Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Humble Egg: Great and Powerful

(WSJ photo)
As dieters have come to realize that sugar, not dietary cholesterol, is the enemy (in fact, consumption of sugar can cause high blood cholesterol) the lowly egg is enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Prolific cookbook writer Michael Ruhlman calls the egg "the greatest of all our foods."
The egg combines beauty, elegance and simplicity, a miracle of natural design and bounty. Containing all of the nutrients required to create life, eggs give our bodies a powerful combination of proteins, amino acids, fatty acids, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins, a package unmatched by any other single food.
Your humble observer has found that fried or scrambled eggs come out just right sautéed in butter on medium-low heat (if the eggs brown the burner is too high), a simple, filling, delicious, inexpensive, and sugar-less dish that most doctors will approve. I don't yet have Mr. Ruhlman's enthusiasm, but he does know much more about the subject than I.
An egg is an end in itself; it's a multipurpose ingredient; it's an all-purpose garnish; it's an invaluable tool. The egg teaches your hands finesse and delicacy. It helps your arms develop strength and stamina. It instructs in the way proteins behave in heat and in the powerful ways we can change food mechanically. It's a lever for getting food to behave in great ways. Learn to take the egg to its many differing ends, and you've enlarged your culinary repertoire by a factor of 10.

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