Cutting back on oil in the kitchen doesn’t mean you have to cut back on the things you love to cook. If eggs are always in your fridge, but you’re afraid you can only use them for heavy casseroles and cheesy dishes, worry not. Here’s how to cook eggs without oil easily and deliciously.
- Baked. Of course you can bake eggs in a casserole, quiche, or something similar, but what we’re talking about here is baking the egg in its whole form. A great example of this is huevos rancheros, where eggs are placed atop a Mexican casserole in a skillet and baked in the oven until done. Another example is baked egg ramekins, where eggs are cooked in small ramekin bowls, typically atop a vegetable, bacon, and/or cheese filling. Try this gorgeous recipe for Baked Eggs with Smoked Salmon here.
- Hard-boiled. Almost every home cook has their own method of hard-boiling eggs. Here’s how I learned to do it: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Reduce to a gentle boil and add egg(s) carefully with a spoon. Boil 5 minutes, then turn heat off, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes. Remove with a spoon to a bowl of cold water to bring the heat down and chill. Use hard-boiled eggs for salads or just a bit of protein with breakfast.
- Soft-boiled. Soft-boiled eggs are similar to poached eggs but easier to do, as they’re the same basic technique as making hard-boiled eggs. Simply place the eggs in boiling water, remove from heat and let sit for 3 to 5 minutes, then remove and chill in cold water. Cook the eggs a bit less and they’ll be runny, cook them a minute longer and they’ll be not-quite-set. Use as you would poached eggs, cracked over warm sandwiches, fish, or salads.
- Poached whole. Poaching eggs is both an art and a science, and mastering this technique will give you the ability to do high-end brunch on a whim at home. The basic premise is to gently lower whole eggs into a pot of hot water, and cooking until just done. Serve these soft, creamy yolk-filled eggs atop salads, casseroles, or toasted sandwiches. Get our tips on perfecting the poached egg here.
- Simmered scrambled. The thought of simmering scrambled eggs may seem odd at first, but think of the classic Chinese dish egg drop soup. It’s made by adding whisked eggs to hot or simmering liquid, and stirring until cooked through. The addition of the egg adds a wonderful velvety, creamy consistency to the dish, and it also gives a bit of savory flavor, and a slight sheen that really makes the dish what it is. You can try this technique with other dishes for a similar result: Whisk in eggs to a vegetable or grain-based soup at the very end of cooking for a finishing touch. Try this with creamy dishes like risotto or polenta also for a wonderful touch.
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