SWF seeks culinary intro to eggs
March 15, 2012 9:57 AM   Subscribe

What egg dishes will turn me, an egg-hater, into an egg-lover?

For as long as I can remember, eggs in general have grossed me out. The smell of them cooking makes me slightly queasy, and hard-boiled eggs in particular have an odor that disgusts me. Also, runny eggs visually freak me out.

But things like omelettes and quiches seem more approachable, and I'd LIKE to add eggs to my diet- they seem like a perfect protein source, cheap, nutritious, et cetera. And maybe after easing into eggs, I'll end up liking more... eggy things.

What egg dishes would you use to introduce someone to the world of eggs? I'm imagining something very veggie-heavy, or... I don't know.

Other restrictions: no red meat, not into seafood very much.

I'm a decent cook, and can handle complex recipes if necessary.
posted by rachaelfaith to Food & Drink (52 answers total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
posted by ioesf at 9:58 AM on March 15, 2012

If you can find fresh, free-range local eggs, get them; they really do taste better, and fresher eggs have more nutrition (so I'm told). Avoid the eggs in the supermarket that advertise "extra Omega 3" and so forth; I find they have a fishy taste (maybe the hens are fed fish meal?).

You can also add eggs to things without noticing; creamy sauces of all kinds can usually take an egg or two. Custards are a great use for eggs, too.
posted by The otter lady at 10:02 AM on March 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

Frittatas. You can Google for recipes, but once you get the idea, just use whatever veggies or leftover meats are in the fridge.
posted by Wordwoman at 10:02 AM on March 15, 2012 [2 favorites]

french toast
posted by Frasermoo at 10:03 AM on March 15, 2012 [5 favorites]

How about Shakshuka? The main event is the spicy, rich tomato sauce, and the eggs are just there to make it more of a meal. You can cook it until the yolks are totally solid, and slowly back off on cooking time as you get more adventurous.
posted by juliapangolin at 10:03 AM on March 15, 2012 [4 favorites]

meringues, or chocolate mousse.

I don't like eggs either, but they don't count when they're in dessert form
posted by Mchelly at 10:03 AM on March 15, 2012

Do you have an oven, a cast iron skillet, a bunch of fresh veggies and fresh herbs and some goat cheese? Because you can make a mean fritatta with those ingredients: just half cook it on the stove without the cheese, toss the cheese on top, and pop it into the oven at about 350 for 10 or 15 minutes. Load it up with the veggies and you will be the happiest camper.
posted by pazazygeek at 10:05 AM on March 15, 2012


It is so easy to make. Start with a bechemel, which is just some butter, flour and milk heated until thick. Add some cheese and herbs. Swiss cheese is not too expensive and makes great souffles. Add some yolks. If you whip six egg whites use perhaps half of the yolks, but you can use more or less depending upon how rich you like it or how light you want it. Fold in the egg whites, place in the souffle dish and bake. You don't need a dedicated souffle dish. Anything with straight sides will do. Find a recipe for the details but don't sweat them. It is a very forgiving dish.
posted by caddis at 10:05 AM on March 15, 2012

I despise eggs. The texture, ugh. And the smell of eggs cooking, oh my god. But here's the eggiest thing I can eat: Oatmeal Cottage Cheese pancakes.

1/2 cup whole oats
1/2 cup cottage cheese
4 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla
1 TBS ground flax seed (aka flax meal - totally optional!)

Puree in a food processer. Makes 4 pancakes. Cook them individually on a non-stick pan. If the mixture is thick, smooth it out into a pancake shape with the back of a spoon.

Don't try to flip it until the pancake is almost completely cooked through, then it will flip easily. Cook for 20 more seconds or so.

I eat these with raspberry jam or fruit puree as a topping.
posted by peep at 10:07 AM on March 15, 2012

Migas / chilaquiles made with fresh corn tortillas and good cheese.

I also love the Ashkenazi take on this combination, matzah brei.
posted by ryanshepard at 10:07 AM on March 15, 2012 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: I guess I should have mentioned that I can deal with (and do eat) certain things made with eggs- I don't avoid them completely.

I don't know if eating pie or french toast would really acclimate me to eventually be able to eat scrambled eggs though. I'm looking for dishes that strike an egginess level between straight up fried eggs and say, flan.

