Help me learn to cook egg dishes

I need to learn to cook eggy things. Omelets, quiches, stratas, I’m not sure what else there is. I have never cared for eggs and never bothered to learn to cook anything eggy, aside from hard-boiling them. Now I have to learn to cook a lot of them.

(Explanation: some of you may know that my daughter, age 5, is allergic to nuts. This has now spread to peas and such, and so all legumes are out. I am facing a beanless existence, and am not sure how to cope. Eggs are now going to be a major source of protein in our home, and I guess I’ll learn to like them.)

So, please provide me with lots of egg recipes, hopefully not too fat-laden, for both breakfast and dinner. And tell me exactly what to do with the eggs, since I can’t even make proper scrambled eggs at this point.

Omlettes take a lot of practice. You’ll probably end up with a few scrambled eggs with stuff in thems before you perfect the omlette.

Put the eggs in a bowl along with some water (most people use milk, but I find water actually makes the eggs fluffier). Add salt and pepper to taste. (I also like dill in my eggs, but that’s not as common)

Law out the ingredients you want in your omlette seperately. If you use meats, they should be cooked before you start the eggs.

Some ideas are: Ham, bacon, sausage, cheese of whatever kind you like, onion, green pepper, tomato, you can experiment with anything you like.

heat the pan, using either butter or non-stick cookware.

Once heated, pour the eggs in the pan. Let it sit for a while and cook on the bottom and sides.

This is the part that takes experience. You start to pull the cooked egg in from the side and let the uncooked sort of dribble around so that it hist the pan. Once about half the egg is cooked, put in your fillings.

After a few seconds, flip half the egg over the other half (again, this takes practice). I usually put a little pressure on it to squeeze out any leftover uncooked egg.

If you mess up this part, just push it around a bit until you don’t see any more uncooked egg and have scrambled eggs with stuff.
Another great omlette idea is a mexican omlette.

for fillings, use onion, green pepper, diced tomatoes, cheddar cheese and chili.

The most important thing for eggs is the pan. I like non-stick surfaces because eggs can stick like crazy. Stuck eggs suck.

Are you ovo-lacto veg?

The pan is critical for easy egg cooking. If you have to, go to the store and buy a brand new teflon pan. A heavy bottom is nice, but you don’t need a high end, ultra durable pan. If you cook only eggs and other light fare in the pan, never using metal utensils, it will last nicely. Don’t fry hamburgers in this pan.

The thing about eggs is that they are sensitive to high temperatures. If you have made scrambled eggs in a puddle of water, it’s because you cooked them too hot, the proteins squeeze together so tight it forces the moisture out of the eggs.

For scrambled eggs, whisk your eggs together in a big bowl with a bit of water, maybe a tablespoon for 2 eggs. Whisk them well and add your salt and pepper, and any other seasonings you want. Heat some butter in the pan (as much for flavor as for non-stickness) when the butter is bubbling hot, add your eggs. Now, don’t go away, you stay with the eggs until they’re done.

You should be able to see the eggs cooking while you stir, but they should not be cooking fast, let it cook at a moderate pace. As it starts to tighten up, lower the heat so you don’t overcook. When they’re close to “fully” cooked, but are still moist, get them out of the pan, they’re done. Any additional cooking will happen on the plate. You’ll get nice, soft, fluffy scrambled eggs this way.

For omelets, one other way to dish it up is to flip the omelet out of the pan right onto the plate. It goes like this, instead of flipping half the omelet over in the pan, you flip over a third of the egg, right from the handle side of the pan. Shake the pan to ensure the egg is moving freely. Then you grab the handle backwards, with your palm up and your thumb pointing away from the pan. You can then tilt the pan down so the far end is right at the plate, shake the omelet so it lays partly on the plate, and flip the rest of the omelet over the top. It’s pretty slick and neat when you get the hang of it.

Another dish I like is egg-cups, sort of a mini-quiche. You whip up a bunch of eggs with chopped veggies, meats and cheese of your choice, then put the mix into a muffin tin and cook in a low oven until done. Use a teflon tin, foil inserts or grease it really really well before cooking. I wore out an entire brillo pad trying to get egg residue out of an aluminum muffin tin.

Courtesy of Bill Cosby:

Eggs are in chocolate cake. Also wheat, and milk. That’s nutrition!

