separate saucepan, melt another lump of fresh butter; remove the egg onto a lightly heated serving plate; salt it and pepper it, then very gently pour this fresh, warm butter over it. 

The next technique is a poached egg. These are eggs simmered gently in boiling water.



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