Frittata seems like a good start!
posted by rachaelfaith at 10:09 AM on March 15, 2012

for quiche, I buy a ready-made whole wheat crust. I caramelize some onions & add some last-minute chopped fresh spinach in the pan, until it wilts; also, I cook some (turkey) bacon and crumble it. add all that into the crust, along with about a cup of shredded swiss cheese. then whisk four eggs and pour them on top. a little bit of salt. bake half an hour at 400, or until the top is golden brown. SO GOOD
posted by changeling at 10:10 AM on March 15, 2012

quiche. And you can add tons of veggies.
posted by Sassyfras at 10:10 AM on March 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

also, consider tortilla espanola. it's like a crustless quiche cooked in a skillet, with onions & potatoes. add bacon, cheese, whatever you want to liven it up.
posted by changeling at 10:12 AM on March 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm an egg-hater too. Popovers are as close as I can get without being grossed out. Dutch Baby is basically the same thing, but with sugar and in a larger form, which you can top with fruit to knock down the egginess.
posted by jocelmeow at 10:13 AM on March 15, 2012

Ferran Adria's recipe for tortilla espanola made with potato chips converted me from an egg-hater to an egg-lover. I tweaked it a little - leaving out the red pepper and adding a pinch of smoked paprika - and have used it to convert many other egg-haters to the side of egg love. It's basically a frittata made with potato chips.

I still can't handle a runny yolk, but this dish got me over the initial hurdle of hating egg-dishes-that-taste-like-eggs.

Depending on where you live, you also might want to try a greasy, deli-made bacon-egg-and-cheese, which must be made with American cheese. There is something magical about the interaction between scrambled eggs, crispy bacon, and the ineffably genius addition of American cheese — all those dolled-up gourmet-ified bacon-egg-and-cheeses with goat cheese or gruyere or even cheddar are just bullshit wannabes. This is my opinion, but it is also factually correct.
posted by firstbest at 10:13 AM on March 15, 2012

jocelmeow reminded me of these Bacon Chive Puffs. SO good. barely eggy at all, though -- maybe an ideal step one.
posted by changeling at 10:15 AM on March 15, 2012

Bread puddings? They come in both sweet and savory versions.
posted by small_ruminant at 10:17 AM on March 15, 2012 [2 favorites]

Prepare to be blown away by the most amazing thing I have ever done with an egg in my life.

I hate eggs. Hate 'em! Like you, the smell of cooking eggs and hard-boiled eggs makes me want to hurl. My parents raised me with sunny-side up and over-easy eggs cooked every. damn. morning, and it made me loathe eggs until a few years ago. What changed?

I went over to a friend's place and she served me a weird beverage. Tasted kinda like a vanilla milkshake; cold, thickish and sweet, but without the gummy texture of a shake. I tried a sip, was entranced, and downed the rest in one go. "Corrine," I said, "you have got to tell me how to make this." She laughed and dragged me to the kitchen.

I watched as she hauled out two eggs and a packet of Splenda. "Corrine noo! I hate eggs!" I cried, as I watched my friend crack the eggs into a highball glass. She giggled and dumped the Splenda packet into the glass, and then whisked the whole mess up with a fork. Handing it to me, I realized that it was exactly what I had just drank! My mind was blown by the idea that eggs could actually be a food that wasn't vile. I was sure, however, that the knowledge of the ingredients would ruin my ability to enjoy the drink, but no! Taking a sip, I realized that this was, in fact, still amazing and I loved it. No other ingredients, just two eggs and a packet of Splenda, all mixed up in a glass. No nasty egg taste, no horrible snotty texture, just creamy goodness. Damndest thing.

Since then I have been much more able to handle eating eggs in various forms. Still not gonna let a hard-boiled egg cross my lips, but I sure can enjoy some scrambled eggs on toast or even a soft-boiled egg now and again. I guess it just kind of changed my mindset; if I can eat raw eggs in a glass, then how can I possibly be unwilling to eat cooked eggs in some form or another?
posted by Sternmeyer at 10:20 AM on March 15, 2012 [2 favorites]

This may sound strange, but you might want to try the transition with devilled eggs. I mean, they are eggy and all, but the spicing and taste is not like fried or scrambled eggs at all. And deviiled eggs are devilishily delicious imho.

Also, I encourage you to explore the wide, wide world of omelettes, which are close to scrambled eggs yet not quite as eggy.
posted by bearwife at 10:20 AM on March 15, 2012

Eating Deviled Eggs will cure your egg-disgust. No, wait - scratch that answer.....

