Sunny side up, over easy, and scrambled are all great ways to cook eggs, but there’s a lot more out there to discover and enjoy. If you’re tired of how you cook eggs the same old way, read on to learn nine new techniques you may not have tried yet and spice up your next breakfast or brunch.
1. Eggs Benedict
The classic breakfast dish originated in New York City in the 1800s and is now a must-have item on every breakfast and brunch menu across North America and Europe. A toasted English muffin is topped with sliced back bacon and two poached eggs and served with a generous pour of creamy Hollandaise sauce for a satisfying, protein-rich dish.
If you’ve never tried making eggs Benedict at home, don’t let the poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce scare you—they’re actually quite simple to make.
Poached eggs are a breakfast specialty of their own, so we’ll go over how to make them in a later section. As for the Hollandaise sauce, simply blend egg yolks and a bit of lemon juice in a blender and slowly add a stream of melted butter while the blender is still running. The mixture will emulsify, turning into a thick and creamy sauce. You can also add a bit of Dijon mustard, salt, and cayenne pepper for extra flavor.
Once the poached eggs and the Hollandaise sauce are ready, the rest comes together quite quickly. Cut an English muffin in half and toast each of the pieces (spread a thin layer of butter on them, too, if you’d like). At the same time, fry the bacon. When everything is ready to be assembled, place the bacon pieces on each side of the English muffin, top them with poached eggs, and pour the Hollandaise sauce over everything. Garnish with parsley and enjoy!
2. Eggs Florentine
For those of us following a vegetarian diet, eggs Florentine brings together the best parts of eggs Benedict, but without the meat. Instead of bacon, the poached eggs sit on a warm bed of cooked spinach. Not only is this version vegetarian-friendly, but the dark leafy greens are full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that are great for your health.
3. Eggs Royale
Eggs Royale is another variation of eggs Benedict, this time with smoked salmon instead of bacon. It’s perfect for pescatarians or anyone who enjoys seafood. The salty salmon pairs perfectly with the buttery Hollandaise sauce while providing you with essential omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and potassium.
4. Eggs Neptune
Another seafood lover’s take on eggs Benedict is eggs Neptune, which replaces bacon with crab meat. Simply sauté the crab meat in a bit of butter before placing it on the English muffins for a unique and delicious breakfast.
While eggs Florentine, Royale, and Neptune are some of the most popular variations on eggs Benedict, there are at least a dozen others. They feature ingredients like ham, tomatoes, artichokes, anchovies, truffles, sausages, corned beef, biscuits, and French toast.
Since there are really no rules about what can go into eggs Benedict, feel free to experiment with different toppings or even types of bread. You never know—you may just create the world’s next favorite variation. If you do, be sure to give it a fancy name!
5. Poached Eggs
Poached eggs are cooked outside the shell in gently simmering water. The result is a delicately firm egg white surrounding a runny golden egg yolk. It’s healthier than an egg cooked in oil and can be served on its own, as part of eggs Benedict, on a bed of sautéd greens, or on a piece of buttered toast.
If you’ve never cooked a poached egg before, getting that perfectly round shape can be tricky, but with a few tips and a bit of practice, you’ll be a poached egg master in no time.
- Try to use the freshest eggs you can find. Fresh eggs have a much firmer egg white that will be less likely to separate into white wisps as it hits the water.
- Use a saucepan with at least 4 inches of water—this will help the egg maintain its spherical shape. Adding a tablespoon of white vinegar will also help the egg whites stay together (don’t worry, you won’t be able to taste the vinegar).
- Bring the water to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer. The water should only be gently rolling so it doesn’t disturb the egg white as it comes together.
- Instead of cracking the egg straight into the water, crack it into a small cup or ramekin first. This will help the egg maintain its shape as you pour it into the water. Alternatively, you can crack into a fine mesh strainer instead of a cup—this will drain out any thin egg white that would otherwise turn into those white wisps we’re trying to avoid.
- Cook the egg for 3-4 minutes to make sure the egg yolk remains slightly runny. When the time is up, remove the egg from the pot with a slotted spoon and serve immediately.
- If all this still sounds a bit too troublesome, you can get an egg poacher to help keep the egg in shape while it cooks—it’ll make the process absolutely foolproof!
6. Scotch Eggs
Scotch eggs originated in 18th century England as a travel snack. Today, they’re one of the most common convenience foods in the United Kingdom and can be found in supermarkets, convenience stores, and gas stations. In the U.S., however, they’re more of a specialty and can be enjoyed in British-style pubs, fairs, and Renaissance festivals.
A scotch egg is a soft-boiled egg wrapped in a blanket of sausage, coated in breadcrumbs, and deep-fried. If this sounds like the perfect combination of flavors and textures, that’s because it is. As you bite into a scotch egg, the crispy outside is followed by a flavorful layer of pork, before revealing a warm and gooey core.
To prepare a scotch egg, start by soft-boiling a few eggs. Once the water comes to a boil, cook them for no more than a few minutes. Then, immediately submerge them in ice water to stop the cooking process. Remember that they’ll also be going into the deep fryer later, so you don’t want the centers to be overcooked.
Once the eggs are cooked and peeled, they’re ready to be wrapped. You can use breakfast sausage taken out of its casing or prepare your own mix of ground pork and seasoning. Shape the sausage mixture into a large patty, place the egg inside, and seal the patty around it, leaving no gaps. Roll each swaddled egg in flour, dip in a lightly beaten egg, roll in breadcrumbs, and deep fry for 5-7 minutes. Alternatively, you can bake the scotch eggs at 400°F for 30-35 minutes.
7. Basted Eggs
Basted eggs are similar to sunny side up eggs in that they don’t get flipped over. However, while sunny side up eggs are simply left on the pan until the egg whites are thoroughly cooked, basted eggs get a little intervention to help them cook faster.
Traditionally, basted eggs are pan-fried in melted butter. The hot butter is then spooned over the egg to help cook the top.
Another way to cook a basted egg is to add a tablespoon of water into the pan, cover the lid, and let the steam cook the top of the egg. This method requires far less butter and is, therefore, a much healthier option.
8. Coddled Eggs
Coddled eggs are similar to poached eggs, but they’re cooked in special containers called “coddlers,” rather than directly in water. Coddlers are little porcelain containers with a screw-on lid and a handle for pulling them out of the water.
To cook a coddled egg, butter the inside of a coddler, crack an egg into it, add salt and pepper or other seasonings, and screw on the lid. Then, place the coddler into a pot of boiling water so that the water comes about halfway up the coddler. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 5-7 minutes. Remove the coddler from the water, unscrew the lid, and enjoy. You can eat the egg straight out of the coddler or empty it out onto a plate or a piece of toast.
If you don’t have traditional coddlers, you can also use ramekins or small mason jars to make coddled eggs.
9. Creamed Eggs
Creamed eggs is a dish made by mixing chopped hard-boiled eggs into a creamy Bechamel sauce. It’s perfect for when you have leftover hard-boiled eggs or simply want to prepare a rich, comforting breakfast.
To make creamed eggs on toast, hard-boil a few eggs (or use leftover ones). Then, prepare the Bechamel sauce by mixing butter and flour and gradually whisking in milk until the sauce thickens. Chop up the eggs and mix them into the sauce, along with any seasonings you’d like. Pour the mixture over a piece of toast or biscuits and enjoy!
How Do You Like Your Eggs?
Hopefully, you’ll now have many more options to choose from when answering that question.
Now that you know all the possibilities, it’s time to go and try out all the different ways of cooking eggs for yourself. Get creative, experiment with toppings, and find your next favorite breakfast dish!
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