This section is from the book "A Book Of Recipes For The Cooking School", by Carrie Alberta Lyford. Also available from Amazon: A book of recipes for the cooking school.
To be of value in cooking, eggs should be fresh as the flavor becomes affected with age. Old eggs are not so satisfactory for use in cooking as fresh because in the old egg it is more difficult to separate the white and the yolk, and the white is less elastic and does not beat up so well.
(1) There is a bloom on the shell, it does not show a shiny surface.
(2) The contents of the shell look clear when held to the light, the yolk shows in the center.
(3) The egg does not rattle when shaken.
(4) The fresh egg sinks in water and does not float on the surface. The price of eggs varies widely with the season. They are usually sold by the dozen, but they are also sold by the pound, as they vary so greatly in size and weight. One dozen eggs weighs from 17.5 oz. to 28 oz.
Eggs should be kept in a cool, dry place. If to be stored they may be packed, small end down, in bran, salt, sand, or sawdust; immersed in water glass, lime water, or coated with fat. Eggs can be kept fresh several weeks if each egg is wrapped separately in paper. Evaporation and canning of eggs are commercial methods of preservation.
Eggs should be handled carefully so that the membranes about yolk will not be broken.
They should be washed just before breaking for use.
Shells of eggs should be saved to clear coffee.
The left-over yolk of an egg, if unbroken, may be kept from hardening by being covered with cold water or with paraffin paper. The whites will keep a day or two if cold.
Eggs are cooked: -
(1) To make them more palatable as flavor is developed.
(2) To make them more attractive as albumen coagulates and becomes white.
(3) To improve the texture and cause it to become jelly-like.
(4) To break up the tissue of the egg (scrambled eggs and custards).
(5) To make the egg light by the introduction of air(omelets).
(6) To combine the egg with other food materials
a. In order to thicken or give them consistency (soups and sauces).
b. In order to make mixtures light (cakes, puddings, popovers).
c. To add flavor to other foods (puddings and cakes).
d. To add color to other foods (puddings, cakes, and sauces).
e. To increase the nutritive value of other foods (soups, puddings, and batters).
(1) In hot water.
a. In shell
Soft cooked Hard cooked
b. Without shell
(2) In double boiler, surrounded by water, combined with
milk. Custards, scrambled or coddled.
(3) In dry heat of oven
a. Baked or shirred (unbeaten)
b. Souffle (beaten)
(4) In hot fat in frying pan.
a. Fried (unbeaten)
b. Omelets (beaten)
The protein present in eggs coagulates when heated, the white at 134 degrees, the yolk at 122 degrees.
The best cooking temperature is 160 to 180 degrees.