If you could stomach scrambled eggs but are looking to hide the eggy taste, simply substitute soy milk in place of milk or water to fluff your scrambled eggs. You'll be surprised at how good they taste, as they are much sweeter than your usual egg scramble.
posted by lstanley at 10:21 AM on March 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

I mix a tablespoon of Boursin into my scrambled eggs. It really changes the flavor and makes them smell and taste better.

+1 for getting good eggs. Hit the farmers markets and find someone who just has chickens running around their farm that they generally ignore except to harvest their eggs. It will change your life. Here is a photo comparing three of the most expensive eggs WF has to offer to three farm eggs I get from a local farmer. Yolks should be orange.
posted by jeffamaphone at 10:22 AM on March 15, 2012

Spaghetti carbonara, turkey sausage instead of bacon
posted by MangyCarface at 10:23 AM on March 15, 2012

I've been trying to do this for years, and I've come to the conclusion that some people just have a natural, strong aversion to . . . egginess. There's no overcoming it. You can hide it by adding cheese and vegetables and hot sauce and other crap, but in my experience you'll never actually learn to love egg in its more unadulterated forms (fried eggs, boiled eggs.)

When I feel like It's Time To Have Some Eggs, I usually scramble them with some butter and soy sauce and add them to fried rice. If you're too lazy to cook it from scratch, Trader Joe's has awesome frozen fried rice. But like I said, after several years of trying to like and eat eggs more, it just hasn't happened and I just learned to accept it.
posted by GastrocNemesis at 10:25 AM on March 15, 2012

Egg Foo Young
posted by Studiogeek at 10:27 AM on March 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

Muffin pan frittata is an even easier alternative to frittata.
posted by crush-onastick at 10:27 AM on March 15, 2012

Adding smoked Gouda to scrambled eggs (slow scrambled please, do it right) turns them from "scrambled eggs" into "my god, what is this heavenly food". Just grate in the cheese at the beginning. Add some cream if you like. Use the lowest of heat, stir constantly - these aren't the eggs you are thinking of.
posted by gyusan at 10:28 AM on March 15, 2012

I overcame my hatred of hard boiled eggs by just eating freshly made hard boiled eggs every morning. But I STILL can't eat day-old eggs, or cold hard boiled eggs. And I still don't love them.

I used to not like eggs very much, but I started making cheese and veggie omelets, which I love. I can also eat scrambled eggs on a piece of really good whole grain toast. Basically it comes down to pairing them with things I adore.
posted by stoneandstar at 10:29 AM on March 15, 2012

Toad In a Hole, lotsa butter.
posted by bricksNmortar at 10:39 AM on March 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

I used to not like eggs, until once I had some Eggs Benedict. The Hollandaise sauce is a rich and heavenly sauce that should not be consumed frequently, but it's basically egg yolks and butter, with tartness from some lemon juice and a little heat from cayenne. As sauces go, it's a high-wire act because it counts on egg yolks to bind the fats to the water-based bits (and so, if improperly made, the sauce can "break" and separate). But! Serve it over an egg (poached, fried, over-easy, whatever, but you want a runny yolk) with a slice of salty ham and toasted English Muffin-- it's a savory sucker-punch to the pleasure-center.

Quiches and frittatas are also good, along with a veggie-based omelet, like the classic Denver omelet.

I still am indifferent to hard-boiled (I can eat it, but never seek it out), but breakfast eggs need nothing more than salt and pepper and proper prep.
posted by Sunburnt at 10:48 AM on March 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

Zabaglione. OMG.
posted by Decani at 10:52 AM on March 15, 2012

In order of egginess:

Spaghetti Frittata (IMO, this is pretty bland without the optional tomato, but my bf loves it)
Rice, Cheddar, and Spinach Pie
Savory Carrot and Tarragon Tart

Recipes that I haven't tried but might work:
Bacon, Egg and Asparagus Pizza
Mushroom and Wild Rice Frittata

I get grossed out by runny scrambled eggs, so when I scramble them, I cook the hell out of them, then add some fresh chives and a wedge of light laughing cow cheese. The cheese makes them creamy and yummy without the gross-out factor.
posted by amarynth at 10:53 AM on March 15, 2012

One time I had a friend stay over my house after a night of drinking. I woke up in the morning and started cooking up some breakfast, including a big thing of scrambled eggs. Unbeknownst to me, this friend hate eggs in most forms and thought scrambled eggs were the most disgusting thing in the world. Plus, he was waking up with a bit of a sour stomach. Anyway, being a polite guy he decided he would force himself to choke them down, without telling me.

