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New server not familiar with eggs

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone I'm new in the server sector of this breakfast restaurant which I will leave anonymous. I did not grow up eating eggs too much cooked in all sorts of ways so I am not very familiar with ways people like their eggs cooked. Anyway, being a new server I try to stay on top of things and my question is: What do people mean when they say they want their eggs cooked "soft?" My restaurant only has mexican cooks who are trained to understand only the words "over easy, over medium, over hard," etc. So I mistakingly input the customer's poached eggs as "easy." And some other server took the food out to the customer so I did not see how it turned out and by the time I went back to check if his eggs were ok, he was furious and left our restaurant cursing and swearing about me and the eggs.

So long story short, can someone please explain to a non-daily egg eater such as myself, the meaning of cooking eggs "soft?" I don't dislike eggs, I only eat them probably once a month.

I know I sound really stupid but please help me out here. I'd really appreciate it. Thanks!

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post #2 of 15
Cooking your eggs "soft" just means cooking them (by whichever method you're using- frying, poaching, boiling, baking etc) so the whites are done (white) but the yolk is still runny if you were to pierce it, it would run everywhere.

Best way to eat 'em :)
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #3 of 15
Ask your supervisor. We can tell you what we me by egg cooking terms (and they are pretty universal) but you really want to be versed in your employer's standards. You also need to know what to punch in for the line so that they will undertand what the customer wants. Especially if there is a language gap.

-Al
post #4 of 15
Okay, here's the relatively exhaustive list of ways you can have your eggs:

Fried (Flipped twice):
Over easy: runny yolk, whites are cooked.
Over medium: thick but runny yolk, whites are cooked.
Over hard: fully cooked yolk

Sunny Side up (Unflipped):
whites are cooked, yolk is practically uncooked

Scrambled:
Runny: Cooked until it's barely coagulated
Regular: Whatever they normally do to scrambled eggs

Poached:
Soft: Yolk is very runny, whites cooked through (but very soft). Poke at the egg and the yolk should almost want to burst through
Medium: Thick yolk, but runny, whites cooked through and somewhat firm
Hard: Yolk is completely firm (though need not be very light yellow), whites firm

Of course, terminology may differ by region.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #5 of 15
The problem with dealing with people is that one person's version of 'soft' might be different to the next persons. Might be an idea just to quickly confirm with your customer what you assume 'soft' to be so that they are happy with what they are going to be served.
Jenyfari from Only Cookware and Only Cookware Blog - A Consumer Guide to Cookware
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Jenyfari from Only Cookware and Only Cookware Blog - A Consumer Guide to Cookware
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post #6 of 15
You forgot boiled ...

Shel
post #7 of 15
I have to admit that I accidentally forgot about it, but I've also never seen boiled-in-shell eggs served at a breakfast place :).
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #8 of 15
Boiled in-the-shell eggs are easiest, since timing determines doneness:

Soft: 2 to 3 minutes (lower number when started in cold water)
Medium: 4 to 5
Hard: 10 to 15*

I always ask for my scrambled eggs "soft" -- meaning still moist and creamy -- but usually by the time they arrive at the table, they are cooked through. Maybe next time I'll as for "runny" in the hopes that between carryover cooking and sitting under the heat lamp waiting to be picked up, they'll still be the way I want them.

*There are many discussions about hard-cooked eggs; a lot of us prefer the bring-egg-and-water-to-a-boil, remove-from-heat, let-stand 10 to 15 minute method. But that isn't important here.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #9 of 15
Alas, boiled in shell eggs are probably the most time-consuming and most work to prepare on a busy breakfast line... the others are much easier and can be churned out very quickly by an expert cook with good prep done.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #10 of 15
A lot of places here don't seem to offer them, yet, since breakfast out may be my favorite eating out experiences, I've visited a lot of local restaurants, and do see boiled eggs served with some frequency even though they may not be on the menu.

Shel
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much everyone for your input! :) It was also a newby mistake of mine when I didn't make sure what the customer meant by "soft." After that horrible mishap, I asked all of my co-workers and even my supervisors this questioned and they only tell me it could mean anything. Also, it doesn't help that the cooks do not speak much english, and I myself do not speak spanish.

We also serve boiled eggs at our restaurant. I'm not sure how they cook it, but it is served without the shell. It's just that most people assume that we don't offer that option. It never hurts to ask.

And another factor that bothers me, is the cooking varies from cook to cook. One cook might like to burn the eggs when I ask for a hard scramble, or barely cook the eggs when I ask for them over easy.

So everyone, I thank you all again. It is much appreciated! :D
post #12 of 15
LP, I think I would have assumed the customer wanted them soft and to tell the cook easy as well, from what you knew at the time. Once you are used to how they serve them there an what needs to be on the ticket I'm sure it will become much easier. Your supervisor hopefully has a bit more english than the cooks so he/she can help you there. Better to ask a dumb question than to make a dumb mistake has been my motto since I started working as a teenager (not in cooking but it makes no difference). I hope the info here has helped - and give eggs a go yourself at home - this can help you understand the differences - experiment and enojoy!! - DC
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #13 of 15

boiled eggs

I used to have a baby sitter when I was little who made soft-boiled eggs and could get them out of the shell with no shell particles. I can not do this and so have to settle for poached eggs. I once had someone come in a restaurant where I worked and order soft boiled eggs. After three disastrous attempts at removing the shells, I went out and explained to her that I just could not do it. She laughed and we had a dicussion about how the people who could do it managed the feat. I ended up serving her the eggs in the shell and letting her deal with it. One of my pet peeves is ordering over medium eggs and having them come out with crispy whites and a yolk that is barely gooey inside. Southern cooks tend to do this. I don't order over easy because the whites are usually slimy and uncooked. I once had a friend who aould get mad because she would order her eggs over medium and want them the way I don't like them. I told her to order them over hard, but dont break the yolk and they would come out the may she wanted. There are some people who will order them medium well and that is how they want them is with a gooey yolk.
post #14 of 15
greyeaglem,

Try a little bit of white vineager in your boiling water. It really helps to get the shell off cleanly.

--Allan
post #15 of 15

Boiled Eggs

I struggle to get every fragment of shell off boiled eggs too, unless I peel them in a bowl of water. Works well. Can't say I've ever tried it with a soft boiled egg - may have to experiment....

I use white vinegar in the water - invariably I crack an egg shell when I'm putting them in, it stops the whites spreading too much and making a horrible mess!
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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