Keep me from being a food sissy!
October 26, 2007 5:13 PM   Subscribe

Help me learn to love eggs.

I hate eggs. I'll bake with them, but I won't eat them on their own. However, I want to learn to enjoy them -- I can always use another protein source, and if I knew I wouldn't waste them I'd be able to get an egg share from my CSA next year. Plus BitterOldPunk called someone a food sissy in another thread yesterday and I was all nodding my head, favoriting the comment, when I realized that I myself am a food sissy and I would like to get past it.

When I was a kid, I liked scrambled and fried eggs. I never liked them hard-boiled. I don't eat them now because I have texture issues and for whatever reason eggs hit those buttons.

I'd love good recipes featuring eggs and any anecdotal advice.
posted by sugarfish to Food & Drink (36 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Scrambled: the secret is some heavy cream. Not a lot, but for three eggs I'd mix in a fourth of a cup. Whip 'em up good, get lots of air in there. Don't overcook them, add some garlic salt, apply cheese liberally (I like pepper jack the best), maybe get funky and add some sriracha to the mix.
posted by mullingitover at 5:20 PM on October 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

Is it mostly the texture that you hate, or is the whole concept of egginess repulsive at this point? How do you feel about egg-heavy foods like french toast, quiche, eggdrop soup?
posted by hattifattener at 5:25 PM on October 26, 2007

I've seen a lot of "learning to love eggs" advice before, but nothing ever actually worked for me until a friend of mine made me some -quail- eggs instead of chicken eggs: I'd blasted HATED hard-boiled eggs before but for some reason the little quail eggs were ... bizarrely delicious. Could've eaten a whole carton of 'em had I the opportunity. And strangely enough, after discovering that hard-boiled quail eggs are delightful to me, I've been crazy for properly-prepared (that is, just baaarely above soft-boiled - NOT rubbery!) hard boiled chicken eggs, too.

I guess my advice, then, would be to try something "exotic" like quail eggs first, just to break away from your ingrained distaste for chicken eggs - quail eggs don't really "taste" that different to me but I think the mental idea of eating something unusual helped them slip past my established prejudices. And if you can't do that, at the very least, give hard boiled eggs another try but see if you can find proper "free range eggs," ideally from a local farm (the taste difference from the ones you get in the supermarket is surprisingly noticeable) - and no matter what, make sure they're not overcooked! Personally I like to submerse large eggs in cold water, let them come to a rolling boil, and then IMMEDIATELY remove them from the heat and let them sit in the water for ~10-12 minutes, tops. If the yolk is still a bit runny (not likely, but I guess possible), just dip it in toast - yummy, plus the white will be creamy rather than rubbery ... man, I'm getting hungry for them as I type this!
posted by zeph at 5:27 PM on October 26, 2007

Not egg specific, but I enjoyed this article by a food critic who decided to get over his food phobias.
posted by dereisbaer at 5:28 PM on October 26, 2007

I really like to fry them sunnyside up in olive oil (without breaking the yolk), topping them with basil, paprika, salt and pepper, then eating them on warm toast. If you hate the taste the spices will change it, and the toast might mitigate the slimy texture a little.
posted by borkingchikapa at 5:30 PM on October 26, 2007

Oh also, try a fried egg on a burger. It's transcendent.
posted by borkingchikapa at 5:30 PM on October 26, 2007

I didn't really like scrambled eggs until I learned to cook them from Mark Bittman's book How To Cook Everything. Now I love them.

