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Old 04-17-2011, 01:08 AM   #1
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Cooking with protein: eggs vs meat?

hello everyone.

i just joined this forum in hopes of answering some of my cooking q's. i'm a novice cooker, and i'm trying to learn about cooking with a very hands on/experimental approach. meaning i want to experiment from the ground up with all sorts of foods and flavours and spices to really figure out the science behind it all and how various ones mix together. (rather than blindly following recipes to make food that tastes good without knowing why or how.)

anyway, tonight i made something extremely simple, just to see how the flavours would combine. i made some rice with onions, and then fried some ground beef with egg.

Before I mixed them together, I noticed that you could hardly taste the egg and the meat dominated the flavour. Then I thought about combining meat and eggs in general, and realized I've only seen them combined when the egg is the main ingredient of the dish, such as in quiche or omelettes. or if the egg is used in a sauce. I guess eggs are too mild to be used for flavour alone when they are with something as strong as meat. Then I thought about other solid proteins we use in cooking, such as cheese, which does have a stronger flavour and seems to go with most foods.

Anyway sorry if this is a bit rambly.. I'm just getting my thoughts out and I'm curious if people agree with what I have concluded or have any more information to add? I am just trying to learn some basic rules of cooking on my own. Help me out! thanks.

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Old 04-17-2011, 06:38 AM   #2
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I agree with your conclusions. Eggs are often used as a more or less flavorless "shoring up" for lack of a better word, in meat dishes. In meat balls, meat loaves, crab cakes, and fillings for stuffed cabbage rolls or bell peppers to make the meat hold together (sort of glue like) when you have a budget and need to stretch it with starch (rice, bread crumbs), or simply when you want to form ground meat into a shape. In those cases you really don't taste the egg at all, it's a binding ingredient. If you want to taste the egg, you eat it alone or with only a touch of other meat, or have the meat on the side.

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Old 04-17-2011, 10:03 AM   #3
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Welcome to DC.

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Old 04-17-2011, 10:47 PM   #4
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Eggs are mild in flavor...that is why they work well as a binder or filler. If you want more egg flavor you gotta break more eggs. I needed three extra large eggs with the small can of pork brains I scrambled them with. Meat, generally speaking, will be a dominant flavor.
I admire your approach to cooking.
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Old 04-17-2011, 10:48 PM   #5
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BTW..Welcome to D.C.!!
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Old 04-18-2011, 06:08 AM   #6
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Just off the top of my head, I have seen the following combo's in Chinese dishes:

tomato and eggs
eggs and mutton
eggs and cucumber
eggs and onion
eggs and celery
eggs and mushroom
eggs and toufu (talk about tasteless!!, but they usually load it with chili pepper)

I usually use eggs when I am cooking to provide a complete protein. While they don't have much taste, if you fry one in butter and add a bit of black pepper you would be surprised at how much flavor they have.
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