Eggs have been a rising trend in restaurants for the last few years, and we can't expect them to be pulled off menus, well, ever. And for good reason! Not only are they incredibly versatile, but this essential ingredient is every bit as super as kale or salmon.
If you're still eating your eggs scrambled or hard-boiled, in omelets or frittatas, you're missing out on all the possibilities for a delicious meal. Just in time for your Easter table, here are 10 totally trendy -- yet kinda strange -- ways to prepare eggs.
Although the recipe first appeared in the February 2002 issue of Gourmet Magazine, the concept of lining a muffin pan with sliced ham still feels a bit bizarre. But there's nothing off-putting about the combo of soft baked eggs, crispy ham, and herb mushroom stuffing. It's easy to make, yet they'll look stunning served with brunch.
Is the yolk your favorite part of a hard-boiled egg? Then you'll love these mooncakes, which are traditionally served during the Mid-Autumn Festival throughout China, a time devoted to lunar activities. The cakes often have an egg yolk baked in the middle to represent the moon in the sky. You'll need lotus seeds if you want to bake your own; look in Asian supermarkets, or order online.
This version of the classic home-cooked dinner is more popular throughout Europe than in America, particularly in Germany. It's an even more efficient use of simple ingredients. Plus, kids will love the surprise hidden inside what they might think of as a lackluster meal.
A few months ago, dark teal eggs made the menu at NYC restaurant Louro. The emu eggs, which are much larger than a chicken egg yet smaller than an ostrich egg, are reminiscent of something out of fantasy, which is why Chef Santos first served them for a Game of Thrones dinner last year. For now, diners can enjoy them scrambled with shaved Bianchetti truffles -- but at a price of $90 a dish. Why? Each emu egg costs about $30.
In the last few years, fried and poached eggs have become popular on top of everything from burgers and pizzas to French fries and potato chips. Now there's even a cookbook devoted to egg toppings. And why not? It adds about 6 grams of protein, plus vitamins A, C, B6 and D. This trend can certainly be taken too far, but sometimes the creamy yolk can truly make a dish.
Fried eggs are as common as pancakes for breakfast, but deep-fried eggs weren't popular in the U.S. until recently. Now they're popping up on restaurant menus all over the country in the form of Scotch eggs, a popular snack and picnic food in the U.K. A hard-boiled egg is covered in sausage, breaded, and then deep-fried.
These don't come in the shells -- yet. But scientists have engineered a plant-based replacement for eggs by analyzing 1,500 plants to find which proteins act like the ones in eggs. Using the results of that process, Hampton Creek has made a vegan mayonnaise and cookie dough so you can enjoy everything you love about eggs without the actual animal product.
Warm avocado may not sound appetizing to everyone, but the fruit is even softer and creamier when baked. Slice one in half, remove the pit, and crack a whole egg in the center. For a twist on green eggs and ham, simply sprinkle diced ham hocks or crispy bacon on top.
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More nutritious than chicken eggs, with a higher amount of protein and essential minerals, duck eggs now represent a growing market. And since duck eggs have a yolk twice the size of the standard chicken egg, they're becoming popular with chefs and bakers, who desire that higher fat content to make more tender pastas and richer pastries. They are often available through local farmers, such as Crooked Sky Farms in Arizona, and at farmers' markets.
Just kidding. Please don't try this at home ... or anywhere else.