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Cheap And Easy Cooking – Eggs

It’s been a while since the last Cheap And Easy Cooking post (it was about rice, in case you missed it), so it’s time for another!

JM has been making a lot of egg dishes recently when it’s his turn to cook dinner, so he figured that would be the perfect thing to share with you next in this series.

6 ways to cook an egg {Cheap And Easy Cooking Series}

Here’s what he has to say on the subject:

Eggs are a great candidate for “Cheap And Easy Cooking” because they’re really cheap and really easy. Let’s start with cheap…an egg costs between 10 and 15 cents, which means that you can easily make an entire meal out of just eggs for under a dollar. Assuming you’re not Cool Hand Luke. The other thing that is great about eggs is that everyone pretty much already knows how to cook them. Most people have cooked an egg one way or another.

So it’s cheap and easy, but it also serves some other functions that are extremely important if you’re trying to feed yourself cheaply and easily:

The first thing that eggs do are stand in for more expensive food. The big example would sandwiches; if you can put meat on a sandwich, you can pretty much put an egg on it instead. Don’t have leftover chicken for your ceasar salad? Add an egg. Need to turn Ramen into an actual adult meal? Egg! Want to turn boring old rice into a complete meal? Egg. BAM, fried rice! Need a killer appetizer that you can bring to a respectable family gathering for NO MONEY?! Deviled eggs! They’re versatile enough to stand in for tons of other protein sources that are more expensive and harder to cook.

The second thing that eggs do is provide an efficient means of getting rid of any random food you have laying around. The best example of this is an omelette, which you can pretty much put ANY leftovers in and it will be good. French toast is another great example; it was originally designed to salvage unusable, stale bread. In fact, French toast is better if you use stale bread and leave it soaking in the eggs.

So to sum up: eggs are really cheap, eggs are really easy, eggs are a great, filling addition to pretty much any dish, and they’re a perfect shortcut to eating the rest of the random food you have laying around (and that’s always cheaper than going to the store)!

He really loves eggs. Like seriously, we edited that whole bit down from a two page rant on how awesome eggs are.

But actually, I know a fair bit about cooking eggs, so I’m stealing my post back from him at this point. You’re welcome!

You all probably know how to cook an egg, but just in case you want a refresher course, here are a few of the most basic ways to cook an egg.

Sunny Side Up:

In theory, a sunny side up egg is simple. Heat up some butter in a frying pan, crack an egg into it, and don’t flip the egg over. When it’s cooked, it’s done!

In practice it’s a little more difficult because it is hard to make sure the top of the egg is thoroughly cooked without burning the underside. Some people stick a lid over the pan so the steam will help cook the top, but this doesn’t always help because the steam doesn’t cook the top fast enough.

However, there’s a simple trick that cooks the tops perfectly! Heat up 2 T of butter in the frying pan. Once the entire pan is hot, crack an egg into the pan. Using a small spoon, spoon hot butter over the whites of the egg, but not the yolk. Once the whites firm up, spoon a little bit of butter over the yolk to firm the top up. After about three minutes your egg will be cooked, including the top!

Cheap and Easy Cooking: Sunny side up eggs

Fried:

A fried egg is the same as a sunny side up egg, except you flip it halfway through cooking so it’s cooked on both sides. Heat up a skillet, once it’s hot, crack an egg into it. After about a minute and a half flip the egg over and cook for another minute and a half.

In a restaurant you can specify how “well done” you want your fried egg by asking for it over easy, over medium, or over hard. The easy, medium, and hard specifies how runny you want the yolk to be.

Scrambled:

Scrambled eggs and bacon was a staple breakfast on weekends when I was growing up. It’s easy and delicious!

Heat up some butter in a skillet and crack a couple of eggs into a bowl (I usually make two eggs per person). Whisk the eggs with a fork, and once the pan is hot, dump the eggs into the pan. Stir the eggs so that they don’t get all cooked on one side. Keep chopping and stirring the eggs until they are cooked, about 4 minutes.

My favorite way to do scrambled eggs is to toss a little shredded cheese into the bowl with the eggs before I pour it into the pan. Yummy cheesy eggs!

Omelette:

An omelette is the same idea as scrambled eggs, but you don’t stir the eggs once they’re in the pan. Start out the same way by heating some butter in a skillet and cracking some eggs into a bowl. Whisk the eggs and pour them into the pan once it’s hot.

Once the eggs are in the pan, don’t stir them! You want the entire bottom to cook. The top will still be runny, but once you can see the edges start to get cooked, run your spatula around the edges to make sure they aren’t sticking to the pan.

