Cooking causes profound changes in the structure of

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Unformatted text preview: When the egg is cooked, the heat causes the proteins to unfold and you can no longer see through the white. The unfolded proteins form the matrix that holds the 1 1 Molecular Gastronomy Spring2014 water (as steam when cooking) and helps make cooked eggs so fluffy. When the egg is overcooked, the protein matrix has squeezed out the water and makes the egg rubbery. Salt and fat help to hold the matrix together and make eggs fluffy. Brown and white eggs have no difference in the flavor. In tasting tests from America’s Test Kitchen, Farm House Eggs rated over Free Range Eggs over vegetarian over chain store eggs. Cooking causes profound changes in the structure of egg proteins. Heat encourages these proteins to unfold, stick together, and form a latticed gel. As a result, the eggs transition from a liquid to a semisolid that you can pick up with a fork. Most scrambled egg recipes call for some sort of dairy. Both the water and the fat in dairy ingredients keep the eggs from becoming tough by getting in between the protein strands, preventing them from joining too tightly. The water also helps to incorporate pockets of air and steam into the eggs as they are gently folded. This translates into fluffy scrambled eggs. When we added hearty ingredients (each containing some water) to our scrambled egg recipe, however, the eggs can become watery and weepy. That's because eggs can hold only a limited amount of water—too much and they weep as they coagulate. One solution to the problem of weepy eggs was to reduce the amount of liquid we had been using by 50 percent and to make the liquid of choice half- and- half rather than milk. While the scrambled eggs described here are not quite as fluffy as those made with milk, the extra fat in the half- and- half make for a pleasing texture, and the added heaviness of the eggs is imperceptible once sausage, bacon, and vegetables are folded in just before serving. The big debate exists about when to salt eggs: Any devotee of Julia Child might remember her commentary that eggs should never be salted till they were in the...
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