Cream or milk is one key part. Another is the way you heat the pan. I can't recommend that book enough.
posted by The World Famous at 5:31 PM on October 26, 2007

Gordon Ramsey makes scrambled eggs

Seriously delicious. Creme fraiche is the key. (Pretty similar to heavy cream).
posted by Comrade_robot at 5:31 PM on October 26, 2007 [2 favorites]

Make scrambled eggs or omelettes, but use mostly other stuff instead of eggs. Add ham, green peppers, cheese, whatever. If you add enough delicious things you can hardly even taste the eggs. Then slowly decrease the amount of other stuff and increase the amount of eggs. This worked for me.
posted by rachelv at 5:38 PM on October 26, 2007

Explore the wonderful world of frittatas, which to my taste, is the improved version of the omelette.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:42 PM on October 26, 2007

I hate eggs, too, and never want to learn to like them, even if it does severely limit my options when I go out for brunch. However, I can sometimes tolerate those tiny bland bits of egg in my fried rice. I'm the same way with tomatoes: I've hated raw tomatoes all my life, but I've been very slowly learning to tolerate them in little bits. A sandwich with sliced tomatoes is still out of my reach, but I can now scoop up the chunky salsa instead of soaking my chip in the liquid and brushing all the chunks off.

So my advice would be to introduce eggs via dishes where egg isn't the dominant flavor or texture, like the aforementioned fried rice or homemade potato salad with bits of egg in it. You're not tricking yourself because you know there's egg in there and you can taste it, but it's not overwhelming.

If you have other people to cook for, cook eggs for them! You'll get over the eggy smell and texture without having to taste them, and it's pretty hard to cook something without eventually wanting to taste it yourself.
posted by Metroid Baby at 5:50 PM on October 26, 2007

See if you can get some farm fresh eggs from chickens that get outdoors; they are delicious. Deviled eggs are irresistible.
posted by theora55 at 6:14 PM on October 26, 2007

Hard boiled eggs are at their best and most delicious just after they're made, while they're still warm. Boil them the appropriate period of time, then dunk them in cold water for 30 seconds or so to stop the cooking, but not long enough to cool them down. Peel, salt, eat, enjoy! (And don't forget the salt! Without salt, eggs taste terrible.)

If you stick them in the refrigerator and eat them the next day, the texture is all wrong and a lot of the best flavor is missing.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 6:43 PM on October 26, 2007

I used to think I hated hard boiled eggs until I discovered that my mother and grandmother had been overcooking them my whole life. The outside of the yolk of a hard boiled egg should be sunshine yellow, not at all grayish. If your hard boiled eggs have discolored yolks, you, too, may be delighted with the wonderful non-rubbery properly prepared hard boiled egg.
posted by textilephile at 6:44 PM on October 26, 2007

The article that dereisbaer links to is very interesting and informative and I highly recommend you (and others) read it. Basically, that claim—which has some evidence behind it—is that any person can learn to tolerate (not necessarily love, but no longer hate) any food by eating it a certain number of times in a certain period under certain conditions. It's not that many times, either. It's been a long time since I've read the article, so I can't recall the details.

I won't eat most vegetables, which makes me unusual for an adult, not to mention that I don't eat very healthily because of it. If I had the self-control and motivation, I'd use the technique described in that article to learn to like all the vegetables I don't like. Unfortunately, unlike you, I haven't learned to solve the “want to want to” problem. I don't want to learn to like vegetables because I don't like them, if you know what I mean.

You must have had a bad experience with eggs at some point, considering that you once liked scrambled and fried eggs but no longer do. Just one bout of nausea or vomiting can turn a person off of a food forever. On the other hand, it's surprisingly easy to regain your ability to enjoy that food—easier than you might think. For years I avoided BBQ because of a bad experience. Then, just one time I tried eating it again for some reason and my phobia of it disappeared immediately.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:29 PM on October 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

Seconding the free range eggs, especially if you are making them hard boiled. Whatever you don't like about the texture, there's some way of preparing them that will get around that. Poached, boiled, fried, benidict; cooked hard, soft, or in between. If you really can't get past the egg texture, make a sponge cake and an angel food cake out of each dozen eggs.
posted by yohko at 7:30 PM on October 26, 2007

This is so yummy; maybe try it. Mix up an egg as though you're going to scramble it. Spread it out in a frying pan heated to low medium, so the egg will cook but not get hard or crispy, and after a few seconds push a sheet of nori down on top. Then direct some of the liquid egg on top of the nori and when the under layer is solid enough, start rolling the nori up into a log. When it's all cooked, slice it into sections about 2 cm long. Eat warm, dipped in soy sauce.
posted by Listener at 7:40 PM on October 26, 2007 [4 favorites]

Go to a good authentic sushi bar order the tomago. toe ma go.
posted by hortense at 7:53 PM on October 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

Poached eggs, as fresh as possible, certainly brought up from fridge temperature by a hot water bath for 20 minutes or so. Serve 'em on toast over a little butter and good salt and pepper. Outstanding. Here is the always reliable Miguel Cardoso on poached eggs.

