Cooking

Fight for Your Whites

8 ways to use extra egg yolks or whites
Photo: Lizzie Munro/Tasting Table
How to Use the Whole Egg

All egg yolks and whites are created equal—but some recipes may not agree.

Cooking adventures leave you with a slew of half-used eggs (namely, the all-white-everything angel food cake), but think twice before opening the trash can. Use these tricks to put a kitchen full of cracked eggs to good use, whether you're in a sea of yolks or foamy whites.

Egg Whites
① Meringue
If this is the closest we get to walking on a cloud, that would be OK. Something magical happens when egg whites and sugar are whipped together. Spread the meringue over a custard pie or bake it in a low oven for a lighter dessert, like a crispy pavlova. Meringue-topped treats also lend themselves well to impressive presentation, since the sugar caramelizes under fire for a toasty Key lime pie or Baked Alaska.

② Omelet
An egg-white omelet is a good way to switch up your everyday egg game. "There's always someone who prefers egg whites for breakfast, and it's an easier and healthy breakfast during the holiday season," Valerie Gordon of L.A.'s Valerie Confections says. Bulk it up by adding sautéed spinach or tomatoes when they're in season. Similarly, mix egg whites with shrimp for fluffy seafood balls, perfect for a warm communal hot pot.

③ Cocktails
Egg whites can add creamy texture to a variety of cocktails. Plus, the protein structure helps balance tannic and acidic ingredients and gives a foamy head to the top of your drink. Try it for yourself with our Stiff Upper Lip, an elegant vodka- and St-Germain-based cocktail that drinks dangerously easily.

④ Soufflé
Though it does use both parts of the egg, you'll need more whites than yolks to provide the classic texture of a puffed soufflé. Try your hand at this Meyer lemon soufflé for a showstopping, light-as-air dessert.

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Egg Yolks
① Ice cream
Master a yolk-heavy custard, and you're on your way to making ice cream at home. Once you have the base down, you have a world of possibilities: Stir in leftover bits of peppermint bark, like Gordon does, or add a savory edge with rosemary and pine nuts. If you don't feel like churning the base, you still have delicious crème anglaise that tastes excellent on essentially any dessert.

② Cured
Try this cheffy tip for cured egg yolks. Brandon Kida, executive chef of L.A.'s Hinoki & the Bird, cures the yolks in soy, and then says you can eat them with anything. "Put them on rice, pasta or use them as a way to spice up your carbonara."

③ Pudding
Egg yolks are responsible for the serious richness in Tariq Hanna's chocolate pots de crème. This makes sense, considering pudding is a baked version of the custard behind your ice cream.

④ Hollandaise
Despite running a well-loved sweets shop, Gordon says she would go down a savory route with a bowl of extra yolks. The yellow, cayenne-hinted sauce is a necessity for classic eggs Benedict and also works well as a no-shame dipping sauce for buttermilk biscuits.

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