As promised, part II of Ode to the Egg includes a list of egg-related cooking and usage tips:
1. For perfect hard-boiled eggs: There is a pocket of air inside the fat end of the egg. If you’re a real perfectionist and don’t want your eggs to crack in the boiling process, take a very sharp pin and puncture the fat end of the egg, going about ¼ inch deep. This will allow the air to escape. Next, place the egg in a saucepan deep enough to accommodate. Cover with cold water and place on high heat, bringing the water to a boil. Remove from heat and allow eggs to sit in the hot water for 17 minutes – no more, no less. Now transfer them to a bath of ice and water to stop the cooking process. Overcooked hard-boiled eggs have that dark green ring around the yolk and the actual yolk gets rubbery when overcooked.
2. To create fluffier meringues, add ¼ teaspoon of salt per 4 whites. Start on low speed with your mixer to incorporate the salt, then crank to the highest speed to whip them into shape. Some recipes call for soft peaks to form, others for stiffer peaks. Stiff peaks create a drier result. Follow the directions of the recipe and test the peak formation by lightly dipping the beaters into the whites: a soft peak is one that stands up and then slowly curls down from the top. Stiff egg whites are able to stand at attention.
3. When preparing omelets and frittatas always heat the well-oiled skillet before pouring in the eggs. The eggs should be beaten with a wire whisk or table fork in an over-under circular motion. The eggs are not beaten properly with the until the mixture becomes foamy along the edge.
4. I took a photo of the Frittata preparation (below) that will hopefully demonstrate the following: when preparing omelets and frittatas in your hot skillet, allow the egg mixture to begin to cook underneath. Using a spatula, lift the edges of the cooked egg to allow the uncooked egg to flow underneath. Continue doing this until the eggs are cooked through. If you are adding cheese to an omelet: while the top of the egg is still fairly moist, sprinkle with cheese. Cover with a lid and remove pan from heat. Allow the eggs to rest a moment or two and the cheese will have melted without drying out the omelet.