I think I finally figured out how to poach eggs from his post, although I crack the egg into a tea cup and slide that into the almost boiling water, so it cooks in the teacup a little bit first and I always use white vinegar, about a two second pour. Organic/freerange eggs do taste better, they're one of the few organic products where I can always tell a difference.

Poached eggs are also magnificent over a salad, nice red leaf lettuce, a little wilted in the French manner, some tomatoes and red onions and a light vinegary dressing, pop a poached egg on top and eat with a baguette. So good.

They don't have the sulfur issues of hardboiled eggs, instead a kind of rich unctuousness and soothing texture.
posted by Divine_Wino at 7:56 PM on October 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

certainly brought up from fridge temperature by a hot water bath for 20 minutes or so.

By this I mean, a hot water bath before you poach them, the uncracked eggs in hot water.

Try it, even if you end up never wanting to eat poached eggs again, it's fun and you fell like you've really accomplished something when you get it right. A slotted spoon makes all the difference in terms of getting the egg out of the water.
posted by Divine_Wino at 7:59 PM on October 26, 2007

When I was a kid, I thought the texture of eggs were disgusting. Now I love eggs.

Have you tried a homemade version of the Sausage Egg McMuffin? It seems to distract from the actual texture by introducing the creamy cheese, crunchy bread, et cetera. I like to leave my egg sunny-side up, pile on the American cheese, add a lean patty of sausage, and lightly butter my toasted english muffin. Sometimes I throw in a slice of tomato.

What about quiche? Even as a kid, I loved my mother's quiche. My favorite ingredients to add are cheddar cheese, button mushrooms, red pepper, scallions or red onion, tomato, broccoli, and zucchini.

What about just dipping hash browns or toast into the runny yolk? Have you ever had scrambled eggs (very heavy on the cream) with bay shrimp and scallions? Amazing. Egg in the hole? Or what about a Bruschetta inspired scramble? Chiffonade or mince the basil, dice the tomato, add mozzarella, scramble with heavy whipping cream, cook in olive oil. Pile on bread that has been lightly toasted in olive oil.

Today I had a boursin cheese and portabella mushroom omelet. It was fantastic! Preparation, quality ingredients, and execution makes all the difference.
posted by fiasco at 9:22 PM on October 26, 2007

I love, love, love, love poached eggs and a nicely done soft-boiled egg. Experiment with boiling times until a boiled egg seems yummy to you. At worst, you'll have wasted a couple bucks' worth of eggs. If you have a cat or dog, they'll eat the failed experiments for you.

I think scrambled and fried eggs are the goddamned devil. You're better off without them. They are TERRIBLE. And that is my objective stance on the matter.
posted by InnocentBystander at 11:41 PM on October 26, 2007

My scramble makes the world turn a little slower, it's so good, and I got if from Julia Child.
Put 75% of the eggs you're going to scramble in a pan, and scramble like you've been doing all along. BUT.
Just as they're the hardness that you like, toss in the last 25%, throw the eggs around to get the already scrambled eggs wet with the new egg, and then slide the eggs onto your plate.
Reading that and then trying it out was a culinary opening of the clouds for me (I'm easily pleased, AND given to hyperbole!).
I love love LOVE eggs. All kinds, all ways. My wife introduced me to soft boiled last year and it's so worth it. Amazing.

Now I'm hungry.
posted by asavage at 12:02 AM on October 27, 2007 [8 favorites]

If the often soft/slimy texture of most egg dishes is the issue try omelettes cooked like this...I load mine up with fillings and start cooking on the hob, when they are nearly set I place under grill for a quick blast - they are golden brown both on top and bottom, a very light fluffy texture and very yummy.