No, but I don’t want us to be eating meat every day either. Our protein choices are now down to meat, cheese, and eggs, and we already eat quite a bit of cheese because I just put it in sandwiches instead of peanut butter.

Why can’t I cook hamburgers in the same pan as eggs? I have this nice Teflon pan that I use for most things.

Thanks everybody, keep 'em coming.

I make a really easy strata-type thing. Buy a bag of frozen hashbrowns (with cheese if you like) or make your own, about two cups. I’ll brown up some sausage, ham, or bacon, add the hashbrowns and brown those a bit, and some onions and green peppers. Spread that out in a cake pan. Whisk 6 eggs and 2 cups of milk, pour that over the hasbrowns, and bake at 350 for 45 minutes. I’m sure it would be good without meat, too.

Here’s a simple French toast batter:

2 eggs
1 cup milk
½ tbsp sugar (we use Splenda)
a bit of vanilla extract (rum extract is good, too)

This yields about 6 slices.

Grilled egg sandwich:

Take two slices of bread and cut a small hole in the middle of both. The edge of a 1/8 cup works perfectly. Find a pan with a lid and melt some butter. Place one slice of bread in the pan, drop an egg into the hole, and put whatever seasons you want on the egg. Butter the other slice of bread and place it on top, butter side up of course. Cover and reduce heat–you don’t want it too high or your bread will be done before the egg is ready to be flipped. Once both the bread and egg are brown, flip the sandwich and brown the other side.

I should make one of these sandwiches for lunch, we have too many eggs around here.

What is missing from all of the previous posts is the temperature at which you cook the eggs. I always (based on recommendations from many books and my own experience) cook my eggs at “simmer” on my gas stove. It may take longer but the eggs do not have that rubbery texture you get at higher temperatures. FWIW, I also use heavy cream (or milk) with the eggs and I only use a fork for mixing.

Placing the lid on an omellette pan will make the thing fluff up nicely. Or (and this is my preffered option), When the bottom is cooked (just lift the edge a little to check) slide it under the grill element in your oven to cook the top. No flipping necessary, and if it’s a non-stick pan you can just slide it onto the plate.
Cheesesteak , I do something similar to “egg cups”, where I line a muffin tin’s buttered cups with bread slices, then crack an egg into each “basket” and top with cheese and herbs, and bake at low heat. Like a poached egg with its own toast…

Egg curry baby! Serve with rice.

I avoid heavy frying in my egg pan because I think it wears out the teflon faster. My older “general use” teflon pan couldn’t cut the mustard, I needed a lot of oil to keep the eggs from sticking. Especially for omelets and fried eggs, where having them in one piece is important to the dish. Overkill? Perhaps. Use the teflon pan you have, if you find youself having trouble with it, invest in a pan just for eggs, and treat it gingerly.

The Joy of Cooking is your best friend.


Just wanted to note that the reason the OP may “not like eggs” is because everyone aims for fluffy and most. I hate fluffy and moist eggs. They make me think of goo in alien movies. I feel like I’m trying to choke down mucus.

I keep the heat a little higher than most (med-high), and cook my eggs a bit longer than most. Then I turn off the flame, put some cheese on top of the eggs and cover the pan. I have time to make my toast, and by then the cheese is melted and the bottom of the eggs just slightly browned. Firm, browned, with cheese melted on top. I know, the idea of dry(ish) firm eggs makes most folks gag. But until I did it by accident once, I “hated eggs” too.

My family likes the “garbage frittata” I make once a month or so. Basically, take about 2 cups of whatever cooked vegetables you have lying around as leftovers (brocolli, bell peppers, green beans, peas, carrots, artichoke hearts, olives - I haven’t ruined it yet), about a half a cup to a cup of cheese and 8 or so eggs. A bunch of herbs (I like the Scarborough Faire herbs: parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. Or the Italian herbs: basil, oregano and parsley.) I don’t really measure, but it should look pretty “herby”. Salt and freshly ground black pepper. Beat the eggs, mix in everything else and bake in a greased pie dish or large flat corning dish at 350 for about an hour, or until firm and a knife in the center comes out clean. It’s firmer than a quiche because it doesn’ have the milk or cream. It’s deceptively filling, so cut the servings small to start. I like to serve it with couscous and can usually even sneak another veggie on the side, because the frittata doesn’t feel “vegetabley”, even though it is.

