For everyone who has missed Martha Stewart since she signed-off on her last Martha show in May, we give you reason to rejoice with this month's debut of her new TV series, Martha Stewart's Cooking School, inspired by her 2008 cookbook of the same title.
Unlike her daily eponymous-titled show, which was taped in front of a live audience, Martha says now she'll have plenty of time to really "show" people how to cook.
During each weekly half-hour lesson, the first of which aired October 6 through October 8 depending on your local PBS broadcasting schedule, Martha will give a step-by-step "how to" peppered with plenty of fun facts, tips, and tricks -- as well as a few personal opinions on taste and serving suggestions -- for making the perfect [eggs, Bernaise sauce, poached salmon, etc.].
Clean Plate Charlie watched a full 30-minutes of Martha whipping, whisking, frying, flipping -- and, yes, even eating -- so you don't have to Et voila: you get all the wisdom of TV's most talented domestic wonder woman -- without having to suffer through any of her icy smiles.
See Also:The Perfect Egg Timer App
The lessons become increasingly difficult with each passing week. Try to tackle Martha's lessons on your own and by the third month, she'll have you pan-searing Muscovy duck breasts whether you're ready to or not. Eventually, Cooking School will branch off into a baking series. Hopefully we'll be up to speed by then. God knows we'd rather
burn a Boston butt-roast over a chocolate souffle cake any day.
Here, we've diluted Martha's first lesson, five methods for preparing perfect eggs. Keep reading for Martha's basics on hard and soft boiling, scrambling, and frying eggs -- as well as cooking a frittata and French-style omelet. And yes, you're welcome.
Fun Egg Facts By Martha:
- Americans consume 45 billion eggs a year.
- The key to making the perfect eggs is cooking with the proper heat, and timing.
- The greenish-colored ring you see on overcooked hard boiled eggs is actually the result of a chemical reaction thanks to all that sulfur.
- Plating cooked eggs on a warm dish will ensure a perfect serving temperature.
- Always cook with room-temperature eggs.
- If you can, serve eggs to your guests with a bone or ceramic spoon. Metal-based utensils tend to react with the sulfur in the eggs for a displeasing taste.
- When cooking eggs, use butter over oil. Not only does it add flavor, but it also helps to keep eggs from sticking better than oil will.
Ingredients and Supplies:
- Martha was sure to stress using only the highest quality eggs, which means if want perfect results, you'll need to start with the perfect egg: organic, cage-free should do.
- You'll also need some butter -- lots if you plan to fry and flip more than one egg.
- Omelet and frittata fillings (whatever you like with your eggs!)
- One pot for boiling eggs.
- Several non-stick saute pans ranging in size from 5 to 10-inches in diameter.
- It couldn't hurt to have a timer.
- Metal pastry rings.
- A bone or ceramic spoon/fork.
Hard and Soft Boiling Eggs: Martha's tips for hard and soft boiling are pretty basic. Be sure to use room-temperature eggs and begin with a pot of cold water.
1) Place unrefrigerated eggs in a deep pot filled with cold water, being sure to submerge completely. Do not crowd your eggs.
2) Bring water to a slow boil over medium-high heat.
3) Once the water has started to boil, remove the pot from heat, cover, and set aside for 13 minutes (for hard boiled eggs).
4) For soft-boiled eggs, follow the same steps as above, but set pot aside and leave eggs in water for 3 to 6 minutes, depending on level of "softness" desired.
Click the jump for perfect scrambled, and fried eggs.
Scrambled Eggs: Martha's tip for cooking the perfect scrambled eggs begins with a suggestion: don't add milk, cream, or water to your eggs. A high-quality egg will give you ideal results with nothing added. Also, be sure to keep the heat on your stove at a low setting. The goal is to move the eggs as they cook without burning or browning them.
1) Start by melting 1 to 2-tablespoons of butter in a small saute pan.
2) Whisk eggs until yolks are blended with whites, but be gentle! No air pockets will ensure a fluffy scramble.
2) Add eggs to heated pan, moving constantly with a spatula. Occasionally lift pan from heat to ensure no browning occurs.
3) When the eggs have cooked (no more runny parts), remove from pan onto a warm plate.
Fried Eggs: Martha demonstrates two ways to fry an egg: traditional and fancy. As with scrambled eggs, be sure to cook over low to medium heat to ensure no burning or browning, and have a lid handy for setting the yolks.
For traditional fried eggs:
1) Melt 1 to 2-tablespoons of butter of low to medium heat.
2) Crack the egg into the pan being careful not to break the yolk.
3) Cook egg for two minutes for sunny side up.
4) For hard-cooked center, cover pan and cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes depending on desired firmness.
5) Remove from heat and transfer to warm plate.
For fancy fried eggs, get your pastry ring:
1) Melt 1 to 2-tablespoons of butter over low to medium heat.
2) Place pastry rings in pan.
3) Crack egg whites only into center of pastry ring and cook for 2 minutes.
4) Add yolk to egg whites and cover pan, cooking for an additional 2 minutes.
5) Remove from heat and transfer to warm plate.
Click the jump for perfect frittatas and French-style omelets.
Martha uses onion, fingerling potato and goat cheese to make her frittata, but encourages the use of any filling (typically vegetables and cheese). It's important to cook your vegetables before adding them to the egg to reduce excess water. You'll also need to start with a large oven-safe skillet to finish cooking your frittata.
1) Pre-heat oven to high-heat broiler setting.
2) Heat oil in a large, oven-safe saute skillet and add onion and potato (or your choice of vegetables) with salt, pepper and any herbs or seasoning you desire.
3) Cook vegetables until they have reduced and are tender.
4) Whisk one dozen eggs with 1/4 cup cream, and add to pan.
5) Cook over low heat for 2 to 3 minutes, pulling eggs from the edge of the pan to keep them moving and to discourage browning or sticking. If necessary, occasionally remove pan from heat to keep eggs from sticking.
6) If you want cheese in your frittata, now's the time to add small cubes, placing evenly every few inches.
7) Move pan to pre-heated oven set to broil for 2 to 3 minutes.
8) Remove from oven and loosen frittata from pan. Transfer onto warm plate or serving dish.
French-Style Omelet: Martha explains the difference between an American omelet and French omelet is in the final method of flipping: American omelets are folded, while French are "rolled" in the pan before plating. Martha suggests making a three-egg omelet, and combines chive, tarragon and parsley to flavor her eggs, but encourages the use of any filling you desire. The most important part of cooking a perfect omelet is using clarified butter, which will not burn as easily as straight butter.
1) Heat 1 to 2 tablespoons of clarified butter in a small saute skillet over medium-high heat.
2) Add three whisked eggs and begin moving eggs from the edge of the pan to cook, lifting pan as you do so to keep eggs from sticking or browning, constantly tilting to allow runny, uncooked egg to move onto the hot surface and cook.
3) When they eggs have cooked (no runny parts) add filling to center, continually lifting pan on and off the heat.
4) For French-style omelets, gently "roll" the egg from left to right until it folds over the center.
5) Remove from heat and serve on warm plate.
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