According to culinary lore, the number of folds on a chef’s toque — that tall pleated hat most French chefs wear — signify the number of ways he can cook an egg. Indian food dishes recipes The best have up to 100, but even lowly staff have a repertoire of dozens.

If you think about it, eggs play a role in everything from traditional baking to modern molecular cuisine. Italian food dishes recipes They bind, raise, flavor, emulsify. Easy italian pasta recipes with pictures But more than that, they have a symbolic meaning in this season of new beginnings, reminding us where life truly starts.

Scrambled, coddled, fried, poached, puffed or even preserved (ever tried a thousand-year egg?), eggs are staple of nearly every culture. Chinese chicken dishes recipes Eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between, here are a host of incredible, edible ways to yolk it up.

There’s a growing movement toward pasture-raised eggs — farm fresh with brilliant yellow yolks, they’re the Cadillac of eggs. Italian chicken dishes recipes You can find some of the best at local farm markets. Indian chicken dishes recipes Whole Foods also carries some pasture-raised eggs from RedHill Farms, a favorite of several area chefs. Mexican chicken dishes recipes Duck, turkey and quail eggs are also readily available locally, and make for slightly different flavor profiles in baking.Inspired to try some egg cooking of your own? The Fresh Egg Cookbook by Jennifer Trainer Thompson ($14.95, Storey Publishing) extols the virtues of keeping your own flock, along with dozens of well-tested recipes for quiches, cakes, hashes, stews and simple instructions for the perfect poach, scramble and fry. Italian recipes with chicken thighs Chicken and The Egg by Janice Cole($24.95, Chronicle) documents a year of one woman’s backyard chicken coop adventures with recipes for both eggs…and chicken.If you’re thinking of keeping your own chickens within Santa Rosa city limits, it’s still technically illegal although plans are in the works at the city level to change that in the coming months.

Deviled Eggs: Once the lowbrow appetizer of potlucks and picnics, deviled eggs are having their 15 minutes as chefs doll them up with everything from truffle salt and crab to olives. Best recipes with chicken thighs Rocker Oysterfeller’s features them with tarragon and crispy ham chips ($7, 14415 California Hwy. Chinese recipes with chicken thighs 1, Valley Ford) while Zin does ’em with bacon and pickled carrots ($8, 344 Center St., Healdsburg). Indian vegetarian recipes with quinoa At Monti’s, crab deviled eggs.

63 Degree Egg: The holy grail of egg cooking is the mystical 63-degree egg, slow-cooked in a water bath until it reaches a custard-like consistency. Easy mexican pasta recipes You’ll never again look at poached egg the same way. Mexican soup recipes with chicken and rice Madrona Manor chef Jesse Mallgren is a devotee, serving it on his tasting menu with onion veloute, vinegar and Parmesan (1001 Westside Road, Healdsburg). Best recipes with quinoa At Petite Syrah (205 5th Street, Santa Rosa), the egg is nearly always on the menu, though in changing forms. Indian cooking recipes videos Currently it’s with grilled asparagus, quinoa, mandarins, rosemary and yogurt.

Chilaquiles: A tried-and-truer hangover remedy you’ll be hard-pressed to find. Healthy mexican side dish recipes Fried tortilla chips get a morning simmer in either salsa or mole until they’re pliable. Authentic mexican side dish recipes Scramble in some eggs, top with cheese, sour cream, avocados and a side of beans. Low carb mexican side dish recipes Most taquerias serve them for breakfast (and even into lunch), but two favorites: La Texanita (1667 Sebastopol Road, Santa Rosa) and Gypsy Cafe (162 North Main St., Sebastopol).

Raw Egg Caesar Salad: You’ll be hard-pressed to find a dinner menu without this salad, oft attributed to restaurateur Cesar Cardini. Mexican cake recipes But most are wan, mayonnaise-laden abominations ladled from an industrial-sized jug.The real deal are Romaine leaves drizzled with an emulsified raw egg, oil and lemon mixture. Mexican cake recipes tres leches Plus a whole lot of garlic. Easy chinese side dish recipes Find it at Rosso Pizzeria and Wine Bar, 53 Montgomery Dr., Santa Rosa.

Scrambled Eggs: Gently coaxed into the creamiest, softest egg curds, Willowood’s’ French Folded Eggs never see the bottom of a pan. Chinese vegetable side dish recipes Instead, they’re steamed in a double boiler, until set, then mixed with fontina cheese and fresh herbs. Chinese food side dish recipes 9020 Graton Road, Graton).

Egg Salad: Any chef with the chutzpah to think they make it better than grandma’s is deluding themselves. Indian food recipes potatoes The key here is perfectly hard-boiled eggs, lots of Best Foods mayo, a little dried mustard, serious whipping of the yolks and lots of love. Indian food recipes desserts The restaurant that gets it closest: Della Fattoria. Italian food recipes desserts Served up on toasted sourdough wedges, it’s as comforting as an old bathrobe. Mexican food recipes desserts Petaluma. Chinese food recipes desserts Also, Tuna Egg Mayo at Cafe Citti (9047 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood).

Eggs Benedict: Eggs play a critical role in this brunch-time favorite, both binding the Hollandiase and serving as the poached main attraction. Indian food recipes videos Dungeness Crab Benedict’s addicting at Bruno’s on Fourth (1226 Fourth St., Santa Rosa), and gets a southern twist at Jeffrey’s Hillside Cafe (2901 Fourth St., Santa Rosa) with a buttermilk biscuit and orange-scented Hollandaise. Mexican food recipes videos Stretching the tradition English muffin, poached egg, ham and Hollandaise lineup is the Country Benedict at Dierk’s Parkside Cafe (404 Santa Rosa Ave, Santa Rosa), a crispy baguette covered in scrambled eggs, bacon, mushrooms, spinach, oven-dried tomatoes, hash browns and Hollandaise.

Full House Farms in Sebastopol sells the freshest “real deal” organic eggs. Best italian side dish recipes They have a hands on working farm, complete with bed & breakfast. Easy italian side dish recipes Since I tried REAL farm fresh eggs, I haven’t bought them from the grocery store …just no comparison. Authentic italian side dish recipes They also sell goat milk, whey, goat cheese, jams, and even cheesecakes. Mexican cuisine recipes YUM!! Reply

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