Also, as you add things like ham,cheese, onions or mushrooms or whatever else takes your fancy you add rather dominant flavours so this balances the egg taste.
posted by koahiatamadl at 3:04 AM on October 27, 2007

Hee. I clicked on this thread hoping someone would say something enticing that would make me change my mind, but ew ew ew ew eggs! Even just reading about them makes me shudder.
posted by judith at 4:54 AM on October 27, 2007 [3 favorites]

If it's the rubberiness than bothers you, try shirred eggs:

Crack eggs directly into a saucepan. Add a bit of water and beat with a fork over heat. Gradually lower the heat as the eggs begin to cook. (You never want them to harden.) Continue until the flame is at its lowest and you have a mound of fluffly soft egginess. Serve with buttered toast. . . heaven.

Oh, and by all means, get farm fresh free-run eggs. The difference is astonishing.
posted by pammo at 5:02 AM on October 27, 2007

Hmmm. all these years I thought that what I described above was shirred eggs (thanks mom!) until I googled after posting. Ignore the name. I guess these are just soft-scrambled eggs.
posted by pammo at 5:05 AM on October 27, 2007

No, but actual shirred eggs (baked in little dishes, sometimes with a little splash of cream or a tasty bit of vegetable at the bottom) are good too. Again, it's a slightly different texture, so if texture is the OP's problem then they're worth a try.
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:41 AM on October 27, 2007

Cheese, Grommit! Yep, a nice slice of Tillamook medium cheddar on my fried egg sandwich (flattened and squashed yolk) is one of 2 ways I will eat eggs. The other is hard-cooked (like easter eggs) but I can only tolerate one or 2 a week. I got my kids to eat eggs (scrambled) by offering them ketchup with it and they still like eggs now as grownups.... ;)
posted by Lynsey at 9:51 AM on October 27, 2007

Like you, I have serious egg issues, and what I do to deal with it is that I never make eggs as eggs alone, and will only eat them in scrambled form. For example, scrambled on a bagel with sharp cheddar cheese, patty sausage (soy-based, if you swing that way), and some cholula hot sauce. Totally worth eating for the non-egg inclined.
posted by mcstayinskool at 11:19 AM on October 27, 2007

I'm not totally clear on your texture issue: eggs have lots of textures. For me, scrambled is icky and runny yolks (or any york that is not hardboiled blue or broken and fried) are replusive, but I still love eggs. I just love them the way I want them. Fried hard. Omletted with awesome cheese. Quiche. So maybe play around.
posted by dame at 12:27 PM on October 27, 2007

I always, ALWAYS hated eggs too, until I had an omelette made from farm-fresh, pastured eggs. Yummy!

So nthing getting free-range organic eggs. Look for pastured eggs if at all possible; sometimes "free-range" merely means that the chickens are let out of their coops into an enclosed yard once a day. "Pastured," on the other hand, means that the chickens who laid the eggs have been running around outside, eating bugs and grass and other chicken delicacies; for those of us raised on factory, supermarket eggs they are a revelation. Happy chickens lay tasty eggs.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 12:34 PM on October 27, 2007

I love three-minute soft-boiled eggs on warm buttered toast. Very, very yum.
posted by lambchop1 at 6:34 PM on October 27, 2007

Awesome, thanks so much everyone! I wasn't able to get any local eggs yesterday, so I got the best eggs I could get at my grocery store, and I'm going to try to make something tasty this week. I'll post updates. :)
posted by sugarfish at 8:10 PM on October 28, 2007

Oh, seriously if you can - farm fresh eggs. They don't even remotely taste the same as the kind from the grocery store.
posted by Space Kitty at 11:10 PM on October 29, 2007

Space Kitty, I do buy as locally as possible, but the farmers that I know sell eggs didn't have any when I went to the market.
posted by sugarfish at 6:35 AM on November 2, 2007

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