Grating Eggs Tricks Your Brain into Thinking You’re Eating Cheese
You probably don’t use a compost-powered sous vide machine to cook your eggs, and most likely, said eggs weren’t laid that very morning by the flock of organically-raised heritage-breed chickens on your sprawling, stunning, experimental working farm. But that doesn't mean you can’t use Blue Hill at Stone Barns’ nifty egg grating technique to add unique and excellent texture to your breakfast—and you might even be able to skip the cheese. (Though you totally don’t have to.) On a recent trip to the much-loved restaurant, our captain whipped out a rotary grater—the kind you might see cranking out fluffy clouds of Parmesan atop pasta dishes at an Italian restaurant—and loaded it with a freshly-cooked egg.
After a few cranks of the handle, there was a springy little pile of yolk and white shreds on my plate next to a slim slice of potato-chip-crust pizza (seriously, there is a reason that chef Dan Barber and his team at Blue Hill have won a bazillion James Beard Awards and other accolades), and a goofy grin on my face. The grated egg looked for all the world like sumptuous, gooey mozzarella, which totally tricked my brain into thinking I was scarfing down a heap of cheese. Then my brain started cranking—how had I never tried this before, and how might I incorporate into every single breakfast and brunch until the end of time?
The technique itself is incredibly simple, and can be done with a rotary grater, hand or box grater, or a Microplane. Just hard boil an egg to whatever level of firmness you like, then grate it. If you’d just like to use the whites, peel the egg and stop when you see yellow, or incorporate the yolks by slicing the egg in half and rubbing the cut half along the grater.
The shredded egg can be deployed in countless ways: sprinkled on buttered toast, worked into breakfast tacos or quesadilla in place of (or alongside) cheese, heaped on huevos rancheros, tossed into salads either fresh or re-fried, topping breakfast pizza or whatever other creative uses you might devise. Wanna get extra-wacky? Pickle the egg to add even more fun flavor and color to your meal, and play around with the temperature of the eggs, or different sizes and shapes of grater holes. Crack the code, have plenty of fun, and come up with some great new ideas for using your grated eggs.