After we finished eating he said, "I have a confession to make. I hate eggs and think they extremely disgusting, especially scrambled eggs. But those were delicious. You have completely changed my attitude to scrambled eggs. I can't believe it." I've talked to him about this since and he said that he's been disappointed because he thought he liked scrambled eggs now, but most of the times he's ordered them since, they've been bad. Only a few times has he had delicious scrambled eggs.

Maybe you just need to get someone to make you really good eggs.

The smell of them cooking makes me slightly queasy, and hard-boiled eggs in particular have an odor that disgusts me.

These are the words of someone who has been exposed to shitty eggs. Hard-boiled eggs only smell like that when the yolks are cooked too far, which is disgusting (it's hydrogen sulfide, and it gets into the mix when the internal egg temp gets up to around 180 degrees). Hard-boiled eggs are slightly tricky to cook properly because the yolk and the white are done at different temperatures, and so it's easy to overshoot and ruin them. And I'm guessing the other smell you are smelling is related to over-doneness.
posted by jeb at 10:55 AM on March 15, 2012 [2 favorites]

I'm going to suggest an egg scramble with other stuff in it - one of my current go-to breakfasts is an egg (or two), a half cup of cooked spinach, a half cup of black beans, and a sprinkling of grated cheddar, all scrambled together in a pan. Top with salsa, voila, delish, tastes like eggs but not just like eggs. Cook just until barely done.
posted by mskyle at 11:30 AM on March 15, 2012

French toast. Slowly cut back on the vanilla, cinnamon and sugar and it becomes savoury, fry it in bacon fat and it is delicious. I always had it until I moved to the US as basically egg and cream soaked bread, but if you just slowly try cutting back on the sweet flavourings you can get yourself used to the eggy taste more slowly.

Also try free range eggs if you can they taste better to me. Soft boiled free range eggs, in an egg cup to dip toast into is amazing. You want to make sure not to over cook the eggs so you don't get a strong eggy taste. Use fresh eggs and by keeping it in the cup you are not seeing all the yolk oozing.

A dash of soy sauce (say a teaspoon or so) in scrambled eggs or an omlette can help hide the eggy taste too.
posted by wwax at 11:44 AM on March 15, 2012

I don't like eggs. I got backyard chickens. Then I had to eat eggs. Now I'm better about eating eggs.

Also note that you can save your egg cartons all year and then trade them in the spring for eggs on the farm & garden section of craigslist. Because chickens don't lay egg cartons.
posted by aniola at 11:52 AM on March 15, 2012

Well-done scrambled eggs with generous portions of salsa, or plain old hot sauce.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 11:55 AM on March 15, 2012

Very veggie heavy, you say?

For what it's worth, I tend to only really enjoy egg dishes which have the whites and yolks mushed together so that the textures are evened out. Omelettes, quiches, frittatas, scrambled eggs that are fully cooked and have been vigorously scrambled.

If there's a specific part of the egg you object to, maybe branch out into birds other than chickens. Duck eggs have a much higher proportion of yolk, for example.
posted by the latin mouse at 11:59 AM on March 15, 2012

I'm with Clyde, I make veggie heavy frittada or a scramble and pour salsa on it.
posted by ibakecake at 12:03 PM on March 15, 2012

If it's a smell/taste issue rather than a texture issue, you can kind of obliterate the egg taste with something a bit more dominant, like salsa and/or sour cream (mmm, breakfast nachos). Or ketchup.

In that vein, Stir-Fried Egg and Tomato? It's Chinese comfort food to me and depending on the sweetness of the tomatoes, you don't need to add sugar. Or rice, for that matter.

Or maybe egg salad? (101 Cookbooks recipe 1 | 2) It's a slightly less complicated deviled eggs in that you kind of smush everything together instead of just the yolks but you can determine your own flavor combo.
posted by zix at 12:21 PM on March 15, 2012

I wonder if some of your dislike has to do with the yolks. When I make scrambled eggs I use three eggs and discard the yolks from two. I do this to cut down on fat, but I have come to enjoy these eggs more than regular scrambled eggs. With a touch of water, cooked on high heat and kept moving they fluff up nicely, and the result is very light tasting. Some butter or olive oil for cooking and salt provide much of the flavor (pepper too). The yolks add a heavier flavor to regular eggs. YMMV
posted by caddis at 12:34 PM on March 15, 2012

I'm also an egg-hater, to the point where reading this thread and seeing people discuss deviled eggs (aka "the most noxious thing on earth, which I would not eat even if I was dying") as something you might try pains me.