Fold one side of your eggs over the other to make a semicircle, or fold it in thirds, one side at a time. Once the liquid has dried from the eggs, your omelette is done!

Omelettes are great because they’re so versatile. You can put anything you want in them and they still turn out fantastic. The recipe above is just for a plain omelette, but you can add cheese, bacon, ham, spinach, mushrooms…you get the idea :-)

Pour out your eggs into the pan like normal, then once the bottom is firmed up, add your “filling” before folding the omelette. And if you want a fluffier omelette just add a bit of milk in with your eggs when you whisk them up.

Cheap and Easy Cooking: Omelette

Also, in case you missed it, Marty from Marty’s Musings linked up the coolest omelette idea ever to this week’s Fun In Functional link party. She made omelettes in a plastic bag! That way you don’t have to flip them! I’m pretty bad at flipping omelettes and usually end up with a sort of jumble of eggs instead of two layers of eggs, so this is perfect :-)

Another thing you can do with omelette-style eggs is make them into a breakfast sandwich. Whisk your eggs and some milk in a small microwaveable container that is about the same size as a bagel. Microwave the egg mixture on high for about a minute and a half until the eggs are firm. If they aren’t quite, microwave them again in 20 second intervals. Pop the “omelette” out of the container, put it on a sliced bagel, maybe add some cheese or some bacon, and you’ve got a delicious breakfast sandwich.

Hard Boiled:

Hard boiled eggs make great snacks because, unlike most eggs, you can take them anywhere.

Put a layer of eggs into the bottom of a big pan. Cover the eggs with cool water and put the pan on the stove. Bring the water to a boil, and once it’s boiling, boil for 10 minutes.

Opinions differ about what to do after they are done boiling, because sometimes it is hard to peel a hard boiled egg without the shell sticking to the whites. You can turn off the heat and pull the eggs out with a slotted spoon immediately, or you can just let them sit in the water until the water has cooled down enough to deal with them. I usually just let the eggs sit in the water, and then put them in the fridge after the water has cooled. And I don’t have any trouble peeling the eggs, so the second method works fine for me.

My favorite thing to do with hard boiled eggs is to make deviled eggs. I won’t go into the whole recipe here, but if you ever need to bring something to a potluck or a picnic, deviled eggs are great. You just need hard boiled eggs, mayonnaise, sugar, and mustard. And maybe some pickle relish or some chili powder if you want to spice it up a bit :-)

Soft Boiled:

One of my favorite quick dinners growing up was soft boiled eggs. The way my mom made them was the best, and I still think this is my favorite way to eat eggs.

Bring about two inches of water to a boil and pull your eggs out of the fridge (you want them room temperature-ish before you put them in the boiling water). Once the water is boiling, gently drop in two eggs with a slotted spoon. (Two eggs per person…) Set a timer for three minutes.

Put a piece of bread in the toaster and turn it on right away. Butter the toast once it pops up, cut it into bite-sized pieces, and put it in a bowl.

Once your egg timer goes off, turn off the stove and immediately pull the eggs out with a slotted spoon. Timing is pretty critical here because the eggs will keep cooking in their shells. Run them under cold water until they’re cool enough to touch, crack the egg in half with a butter knife, and scoop the inside out with a spoon into the bowl. The whites will be cooked firm, but the yolks should be runny, so you’ll need a spoon to separate the whites from the lining of the shell.

Mix up the eggs and the toast and you have a cheap and easy meal!

Cheap and Easy Cooking: Soft boiled eggs and toast

What are your favorite egg dishes? Personally, besides the soft boiled eggs, I’m a huge fan of quiches and omelettes. Anything you can add bacon to! Any other quick and simple ways of cooking eggs that I missed? Do you have any tips or tricks for cooking eggs?

 

If you want to see the rest of the Cheap And Easy Cooking posts, you can check them out here!

 

 

 
 
 
I link up at these awesome parties!

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Hi, I'm Jessi! Welcome to Practically Functional, a blog about simple, practical projects and ideas to help you love your home, no matter where you live! We just bought our first house, and I'm busy turning it into a home. I want to make sure we love every single square foot of our new home, so I decorate, I craft, I DIY, I build, I organize, I cook… I even garden! Practically Functional is about loving your home and turning it into the perfect place for you, your family, your pets, your hobbies, your work, and everything else you love! Make sure you follow along by RSS or subscribe by email so you don't miss anything!

