Everything You Want to Know About the Egg in One Book
It is rare that a cookbook will have a one-word title. While EGGby Michael Rulhman needs no other descriptor, he did come up with perfect subtitle– A Culinary Exploration of the World’s Most Versatile Ingredient. Eggs create volume and structure, lend moisture and are nutritional powerhouses as well. This book, which is not just for bakers, covers everything you want to know about eggs. To be precise, while he does briefly delve into the world of eggs in general, the book focuses on chicken eggs.
Chapters are divided into seven Parts, which clearly show you how to use the book. Ruhlman takes you on a journey through the wonders of the egg with solid technique and easy to understand explanations:
- Egg/Whole/Cooked in Shell
- Egg/Whole/Cooked out of Shell
- Egg/ Whole/Cooked out of Shell/Blended
- Egg/As Ingredient/The Dough-Batter Continuum (Sample Recipes: challah, cakes, pate a choux, lemon curd, buttercream)
- Egg/Separated/The Yolk (Sample Recipes: crème anglaise, crème brulée, vanilla ice cream)
- Egg/Separated/The White (Sample Recipes: meringues, nougat, marshmallows, floating island
- Egg/Separated but Used Together (Sample Recipes: soufflés, mousse, eggnog)
I have to say that as a recipe developer who cracks open dozens of eggs weekly, and uses them in all the above categories, I had never really thought of eggs in this manner.
By separating eggs into their uses we can learn more about their properties and how to use them to our advantage. In addition to the over 100 recipes in the book, Ruhlman also covers all the basic information and techniques you want and need such as discussions on labeling (cage-free versus organic), storage, wet heat versus dry heat (as in poaching versus frying), sous vide, separation techniques and much, much more.
Recipes, which cover savory and sweet, range from Shirred Eggs, Pork Ramen with Soft Cooked Egg, pasta, mayonnaise and crepes to French Buttercream, Ile Flottante, gougeres and Angel Food Cake. If it relies on eggs, it’s in here.
Ruhlman believes that if you can harness the egg’s power that you can be a better cook, and I agree. To put it another way, he quotes Alton Brown as saying, “the egg is the Rosetta stone of the kitchen”. No one says it like Alton.
As an added bonus there is a long, horizontal flow-chart included, folded up and tucked into a pocket inside the back cover. It shows you, at a glance, why eggs are possibly the perfect ingredient.