Egg Essentials (Slideshow)

Simple, wholesome and healthy, eggs are easy to prepare with panache. Enjoy these six classic egg techniques, three simple recipes, and a tutorial on poaching an egg.

Lighter Yolk

Yolk from a conventionally raised egg.

Darker Egg Yolk

Yolk from a hen that roamed freely outdoors and foraged for food.


Beat two eggs until smooth and season with salt and pepper. Over medium-low heat, preheat a heavy-bottomed skillet and add 2 teaspoons of butter. When the butter bubbles, add eggs, allowing them to set for about 20 seconds before gently stirring in a little more butter to make the eggs creamy. Cook until the eggs are just set.

Fried/Over Easy

Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet over low heat and melt 1 tablespoon butter in the skillet until it bubbles. Crack eggs into the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Occasionally spoon the melted butter over the whites while cooking. After about 3-5 minutes over low heat, the whites should be set and the eggs will be ready.

Hard Cooked/Soft Cooked

Place whole eggs in a heavy sauce-pan and cover with cold water. Bring the water to a boil, cover the pan and remove from heat. Allow the eggs to sit in the covered pan for 10 minutes. (For a soft-cooked egg, allow the eggs to sit in the pan for three to four minutes.)


Start with one egg yolk in a bowl and add the juice of half a lemon, salt, pepper, one clove minced garlic, and a pinch of saffron (optional). Whisk until smooth, then, drop by drop, add 1/2 cup olive oil, whisking constantly to emulsify the oil with the egg mixture.


Fill a shallow, wide pan halfway with water, add a teaspoon of vinegar and bring to a simmer. Crack an egg into a cup and set aside. Briskly stir the water in one direction to create a vortex, then stop stirring and pour the egg into that vortex. Simmer gently for three to four minutes, until the egg is just set. Life the egg out of the water with a slotted spoon.

Lyonnaise Salad

The soft yolk of the poached egg becomes part of the salad dressing in this deliciously simple salad. Chop the egg and toss with the greens before eating, if desired. Sub in other sturdy, bitter salad greens, such as radichhio, endive and chicory.

Huevos Rancheros

This classic Mexican breakfast is a cinch to whip up using high-quality jarred salsa and canned black beans. For the full recipe, see “Egg Essentials: Recipe, Techniques and More.” See “Healthy Breakfasts for Busy Mornings” for more ideas on how to start your day off right.

Honey & Vanilla Bean Créme Caramel

Fresh vanilla bean gives this créme caramel an exceptional aroma. Serve with caramelized pear slices on the side, or simply add some fresh berries.

Egg Drop Soup

For a how-to video with great egg-cooking tips, don’t miss this Show Me How video with Betsy Nelson.

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