Comments

  1. Love eggs! And actually my favorite way to eat eggs is to not cook them. :) Now mind you the only way I will make eggnog is if I have eggs from my mom. Her chickens are organic as well as the eggs and that’s the only way I feel comfortable eating them raw.
    Next best is omelets yummy!
    Kendra@ A Proverbs 31 Wife recently posted..Monday Meet up

    • Oh man, eggnog is the best! And I’m jealous that your mom raises chickens! My mom keeps talking about putting a coop in their backyard but I think it’s just a pipe dream… :-)

  2. Obviously for all of those recipes you need to delete “butter” and write “bacon grease.” :-D If you’re making bacon at the same time, drain off some of the excess and cook the eggs in the same pan. We save all our bacon drippings and I use those to cook eggs and other things that don’t mind a bit of bacon flavor. You have to be careful not to put too much in the pan, though, or your eggs will just be greasy and gross.

    Oh man. I’m with JM, though. I could go on and on about how awesome eggs are. And even paying premium bucks for the local free-range happy chicken eggs from the friendly farmer couple (which I know is obnoxious but oh my goodness. they taste so different and amazing), it still breaks down to just over thirty-five cents an egg. Cheapest protein around. And an essential ingredient in everything from brownies to homemade pasta to Caesar salad dressing to custard…the incredible edible egg, indeed!

    My favorite egg-centered dish is probably breakfast burritos: scramble up some eggs (with milk and cheese, obvs), cook up whatever else you have around (cook chopped tomatoes and jalapenos with the eggs; onions and mushrooms browned together are awesome, and you can’t go wrong with fried potatoes, bacon, sausage….), warm up a tortilla (more cheese is good here, too, and/or you can butter your tortilla. I like to get them a little crispy with brown spots, or you could just get them warm and pliable), and wrap it all up together. Depending on how elaborate you get, it can take less than five minutes, and it’s this whole complete little portable meal. Eggs, cheese, tortilla, and out the door to work; more elaborate production involving bacon and papas and vegetables and it’s a fancy filling awesome lazy-day brunch or cheapo dinner. Nom nom nom.
    Katie recently posted..I am dressed (don’t ask much more of me)!

  3. We have chickens (and allow them to be free range to my gardens’ dismay!) and there is nothing like fresh eggs from the coop…no matter how you cook them!! And oh yeah…in bacon grease! lol
    Debbie :)
    Debbie recently posted..Plants in Peril

  4. This is fantastic! We just started Atkins and it seems all we can have for breakfast is eggs and they get so boring.

  5. Yay! I have been cooking with eggs a lot lately too! Thanks for linking up at Well Crafted Wednesdays!
    Lauren @The Well Crafted Home recently posted..Well Crafted Wednesdays #14! {Link Party}

  6. Hi Jessi…Love eggs! I am now your newest follower on linky…hope you can come check out one of my posts I just did about eggs! I bake them!!! Too funny!!! http://www.redheadcandecorate.com/4/post/2012/07/red-hot-tip-7.html

  7. Hi – yum I love eggs! We have soft boiled eggs for brekkie every morning and ‘soldiers’ made out of our toast sliced into long rectangles. We have the eggs in egg cups and dip our soldiers into the runny yellow until it is all gone and then scoop the rest out with a spoon. It is THE BEST start to the day!
    Alex recently posted..From the archives…

  8. Toad in the Hole is my favorite way to have eggs!
    Danni Baird recently posted..Seashell Map Frame

  9. A good collection to have. (Especially now that I have 5 laying hens!)
    Shirley Corwin recently posted..A New Gadget

  10. I’m definitely a big fan of eggs. I like to poach them, too. Thanks for sharing at I Made It! Monday. Can’t wait to see what you link up this week.
    Amanda recently posted..Fun Yard Sale Find

  11. Oh yum! What a great roundup of egg recipes! We love eggs over here too!

    Thanks so much for linking up to Financial Friday last week! I hope to see ya there tomorrow at 7! (times two!)
    Kelley recently posted..Beach Ready [Closet Copy Cat]

  12. Hi Jessi,
    Ok, now I’m just spending way too much time on your site. Love your “practicality”(or however you spell it).
    This was probably not supposed to be a funny post, but I was cracking up at exactly how much he went on and on about the egg love. Hysterical! So my boyfriend on any topic he is covering, lol!! And apparently, your commenter Katie is also a huge fan.
    Thanks, new fan and new follower:) Di

    • Haha, yeah JM really does love his eggs! And Katie is a friend from college, but we don’t live near each other anymore so we mostly communicate on our blogs :-)

  13. Love this series! Have been trying to work more protein into our daily eats and eggs are awesome. Thanks for gathering up tips for cooking them! Thanks, too, for sharing on Busy Monday!
    Charlene@APinchofJoy recently posted..Back to school – bus safety tips

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