Saturday, May 21, 2011

More playing with eggs

When Madame is away, I like to experiment in the kitchen. It keeps me out of trouble, and endlessly entertained. Mostly by failed experiments.

Eggs are a great source for amusement - they are cheap, versatile, tasty (when I don't screw them up too badly), and small enough that you can simple experiments. I also do eat the failures - all though in this case I think I would have preferred not to.
I very much like eggs cooked in their shells for a long time over low temperature. Typically  in the 147-148F range. This is sometimes mistakenly called sous vide - it isn't because there is no vacuum involved. Just cooked for a long time in a water bath. As an aside - try putting raw eggs into a vacuum bag....
One royal pain when dealing with eggs like this was peeling them whole. It takes a long time, as it is quite finicky and therefore delays presentation - unless you do them, peel them and then hold them at temp.

I am a home cook, and like things "a la minute" as opposed to being held - again general statement, some things hold really well, but some don't!

So with all that preamble, I thought it would be interesting to try removing the shell before cooking, and still leaving the egg whole. Acid does that pretty well - so into a vinegar bath went the egg.
It takes about 18 hours for the shell to be removed entirely, leaving a little bouncy sack of eggness. So far so good.

Into the water bath at 148 for 45 minutes. It seemed that all was well - the little sac held together beautifully. Quite encouraging, I thought.

And then I pierced it...

As you can see, nice firm  cooked white and slightly oozy yolks. Just the effect I was hoping for. Straight from water bath to table, stick with knife point, et voila.

However, all is not as rosy as I had hoped. The membrane was tough - like sausage casing tough. So very unappetizing. The egg had absorbed too much vinegar flavor, so wasn't very tasty. Didn't have the lovely silky eggy flavor.  It would have been more at home on English chips!

I guess I will have to find another experiment :-(


Anonymous said...

Cool, very interesting. Albort

Digimancer said...

What if you boil it 1st (turning the white to a solid) and then soaked it in vinegar to remove the shell? (re heating afterwards if preferred)