Wednesday, March 10, 2010

How To: Scramble Eggs

Light and Fluffy Scrambled Eggs | Taste As You Go

Up until recently -- and I mean within the past few months -- my scrambled eggs were edible but not memorable. Technically, yes, they were scrambled, but texturally, they were often overcooked and rubbery. No matter how often I tried to make the perfect pan of scrambled eggs, they came out the same. If flavor had also been an issue, I would have probably completely abandoned the idea of ever making scrambled eggs in my own kitchen again. But it wasn't until after I experimented with (and ate) dozens and dozens of eggs that I realized something.

I was doing it wrong.

Somewhere along the way, my brain decided that the proper way to scramble eggs was to cook them as quickly as possible over relatively high heat. Wrong, wrong, wrong. You see, the secret to light and fluffy scrambled eggs can be explained in three words that I want you to remember:

Low and Slow*

Let me translate. Eggs become hard and rubbery when you overcook them. And the easiest way to overcook them is to have the heat jacked up too high. So, err on the side of caution and turn the flame down when scrambling your eggs. Using a relatively lower heat will, of course, mean the cooking process itself will be slower and the cooking time will be longer, but that extra time is worth it when your eggs come out of the pan beautifully tender.

Caramelized Red Onions with Merlot and Scrambled Eggs | Taste As You Go

Now that I know how to scramble eggs, I eat them more often. On the weekends, or sometimes even for dinner, I'll have scrambled eggs with my Simple Home Fries. And, on those rare occasions when I actually have the time, I'll caramelize an onion and serve the onions on the side. And that's exactly what I did with those Caramelized Red Onions with Merlot. What an extravagant (yet easy) meal that was!

If you've had similar experiences with scrambled eggs, don't give up! Go back into your kitchen and try the Low and Slow method. I promise -- you won't be sorry!

Scrambled Eggs - Serves 1

3 large eggs
1 tablespoon heavy cream (or milk, if you prefer)
Salt
Pepper
1 tablespoon butter

In a medium bowl, loosely whisk together the eggs and heavy cream. Season with a light sprinkling of salt and black pepper.

In a 10-inch skillet, preferably non-stick, melt the butter over medium heat. Pour in the eggs and stir gently with a rubber spatula. Lower the heat to medium-low and continue to stir, scraping up from the bottom, for about 3 minutes, or until large curds form.

Remove to a plate and serve hot.

[For a variation, I sometimes use some freshly grated Parmesan cheese instead of salt and extra-virgin olive oil instead of butter.]

* "Low," in this case, is relative. The lower you turn down the heat, the slower the eggs will cook. If you decide to, literally, use low heat, expect to cook your eggs longer as a precaution against salmonella contamination.


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