[Sca-cooks] Egg yolk was Silly Siense Season...

Johnna Holloway johnnae at mac.com
Tue Jul 29 09:45:07 PDT 2008

Actually I think Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking (2004) explains this.
"Eggs as Emulsifiers
As we've already seen, cooks can use egg yolks to thicken all kinds of 
hot sauces.
The yolk proteins unfold and bond to each other when heated, so form a 
immobilizing network (p.604). Egg yolks are also very effective 
emulsifiers, and for a
simple reason: they themselves are a concentrated and complex emulsion of
fat in water, and therefore filled with emulsifying molecule 
aggregates." pp632-633.

He then on page 633 goes into yolks containing LDL's or low-density 
which in turn are made up of "emulsifying proteins, phospholipids, and 
cholesterol, all surrounding
a core of fat molecules." Also the larger egg yolk granules also contain 
both LDL's and HDL's.

Yolks emulsify best when warm, so maybe a room temp would work best.


Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius wrote:
> So, in the middle of the twelfth recipe in this MS Add. 32085, is the 
> following:
> snipped
> Hieatt's translation of this passage is:
> "and all kinds of fish, for best results, should be fried without 
> grease in the manner here described; take an egg yolk or two and rub 
> the (hot) pan until it appears to sweat; the pan should be quite black 
> and wiped thoroughly with a cloth, and it should be carefully watched 
> lest it become too hot or too cold; sprinkle a little salt or sugar on 
> (the surface of) the pan; [fry the fishes] as you would serve them on 
> a plate, putting in one after the other without letting them each other"
> In Hieatt's notes on this recipe, she says, among other things, that 
> "It is not the egg yolk which gives the appearance of 'sweating,' but 
> the cholesterol left behind when the coating of yolk is wiped from the 
> pan with a cloth."
> I just thought that was really cool. Doesn't it look a lot like 
> instructions for seasoning an iron pan and pan-broiling a steak 
> without any fat?
> Adamantius (as previously noted, easily amused)

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