There are few jingles that have stuck in my head since childhood, but here is one that has persisted for over 20 (maybe 25?!) years now. “The Incredible Edible Egg!” That jingle is not only catchy, it’s totally true – Eggs are incredible. They’re yummy, they’re versatile, and – best of all – they’re SO impatient foodie friendly! I am obviously not alone in my love for eggs because over 1.2 Trillion (yes, with a “T”) are produced every year for consumption.
But egg love is not a new phenomenon – it goes way back in history. For example, a cookbook that dates from 1898 boasts over 500 ways to cook an egg. When I first read that I thought to myself, “There is no way in hell there are 500 ways to cook an egg!” But then I reconsidered… Because, you know what? I’d bet that if I were to assemble 50 of my own friends and family, I would probably come away with 50 different ways to make “the perfect” egg. And, of course, everyone would probably be adamant that “their” technique is the “right way.” The techniques I have heard the past year alone include everything from scrambling fiercely over low heat with chopsticks, to throwing the eggs in a hot pan and then turning off the heat and stirring with a wooden spoon.
And, because food is the ultimate unifier of the human experience, you could even bring up egg cookery with some of history’s greatest icons, and get impassioned responses. Napoleon would only eat hardboiled eggs on the battle field not only because they would give him energy, but he also knew they could not be poisoned if they were given to him in their shells. Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt were huge egg lovers: Every Sunday night, Mrs. Roosevelt would cook up eggs “her way” – “with about half a pint of milk or cream and a dozen eggs” – and serve it to her husband and their guests. Even royals are not above the pleasure of a simple egg. King Louis XV ate a boiled egg every Sunday. Parisians from all over the city would come to watch him eat it, and his “remarkable dexterity” with an egg, as he loped off a small end of an egg with “a single stroke of his fork.” Before taking his bite, the crowd would hush an officer would announce authoritatively, “The King is about to eat his egg!”
And while the flavor of any egg is delicious to stand up on it’s own, people are always thinking of ways to expand on it. You could go down to your local deli and spend .50 cents on a hardboiled egg, make an omelet, or you could go to Norma’s in NYC, and spend $1,000 on a 6-egg frittata that also contains lobster and caviar. Or you could make this green shakshuka recipe that looks super fancy, tastes, delicious, and takes just minutes.
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 leeks—white and pale green parts, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pound baby spinach leaves, washed
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- Heat the olive oil in a wide and deep skillet and cook the leeks until soft and translucent but not brown about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, stir, then and the spinach. Stir and cook just until wilted. Add the cumin and stir to combine.
- Make four indentations for the eggs with the back of a spoon. Gently break each egg and drop into the indentations in the pan. Sprinkle with feta. Lower the heat, cover the pan and cook just until the egg whites are cooked through, about 5 minutes.
- Serve immediately. Serve with toasted baguette slices if desired.
Recipe by Amy Sherman.