Although a lot of people complain about the price of eggs, we think they are a bargain. One or two premium eggs from a free-roaming organically-fed chicken can make a mighty meal for $1.50 (.75 each). And there are ENDLESS ways to cook them.

In honor of them and to spark possibility-thinking, we reprise our edit of Renee Schettler Rossi’s “All Hail the Mighty Egg” that appeared in in Leite’s Culinaria some years ago, in which she asked a wide swath of food people — chefs, cookbook authors, home cooks — their favorite ways to eat eggs. (The article seems to have been removed from the site). She notated 50 very specific, amazingly clever, sometimes very personal ways to eat eggs from the people she spoke to, including Leite’s Culinaria readers, all fueled by memory, passion and hunger. (Until I read through the whole piece again, I’d forgotten that she includes my two-cents about eggs, which I always have even when my pantry seems bare. It’s below.)

We start with the great Fran McCullough waxing poetic about Judy Rogers’ Eggs Fried in Breadcrumbs (above) from the Zuni Cafe Cookbook (recipe here.)

‘My favorite is Judy’s eggs with crunchy breadcrumbs, which is kind of elegant in a very humble way.’

Adding buttery crisp breadcrumbs to your eggs lifts them from the ordinary but without straying from the basic ingredients. It’s only the form that changes, but that changes everything. Converting a slab of bread into rough little crumbs and then getting them crisp and delicious takes that tiny bit of extra care that transforms the ordinary into something that is, as Fran says, ‘kind of elegant.’ Add some asparagus and a glass of Sancerre and you have a fine little supper for any night of the week, one you could even share with others.

One of the A16 restaurant’s staff favorites at the end of the night is an egg poached in whatever our zuppa or minestra for the day happens to be. We heat up the soup in a shallow sauté pan and gently poach the egg in its liquid. When it hits the bowl, the egg is essentially sunnyside-up. Right now, we’re featuring a zuppa from Puglia called cecamariti or “husband-blinder” zuppa. Basically, it’s served so piping-hot that it blinds the husband as he eats it. The soup has a variety of dried beans as well as fresh ceci beans in it, and it’s the perfect zuppa for adding an egg.

—Liza Shaw, chef and owner, A16 in San Francisco
Linda Pugliese for Sweet Paul

’The Great Equalizer.’ It has been said of many things, including education, death, and the three-point line. But what holds this title in my kitchen is none other than the humble egg, cracked into a hot, oil-slicked skillet, and fried. Unless you’re a sucker for cold pizza or day-old Chinese takeout, ‘leftovers’ is a word not typically associated with breakfast. But in the early-morning hours, these suppers make a stellar second appearance under the sunny canopy of a fried, runny-yolked egg.

The fried egg works its magic without prejudice. I’d be hard pressed to finger a best of these egg-capped dinners reborn. The fried egg doesn’t play favorites, and neither do I. The sorriest heaps of leftover sautéed vegetables have made the fiercest comebacks; the merest of kitchen scraps have found their second winds, all thanks to the power of this equalizing ovum.”

—Excerpted from Sweet Amandine
Sally Schneider

It’s a vast subject, of course. I live off of fried eggs, partly because I’m so busy, and they’re so quick. I put eggs on all sorts of things. What I put them on tends to be what’s around…leftovers… a few bit of mushrooms. I love eggs on cooked or raw greens, either as an instant breakfast or dinner, especially dandelion or arugula that’s dressed with good olive oil or sherry vinegar (recipe here.)

One of my all-time favorites is eggs on pasta with Parmigiano-Reggiano (recipe here). The Parmigiano is a very good intermediary as it fuses with the warm yolk to make a lovely sauce that’s sort of carbonara-ish. Eggs cooked in duck fat are really sensational. I’ll often add some minced rosemary or thyme to the pan and the herb makes a little fragrance around the egg, which can be nice. Roasted or sautéed onions are inexpensive and easy. And potato chips are swell, in lieu of toast, if you have nothing else. Although toast of, course, is always wonderful.

—Sally Schneider, creator of The Improvised Life and author of The Improvisational Cook 
Maria Robledo

I love a dab of fermented black bean chili sauce and sprigs of fresh cilantro!

Tom Douglas, chef and owner of Dahlia Lounge, Etta’s, Lola, Palace Kitchen, and Serious Pie in Seattle

Our weekend brunch used to feature a wok-fried egg with pork belly, Pullman bread, and green mango salad. I wish we still had it on the menu, it was probably one of the best brunch-type dishes we offered. It was essentially eggs, bacon, and toast, but it had a little bit of spice from the sambal udang kering and a little sweetness from the salad. I would love for that dish to come back

—Joe Tangnui, general manager of Fatty Crab, in New York City’s West Village and Upper West Side

On a hamburger. That’s definitely my favorite accompaniment. I was vegetarian for most of my young adult years, so I didn’t have eggs at all. Then in graduate school in Charlottesville, my favorite burger place had a burger with an egg on top. It had all the regular stuff—cheese, bacon, tomatoes, lettuce, mayo—just with an egg on top of all that. It just seemed right.

—George Weld, owner of  egg in Brooklyn. It’s a casual little restaurant where diners can add a fried egg to their burger

Sally Schneider

Other Egg Affinities: asparagus, bacon and pancetta, basil, bell peppers, especially green, bread, butter, capers, caviar, cheeses (Comte, Emmental, feta, Gruyère, Havarti, mozzarella, Parmesan, Roquefort), chervil, chives, chorizo, cream, cream cheese, créme frâiche, dill, garlic, ginkgo nuts, ham, herb, especially fines herbs (i.e., chervil, chives, parsley, tarragon), leeks, marjoram, mushrooms, olive oil, onions, parsley, pepper, potatoes, smoked salmon, salt, sausage, scallions, shallots, spinach, tarragon, thyme, tomatoes, and truffles.

—Excerpted from The Flavor Bible by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg 

We note that CORN is not mentioned. And that is most likely because


You couldn’t name them all!

A soft boiled egg, buttered toast sticks, and good sea salt make the perfect breakfast (along with strong coffee). Swap the toast sticks with asparagus, and it turns into a light dinnerHard boiled and “pickled” in soy sauce and rice vinegar and I’ve got a nice afternoon snack. I could eat eggs at every meal, probably.

Ellen Silverman

My favorite way to eat eggs is soft scrambled in butter, sometimes with a bit of cheese and then make a sandwich with some tomatoes and mayo.

A beautiful, runny egg yolk is nature’s best sauce over almost anything, though. Some of the best things to put an egg on are asparagus with a shaving of cheese, or over re-fried beans with salsa, chunks of avocado, grated cheese and plenty of hot sauce.

Sally Schneider

Shakshouka (an Israeli/Middle Eastern dish) with the whole eggs cooked in a very spicy tomato sauce and properly served in the small cast-iron skillet that it’s cooked in.(Editor’s Note. Check out Susan Dworski’s recipe here.) 

—Sue Epstein

I love crispy-fried eggs with a splash of lemon. First, I gather the eggs from my chickens in the backyard. Then, using ultra-fresh eggs I cook them in a good dose of extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high to high heat. The eggs bubble and the edges curl and start to brown. I then squeeze a dash of lemon juice, cover and cook for another minute or until the whites are cooked through but the yolks are still soft and runny. Perfection: crispy egg whites with lacy brown edges with golden soft yolks

—Janice Cole

Maira Kalman

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