[Sca-cooks] OOP: What are they teaching are kids?

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Thu Jan 7 12:19:32 PST 2010

On Jan 7, 2010, at 11:42 AM, Sharon Palmer wrote:

>> > We must use the term differently. Coddled eggs, where I come from, are
>> > cracked into (almost) boiling broth (or more often, stew or soup) until they
>>> are done all the way through. The white absorbs the broth while the yolk
>>> stays nicely, um, yolk-flavoured.
>> I suspect you've got hold of a [possibly localized] alternate definition for coddling.
> The recipes for Caesar salad often say the egg should be coddled by boiling in the shell for one minute.  The point is to kill any bacteria that is on the shell before using the nearly raw egg.
> Wikipedia says "In cooking, coddled eggs are lightly cooked eggs. They differ from poached eggs in that they are very gently cooked, in water that is just below boiling point."

In this case, however, I think you'll find Wikipedia is mistaken on more than one count. The point of coddling the egg before using it for a Caesar Salad is to warm it, thicken the yolk slightly, and improve its qualities as an emulsifier for the lemon juice and oil of the dressing. This was common practice long before people commonly spent time worrying about bacteria on an egg shell.

In addition, coddled eggs don't differ from poached eggs in that they are very gently cooked... they share that quality with poached eggs. The proper temperature for egg poaching liquids (and poaching in general, be it for fish, chicken, eggs, whatever) is 160°F, which is lower than a medium simmer (which is more like 180°F). The Wiki statement not only isn't true, but it only makes sense if you assume that poached eggs are in fact boiled, which they aren't.

It almost sounds as if this information on coddled eggs has been compiled by someone whose only exposure to coddled eggs has been as an ingredient in Caesar Salad. One effect this might have is emphasis on the wrong characteristics of this particular type of coddled egg, and assuming them to be essential aspects of coddled eggs in general.


"Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people's souls, when we all ought to worry about our own souls, and other people's bellies."
			-- Rabbi Israel Salanter

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