Eggs just might be the most versatile food in existence. Seriously, what other food is a quintessential building block of just about every baked good, can elevate a burger from meh to showstopping, is insanely inexpensive and has an entire meal essentially based around the dozens and dozens of uses for it?
The simplest way to cook with eggs is to just scramble them up in a pan, but even an ingredient as uncomplicated as eggs can be completely transformed by the addition of a simple ingredient or two.
Don’t get us wrong: There’s absolutely nothing wrong with melting some butter in a pan, cracking a couple eggs, cooking them until set and digging in. But there’s a seemingly infinite amount of simple additions — from herbs to cheese to meat to some truly outside-the-box ingredients — that can take your eggs to the next level.
We’ve tracked down unexpected ways to up your egg game, be they scrambled, fried, poached or hard-boiled, and we hope this list is a jumping-off point toward some deliciously creative egg-sploration.
Potato chips – If you’re not mixing a handful of potato chips into your eggs, you’re truly missing out. Potatoes and eggs are a match made in heaven — look no further than any brunch plate. Those potatoes don’t have to be home fries, either. When they are sliced wafer-thin and fried crisp, well, enough said.
Caramelized onions are sweet and umami-rich, and they add a gourmet depth of flavor to eggs. Like eggs, they’re also an essential ingredient in the perfect quiche.
Salsa – Top your eggs with some salsa for a Mexican kick. The spicier, the better!
Baking powder doesn’t affect the flavor of your eggs, but it does affect the texture. Double-acting baking powder releases carbon dioxide bubbles when it comes in contact with water and when it’s heated — that’s why they call it double-acting.
Mixing a small amount of baking powder (just one-eighth of a teaspoon per two large eggs) into your eggs before scrambling will result in eggs that are light and fluffy.
Crab or lobster – Go ahead, add some crab meat into your eggs (or lobster, if you happen to have any lying around). The salinity pairs perfectly with the flavor of eggs, and the end result is decidedly upscale. Garnish with some chives and a dollop of sour cream. Both can also serve as the foundation of a perfect eggs Benedict in lieu of Canadian bacon.
Quinoa is one of the healthiest and most versatile foods you can eat, and not only does it taste great, it’s also full of protein and complex carbs. Adding some cooked quinoa to a couple cracked eggs is a great way to start off the day on a healthy foot.
‘Nduja is a spicy, spreadable salami, and a tablespoon or two mixed into some eggs will lend the dish a complex, meaty, spicy unctuousness.