This section is from the book "Mrs. Allen's Cook Book", by Mrs. Ida C. Bailey Allen. See also: The Conscious Cook: Delicious Meatless Recipes That Will Change the Way You Eat.
Egg cookery may be divided into the following general groups:
1. Boiled eggs, soft and hard.
2. Poached eggs cooked in water, stock or milk.
3. Eggs shirred in individual dishes surrounded by hot water.
4. Egg timbales, surrounded by hot water.
Drop the egg carefully into a deep saucepan full of cold water; if fresh, it will sink at once to the bottom; if it sways about on one end, nearly upright, but still under water, it is not fresh, but can still be used. If, however, the egg promptly bobs up to the surface and floats about, it is spoiled.
Eggs that are slightly beaten are not separated, and are beaten until a spoonful can be taken up.
Egg yolks are well-beaten when they become thick and lemon-colored.
Egg whites are beaten dry when they are stiff enough to remain in the dish as it is turned upside down. They will then be dead-white in color, like newly-fallen snow.
In beating eggs the most common utensils used are the wheel egg-beater, or a wire whisk. The wheel egg-beater costs from ten to twenty-five cents, according to the quality, and the whisk twenty-five cents. When beating egg whites, the whisk is often employed, as it is possible to make the whites lighter in this way.
Properly speaking eggs should not be boiled at all unless for hard cooking, but should be cooked by the old-fashioned method known as "coddling." To do this, put the eggs in a thick earthenware utensil, pour over boiling water, cover and set in a warm place, six minutes for soft cooking and eight for a slightly firm result.
Put the eggs on in cold water, bring to boiling point, boil rapidly for ten minutes and then chill in cold water. This is the only method whereby a green ring around the yolk may be avoided.
Select a fairly deep frying pan, fill it three-fourths full of boiling water slightly salted, break the eggs one by one, gently, into a saucer and slide into the boiling water. Baste the yolks gently with a little of the water to cook the tops. The water should not boil after the eggs have been put in but should be kept merely at simmering point. Cook until the white is firm, then remove the eggs with a perforated spoon to buttered toast. Dust with salt and pepper and pour over a little melted butter. Eggs should be at least two days old to poach successfully.
Eggs are sometimes served in this way to reinforce an otherwise scanty luncheon or supper. Proceed as directed for plain poached eggs, substituting broth for the water. Serve the broth and eggs together in bouillon cups or marmites (covered earthenware cups).
Scald the milk in a flat saucepan, add salt to taste, and gently break the eggs, one by one, into a saucer. Slip into the milk and poach as usual, taking care the milk does not boil. Then have ready buttered toast; set the eggs on it, pour over the hot milk and serve at once.
2 tablespoonfuls flour
Fry the onions and pepper in the butter till softened. Add the flour and seasonings and the tomato, gradually. Let boil up once, strain and add the ham. While reheating, poach the eggs, pour the tomato sauce over the toast, carefully put the eggs in place on the toast, and sprinkle with salt, pepper and grated cheese.
Allow a large round slice of buttered bread or half an English muffin, split, to each person. On this lay a round slice of broiled ham. Then place on it a poached egg. Coat this with Hollandaise sauce, and garnish with a bit of truffle or cooked mushroom.
2 cupfuls rich milk 2 tablespoonfuls flour 2 tablespoonfuls butter 1/2 teaspoonful salt Few grains pepper
1 cupful cooked asparagus cut in inch lengths
2 tablespoonfuls grated Parmesan cheese
Make a sauce of the first five ingredients. Add the asparagus and, when very hot, slip in the eggs very gently and poach, till set, over hot water. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, strew with grated cheese, and serve on buttered toast.
Butter thickly several timbale moulds, then sprinkle them with a finely chopped mixture of ham, cooked sausage, smoked salmon, or left-over chopped cooked bacon and parsley. Very carefully break an egg into each mould, sprinkle the tops with a little salt and pepper and set in a pan three-quarters full of boiling water. Let them cook gently, until firm, in a moderate oven, keeping the water at simmering point. It will take about fifteen minutes. Then unmould on rounds of hot buttered toast and serve with white or tomato sauce.
2 tablespoonfuls bacon fat 1 1/2 cupfuls strained tomato juice
2 tablespoonfuls flour 1/8 teaspoonful pepper 1/2 teaspoonful salt 6 eggs
Make a sauce of the bacon fat, flour, seasonings and tomato juice. Pour into an earthen baking dish; break the eggs singly on a saucer, and slip into the sauce. Dust lightly with salt and pepper, and bake in a moderate oven until the eggs are set.