I helped a friend make a breakfast strata recently - with the exception of eggs, pretty much my favorite ingredients ever - and was hoping that it would do the trick to convert me. Still too eggy for me, but you might have better luck with something like this, where the eggs are secondary in both flavor and texture.
posted by judith at 12:41 PM on March 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

How about some egg drop soup!
posted by Sassyfras at 12:42 PM on March 15, 2012

Whatever recipe you try, avoid the cheap options, use good quality eggs: Large, fresh, Organic and just be careful not to over or under cook them.
posted by Lanark at 12:43 PM on March 15, 2012

posted by Thorzdad at 2:03 PM on March 15, 2012

Tried-and-true recipe for Dutch Babies (mentioned above). I dislike eggs, but enjoy this pancake/souffle-like dish; as a plus, they can be served to several people right away, and you can decorate them any way you like (confectioners' sugar and lemon juice; jam; syrup; chocolate syrup and ice cream; fruit). Best results, of course, come from having a magic cast-iron skillet. Mine produces cloche-shaped Dutch Babies, with a crust that's about five inches high, when I bother to whip the eggs well and sift the dry ingredients together.
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:58 PM on March 15, 2012

Spaghetti carbonara -- surprisingly easy, and delicious!.
posted by Simon Barclay at 4:42 PM on March 15, 2012

I recommend Mollie Katzen's recipe for Cauliflower Cheese Pie from the Moosewood Cookbook (you can find it easily on Google). It's sort of like "quiche-lite" with some eggs but most of the emphasis on the veggies, so I think it would help you ease into more egg-y quiches.
posted by cupcakemuffin at 4:55 PM on March 15, 2012

Here is something that helps with the smell, taste and texture of the dreaded and unadorned Scrambled Egg, which I urge you to try once you've mastered a few of these intermediate eggs.

Before whisking the eggs, dip the tip of the whisk into some sour cream, picking up approximately a 1/2 teaspoon per egg. Set your wrist to "emulsify" and whisk it in. You don't need to add any other milk or cream.

This adds a nice tang to the taste, and makes the resulting cooked eggs soft and creamy (no matter how good or bad you are at cooking scrambled eggs). This is because the sour cream exists as tiny soft atoms of flavour in a matrix of egg, and keeps the egg mixture from getting rubbery.

Also good: snips of green onion, dab of Sriracha.
posted by Sallyfur at 5:33 PM on March 15, 2012

I've always loathed eggs but I decided to introduce them into my diet for health reasons (vegetarian so need the protein+variety) and the only way I can eat them is with a bunch of other ingredients to obliterate both taste and texture.

Here is what I do for breakfast:
fry/scramble a single egg - here it is best to whip the egg so that the white and the yolk are indistinguishable. Once in the pan, you don't need to actually "scramble" the egg while it is cooking, just nudge it and flip the egg pancake until it is cooked fully
toast a couple slices of really good hearty bread and put some sort of tasty spread on them (pesto never hurts)
put a delicious cheese on the toast
add the egg
grind hella fresh pepper over it
here's where I like sliced avocado
top off with the other slice of toast

Now this is the real trick: gobble it down without thinking too hard about it! Read something engaging while eating. Not too bad! You'll get used to it.
As others have mentioned, higher quality eggs are much easier to eat regarding both taste and mental hangups.
posted by bobobox at 6:47 PM on March 15, 2012

This crustless miniquiche recipe helps me. I add potato and ham to it, but I bet other veggies would work. I think someone here shared this link a few years ago and I've made it often enough that I look forward to it now after decades as an egg hater.

Also, Lifehacker pointed at a version of Alton Brown's oven baked hard cooked eggs. I cannot abide the smell of regular hard boiled eggs, so this may help.

I must be improving at egginess--last week I ordered a breakfast sandwich and actually ate it with the eggs in. Worth the shocked look of my breakfast companion.
posted by dragonplayer at 8:52 PM on March 15, 2012

A Pavlova would be a great way to get acquainted with eggs. There's no vegetables in it, but lots of fruit and your mouth will thank you:

Recipe 1

Recipe 2
posted by Sutekh at 4:38 PM on March 16, 2012

« Older Crowdsource volunteering?   |   I need some basic cooking technique instruction! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.