Eggs

Eggs can take so many forms, from eggs Benedict to frittatas. Even omelet styles diverge—the French prefer a pale, creamy rolled version while Americans opt for a slightly browned omelet that gets folded in half. One thing the world can agree on? Eggs are one of the best breakfast foods around. They mix well with other ingredients and have the power to fuel you until lunch (and possibly beyond). Use Food & Wine’s guide to discover egg-focused recipes from some of the best chefs around the world.

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Breakfast Egg Cups with Parsley Gremolata and Mushrooms

These surprisingly elegant, savory herb-topped eggs bake up in a muffin pan, so it’s easy to make breakfast or brunch for a few days—or for more than a few people. Serve any leftover breakfast egg cups sandwiched between buttered, toasted English muffins or brioche slices.Related: More Egg Breakfast Recipes

Chilaquiles Rojos with Fried Eggs and Cotija

Charring the tomato and onion before adding them to the red chile sauce is a quick way to create rich, slow-cooked flavor. Thick-cut fresh tortilla chips soak up the sauce and runny egg yolks without getting soggy.

Boursin Omelet

This beautifully basic omelet is the sleeper hit of chef Michael Tusk’s French-inflected bar à vin menu at Verjus in San Francisco. An homage to his love of dairy, spreadable garlic-herb cheese melts richly into the creamy center of the tender eggs. While it makes for a delicious and satisfying breakfast, this omelet is best with some crusty baguette, a crisp salad, and a glass of Chardonnay.

Scrambled Eggs with Cumin and Fragrant Herbs (Ande Ki Bhurji)

A traditional Indian scrambled egg dish, ande ki bhurji includes an almost equal amount of fresh yellow onion to eggs. As the beaten eggs cook (until they are fully set but not browned), the onion sweetens and mellows. Topped with toasted cumin seeds, cilantro, and fresh green chiles, this meal is fragrant and savory, with a distinct vegetal crunch.

The Best Fried Eggs Are Made with Water

For perfectly cooked, amazingly tender fried eggs every time, just add water.

Poached Scrambled Eggs with Herb Oil and Trout Roe

Inspired by Daniel Patterson’s technique for poaching scrambled eggs, these fluffy, souffle-like eggs are delicate and the perfect foundation for briny roe and herbs. Don’t skimp on straining time; it’s necessary to remove all of the water from the cooked eggs.

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Soft Scrambled Eggs with Ham and Truffles

Light and fluffy, these eggs are gently seasoned and generously perfumed by fresh black truffles. For the perfect creamy, tender bite, pull the eggs off of the heat before they set; they will continue to cook after they leave the stove.

French Rolled Omelet

At the Culinary Institute of America, Egg Day occurs during Skills II, the class that comes right after students learn how to make stock and just before they’re expected to put a whole meal together. Egg Day’s polarizing qualities elicit a variety of superlatives: “Egg Day is the WORST.” “Egg Day is the BEST.” “Egg Day made me cry.” “I drank a whole cup of hollandaise sauce on Egg Day—I couldn’t stop myself.” That single day is one of the rites of passage of culinary school; one that upperclassmen like to swap war stories about, and new students lay awake at night fearing.What makes Egg Day so momentous? For me, it was my instructor, Chef McCue. Dave McCue was a graduate of the CIA who had gone on to have a career as a “working chef,” the kind who actually cooks food every day. After many years, he came back to the CIA as a chef-instructor to teach young cooks to stand up straight and be better and faster. The school outlines a curriculum, but it’s up to each instructor to execute the lesson and uphold the standards of properly cooked food. The way to learn cooking is through practice, and Chef McCue instills repetition. “The egg came first,” he assured me. If you can cook an egg properly, then you can move on to the chicken.For Egg Day, most classes receive a case of eggs to be split among the twenty students. A case of eggs is 30 dozen. Chef McCue orders THREE. I’ll do the math for you—that’s 1080 eggs for Egg Day. Chef obviously doesn’t mess around. He hopes they won’t all be needed, but eggs are the perfect, and cheapest, way to teach proper technique. There’s cracking the eggs correctly, having a place to toss the shells, the best tool used to beat them, the type and quantity of seasoning added before, during, and after cooking, how to heat a pan, when to add the fat, all the visual, aural, aromatic clues of coagulating protein, the essentials of proper presentation, and on and on and on.To pass Egg Day and move to Skills III, each student must cook eggs eight ways, three times in a row. If your soft scramble is a little too hard on the third try, you start over and make it three times again until all three in a row are perfect.This isn’t a mild form of torture intended for Chef’s enjoyment. (In fact, he takes a bite of almost every egg to check for seasoning and temperature—joke’s on him!). He knows when the students graduate, they will be asked to cook an omelet when they stage at restaurants. How they approach the task, from prepping their mis en place to presenting the dish, will show their level of finesse and determine whether they get the job. “How they roll an omelet is like a resume,” Chef McCue says.Having submitted my edible resume countless times to (thankfully!) rave reviews, I can look back with gratitude on Egg Day, and Chef’s meticulous training.

Chawanmushi

Cooking in a water bath, just like crème brûlée, makes these Japanese custards set yet incredibly silky. These chawanmushi from Eric Wolfinger are infused with umami-rich dashi and soy. They make a beautiful first course with a drizzle of Yuzu Ponzu and a garnish of fresh crab or uni.  Slideshow: More Japanese Recipes