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Portland Chefs Reveal Their Favorite Ways to Prepare an Egg

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"The egg, a symbol of life" — The Beastie Boys

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Now in honor of Breakfast Week, we explore the endless opportunities of the egg. Here, the city's accomplished chefs reveal how they like to treat an egg, from forgiving frittatas, to brined egg yolks. And in case you like to read by soundtrack, you'll find the Beastie Boy's ode to eggs, Egg Man, ready and waiting at the very bottom of the article.

Lisa Schroeder, Mothers Bistro

"I love making frittatas because they're so forgiving and allow you to combine all the ingredients in one pan, unlike an omelet which requires two. They're also great because you start them on the stove and then finish them in the oven, allowing you to take care of other things while it's cooking. I'll coat the pan with butter, add my savory filling, like caramelized onions and cooked bacon bits, then add the scrambled eggs, mix that up a bit, and then stop stirring. I top it with a generous amount of cheese (like you would a pizza), such as emmental, and then pop it in the oven to finish. A nice drizzle of sour cream once it's on the plate adds some interest, and it helps to balance out the flavors."

Image credit: Dina Avila/EPDX

Justin Woodward, Castagna and Cafe Castagna

"My favorite way to cook a egg is to make an omelette. The way I make mine is kinda a cross between a soft scramble and an omelette. When truffles are in season, I will always cook Gary The Foodie an omelette. First, I lightly beat an egg with a touch of cream. Then, I melt butter in a nonstick pan (yeah a non-stick pan, haters). I let it melt, but I don't always let it brown. Next, I add the beaten egg to the pan and mix slowly with a spatula to develop medium-size curds of cooked egg. The rule is to stop when the curds form but there is still a bit of runny egg. Tap the pan on a towel over a cutting board to even everything out, and at this point you can add chopped truffle or herbs, mushrooms, etc. I usually pop the pan in a very hot oven for a second, then roll up the omelette and slice of the ends. Usually a slice of cheese goes on top, too. I like the physical act of cooking eggs in this manner, because it looks and tastes great. It's not too bad with a spoonful of caviar, either."

Image credit: Castagna

Gail Buchanan, The Big Egg

"Our favorite preparation is a firm, soft -cooked egg, where the whites are set yet the yolks are still slightly runny, maintaining their velvety texture, richness, and incredible flavor. In the warmer months, we like to do a variety of salads and a grinder, for which using this technique is ideal."

Image credit: The Big Egg

Joshua McFadden, Ava Gene's and Roman Candle Baking Co.

"I love a 6-to-7-minute egg cooked in the shell—basically using a hardboiled method, but it comes out with a still almost running center. To serve, I like to gently cut them with a spoon and fold in extra-virgin olive oil, a squeeze of a lemon, salt, and lots of cracked black pepper. This can go on toast, folded into a potato salad, or turned into a myriad of other things."

Image credit: Dina Avila/EPDX

Joel Stocks, Holdfast Dining

"My favorite way to cook eggs is a little unorthodox. We brine separated egg yolks in a ten-percent salt-water solution, before poaching them in clarified butter for an hour at a really low temperature. The yolks kind of absorb the butter as they cook so they practically double in size. By the end, the outside of the yolk has the texture of jam, but the inside just oozes egg all over when you cut into it. Put that on a piece of brown bread for breakfast in the morning, and it doesn't get much better. That's my jam (no breakfast pun intended, but you started it!).

Image credit: Dina Avila/EPDX

John Gorham, Tasty N SonsShalom Y'All, etc.


"My favorite way to cook an egg is every fucking way, as long as it's done technically right. Honestly, I love eggs. They are at the core of so many dishes and can be flawless on their own. I love them baked in shakshuka—shalom y'all ;) I like them sunny-side up, like on Tasty's sauteed spinach. I love em' in my ice-cream base that we soak our french toast in. I like them sous vide like in Pollo Bravo's Sopa de Ajo. For a simple preparation, cook them in an immersion bath at 62.5'C for 45 minutes. Importantly, lower them gently straight into the water."

Image credit: Tasty N Sons


Egg Man, by the Beastie Boys, from the album, Paul's Boutique

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