Quick and Easy Methods
- Hard Cooked/Soft Cooked: Place whole eggs in a heavy saucepan 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.)
- Scrambled: 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 three to five minutes over low heat, the whites should be set and the eggs will be ready. (For “over easy,” flip after three minutes on one side and cook for another minute or two on the other side.)
- Poached: 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. Lift the egg out of the water with a slotted spoon. (Too fussy? Consider buying a stainless-steel or silicone egg-poaching cup.)
- Aioli: 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.
- Basted: Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-low heat and melt 1 teaspoon of butter before cracking the egg into the pan. When the egg white is beginning to set, add 1/4 cup liquid (try chicken or vegetable stock or a mixture of salsa and water). Cover and cook over low heat for three to five minutes, until egg is set to your preference.