"No matter what else is served at a cocktail party, you will always find a tray of stuffed eggs," wrote James Beard, the so-called dean of American gastronomy, in his first cookbook, Hors D'oeuvre And Canapes.
The well-received appeal of these one-bite appetizers isn't limited to cocktail hour. They're also a superb addition to picnics and cookouts during the lazy, hazy days of summer.
No one is agnostic when it comes to mayonnaise. Ketchup, mustard, relish - people may have their brand or recipe preferences, but rarely do those condiments elicit anything like the passionate partisanship or disgust that mayo does.
Go on - stroll up to a klatsch of co-workers or into the midst of a bar throng and say "mayonnaise." A few folks will just think you're being weird (and granted, you are), but take note of who physically recoils at the mention and who starts waxing rhapsodic about their favorite brand or recipe.
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"After sitting down one morning last week to breakfast and eating two poorly poached eggs, I thought to myself: 'How can anyone screw up such a simple culinary task of poaching an egg?'" says Anthony Marzuillo, the executive chef and proprietor of Soigne Restaurant & Wine Bar.
"Unfortunately, I recently have come across far too many improperly poached eggs, either undercooked, overcooked, misshapen, watery and bland, or even yolk broken upon arrival to the table."
So - if you're one of the aforementioned eggheads whose poaching technique may be a little oeuf, Marzuillo has boiled it down for you in five easy steps.
Five Steps to Perfectly Poached Eggs: Anthony Marzuillo
My grand entrance into the culinary world was a sham.
Scrambled eggs were the first thing I ever cooked by myself as a child, my mother standing over me assuring the dish was simple, quick and hard to mess up. She was right - I certainly didn't mess them up, but the scrambled eggs I made were the rubber tires on the Rolls Royce of œufs to come.
Allow me to let you in on a little secret. The best scrambled eggs take up to half an hour to make, the slower the better and they're really good with cream and butter.