Some basic stuff:
HARD BOILED EGGS: (I see you have them, but here’s the recipe that works for me)
Boil water, and turn heat to medium. Add salt to pan. Lower eggs gently into boiling water. Set timer for 14 minutes. When they’re done, rinse them in cold water right away. They come out beautifully.

FRIED EGGS: Heat a pan on medium heat. Add some oil or butter (I often use a mix of a dab of butter and a dollop of olive oil). Crack a couple eggs into your pan. Take a lid that will fit over the eggs in the pan, pour a tablespoon or so of water into the pan, and put the lid over the eggs. Cook for about two minutes. The water will steam the eggs, cooking them on top so that you don’t end up with nasty sunny-side-up runniness on top.

SCRAMBLED EGGS: Scramble as many eggs as you want. Add a little water to make the eggs fluffier (it’ll steam while they cook, fluffifying them) or a little cream to make them softer (the fat in the cream will keep the proteins from binding as tightly). Salt them, and pepper them if you want. Turn the pan on medium-low heat, and pour the eggs in. They’ll take a really long time to cook: this is okay, since the longer they take, the more delicate and tasty the curds will be.

Would you like a quiche recipe? Making the crust is a little bit of a pain in the butt, but if you get good at the crusts (or break down and buy an inferior storebought one), the quiche itself is extremely simple to make.


Can she eat soy? Soybeans and tofu could be another protein option.

Left Hand - You can also make a crustless quiche if you’re looking to cut down on calories and time. Make any quiche recipe, add an extra agg (so 4 large eggs to 1.5 cups cream or milk) and put in a well greased pie or casserole dish. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes or so.

You can also do a water bath if you like really creamy quiche, but I don’t.

I’d like some quiche recipes, if you don’t mind sharing. My old standard (mushrooms, swiss and cheddar cheases) is wearing thin.

jsgoddess, soybeans are a legume, so they’re out, I believe.

I thought they might be but I wasn’t sure.

Interesting idea! BUt I like crust too much to give it up :). Often I add a handful of dried herbs or poppyseeds to the crust for extra tastiness.

And my quiche ideas are pretty wanton: I make the basic mix (yours sounds right, and I don’t have the recipe up here) and throw in two or so ingredients that sound good. For cheese, I usually grate up a mixture of cheddar and swiss, and smush it into the bottom of the crust until it forms a reasonably solid layer there, preventing the eggs from contacting the bottom crust and soggifying it.

Quiche ideas; choose two or three that sound good:
-Sliced tomatoes
-Onions sauteed in olive oil
-Fresh basil
-Chopped spinach (chop it into confetti, or else leaves will stick out of the quiche and burn and be nasty)
-Mushrooms sauteed in olive oil, with a splash of lemon juice
-Smoked salmon
-Tempeh, cut in thin strips, marinated in tamari, molasses, and garlic, and then fried up like bacon
-Sun Dried Tomatoes; I’ve never used these, but I think they’d be good.

Tomato-and-spinach, or mushroom-and-spinach, are my most common ones. Spinach-and-tempeh also work well. I like the spinach. And the onions go pretty well in any of those combinations, as long as you don’t overdo them; a quarter onion, sauteed, will suffice.


I use a little water when making omlettes, but use half & half when making scrambled. As others said, low heat and don’t over-stir. I tend to fold them, rather than stir them. When almost done, sprinkle some minced chives or fresh thyme on top.

I make a frittata for guests. It has a great presentation, since I serve it in the pan directly from the oven, all browned and bubbly:

2-3 Hot Italian sausages
2-4 small red potatoes, pared
1/2 yellow onion, minced
garlic, minced
herbs of choice
6 eggs, beaten
Grated cheese

Preheat your oven broiler. Remove the casings from the sausages, break up and brown until done. Fry the potatoes in a little olive oil until done. Saute the onion until tender, then add the garlic until it’s fragrant. Place all ingredients in a large, heavy skillet and pour the eggs over everything. Cook on the stovetop at medium heat, lifting the cooked egg to allow the liquid egg to get underneath. When the eggs are nearly set, distribute the cheese over the top and slide the pan under the broiler. Cook under the broiler until the eggs are fluffy and the cheese is melted and browned. I know this is a little vague, but I change the ingredients all the time, so experiment.