Eggs are a winner for dinner. They’re easy and can take a variety of forms that makes it difficult to tire of them. Whether they are the centerpiece of a meal, helping to remake leftovers, or a favorite go-to dish, eggs provide protein that can help fill you up.
Use the following tips to get the most from the easiest dinner ingredient in your eating arsenal.
What to do with fried eggs
Top green or bean salads, particularly those with a tangy vinaigrette.
Lightly coat a nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and set it over medium heat for 1 minute. Crack an egg into a small bowl, then slip it into the skillet (to preserve the yolk and make sure no shell bits end up in the egg). Cook until the whites are set, about 3 minutes for crispy edges on the white and a runny yolk. Flip the eggs for a more set yolk. Sprinkle a little vinegar over each egg before serving with salt and ground black pepper on the side.
What to do with poached eggs
Give leftover chicken noodle soup, beef stew, or even bean chili new life.
Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Crack an egg into a small bowl. Turn the heat down until the water barely simmers. Slip the egg into the water, cover, and cook at the barest bubble for 3 minutes for a set white but a runny yolk, or 4 minutes for a more set yolk. Scoop each egg up with a slotted spoon, dabbing the bottom of the spoon on paper towels to get rid of excess moisture before transferring the egg to a bowl on its own or into a soup or stew.
What to do with hard-cooked eggs
Add to tuna or chicken salad. Better yet, make a quick Niçoise salad featuring a freshly cooked, still-warm, hard-cooked egg
Place an egg or several in a large pot of cold water. Bring the water to a full boil over high heat. Boil for 1 minute. Then cover the pot, remove it from the heat, and set aside for 7 minutes. Run the eggs under cool water just until you can peel them. The eggs will be fully cooked but the yolks will not be dry and crumbly.
RELATED: Can you eat too many eggs?
What you should know about buying and storing eggs
Keep these two things in mind when you are contemplating eggs at your grocery store.
What’s on the inside counts. Fresh eggs are hard to beat, but don’t get loopy over brown, green, blue, or paisley (just kidding) shells. It’s the genetic makeup and stress level of the chicken that determines shell color. Look instead for the freshest, best eggs you can comfortably afford.
Size matters. Read the labels to determine the size of each egg. If a recipe calls for “large” eggs, buy and use those. An extra-large egg is 10 percent bigger than a large egg; a jumbo egg, 25 percent bigger. Ultimately, a greater volume of egg in a batter does not mean a better baked good in the end. And after 30 cookbooks, we’ve never seen a recipe that calls for “jumbo” eggs. Save those for family omelette suppers.
Why do eggs need to be refrigerated?
All U.S., Canadian, Australian, Japanese, and most Scandinavian producers wash eggs with hot, soapy water to combat pathogens but thereby also remove a natural, protective coating on the shells. For health safety, these eggs must be refrigerated from the moment of washing onward, farm to table. As temperatures fluctuate, the washed eggs will “perspire,” which can lead to weakened or (worse) moldy shells. But the good news? Most refrigerated eggs will stay good for at least three weeks after purchase.