Thursday, August 29, 2013

my favorite scrambled eggs

my favorite scrambled eggs

As far as I’m concerned just about everything tastes great on toast. Toast is both ubiquitous and exotic. It can be a simple, pedestrian affair, quickly smeared with salted butter and eaten, rushed, over a sink. Or it can be, slow and relaxed, taking the form of a crostino, slightly charred and toasted on one side and soft and tender on the other with a decadent topping like ricotta and fava beans, or a hard-cooked egg and a really good anchovy. I could go on and on about toast, but I believe Tamar Adler already beat me to it in The Everlasting Meal.

I suppose toast is on my mind a lot because I seem to be able to subsist on it and little else in periods of deep, intense, all-consuming work. Most often these periods are agonizing but mercifully quick, so toast consumption, and things like 1pm showering and 16 hour work days, come and go. This time, however, I expect such period to last until February 1st, 2014 when I’ll be handing in a manuscript to my editor. I’m collaborating on another cookbook, friends, and I’ll talk about it very soon, but for now I’ll just say I’ve been given six months to write a book, fa la la, and if you think that’s ambitious, then maybe I should add that I’m also working a thirty-hour-a-week (at least!) PR job and (gulp) have signed up to do another book but that one won’t be due til May 1, which is my birthday, which means, that I’ll be, hopefully handing that book in April 30, and calling it a day.

cracked eggs

All this to explain why this site has been so quiet as of late, save for Friday links, which are fun and everything, but this is a food blog, after all.

So after all these weeks of silence, I come back to you with scrambled eggs. I can almost hear the groans. Really, eggs? Could I have thought of anything less exciting and commonplace?

I didn’t have the slightest intention of talking to you about eggs, much less scrambled ones. To tell you the truth, I thought I hated scrambled eggs. Never a fan of mixing my yolks with my whites, I’m a soft-medium-hard-poached-sunny-side-up kind of a girl. Omelettes are just not my thing, sorry, unless they’re exclusively of the egg-white variety (and not for the health reasons). And scrambled eggs — just forget it. Or so I thought until my father-in-law made scrambled eggs for us when we were all on vacation in Vermont and I couldn’t stop talking about them for days.

my favorite scrambled eggs my favorite scrambled eggs
my favorite scrambled eggs my favorite scrambled eggs

I think that my initial reaction was so enthusiastic (I proclaimed them to be the best scrambled eggs I’ve ever eaten) that I might have scared my father-in-law a little. I was pretty vocal about it. And of course, I asked him to tell me his secret.

“My secret?” he asked, confused, “You just put the eggs in the pan and fold them over.”

“Okay,” I said, “so you beat them in the bowl, and…”

“No, not beat, whole eggs, go in the pan.”

What?

Apparently, my father-in-law’s amazing scrambled egg technique is to crack all the egg into a bowl, melt a little butter in the pan set over low heat, and then add unbeaten, whole eggs to the pan, and gently, tenderly, fold the eggs while they cook. They come out so delicate and fluffy, you won’t even believe it. And you’ll get beautiful, marbled streaks of the yolk and the white together, which looks (as well as tastes) amazing. And whenever the eggs start looking almost done (a little wobbly and still slightly liquidy), my father-in-law takes the pan off of heat, and divides the eggs among the plates where they finish cooking from trapped heat.

And so I thought that perhaps, this method is worth sharing, because it turned a scrambled egg hater into a lover. And incidentally, in case you were wondering, scrambled eggs are excellent on toast.

[I’ll post the “recipe” soon, but for now I wanted to give you the method here. I hope you try it, and I hope you love it as much as I do.]

[Also, holy crap, you can now pre-order the book I wrote with Marc Forgione – and it has a cover and everything! Now it’s beginning to feel real.]

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

7 Comments

  • 1

    Your father-in-law and I think very much alike. That is exactly my long-held view on making the best plate (even platter) of scrambled eggs. I love the color and textural effects of the whites and yolks when they’re done this way. If I might suggest a slightly decadent addition – sometimes when I’m feeling bold I use just a pinch of truffle salt at the moment I take the pan off the heat. It costs only pennies but it tastes like a million bucks!

    August 29, 2013 2:24 pm
  • 2

    If I have it on hand, I add a dash of cream. I’ve even put in a little Boursin cheese towards the end.

    How much heat does your father-in-law use? I’m assuming low heat or the unbeaten eggs would cook the moment they hit the pan.

    August 29, 2013 3:50 pm
  • 3
    olga said:

    LA Lady – I really love my scrambled eggs without anything extra. I know: I’m super boring that way :) My father-in-law uses low to medium low heat depending on how much power a burner has. I will review and make sure I mention it.

    August 29, 2013 4:39 pm
  • 4
    Claire said:

    These sound great – we experimented with scrambled eggs the other week, following the Heston Blumenthal method of cooking the eggs oh so slowly in a bowl placed on a saucepan of barely simmering water. Took ages (!) but these were hands down the best eggs I have ever ever eaten. He adds a knob of butter and some cream to the eggs so they aren’t completely unadulterated but I’d recommend giving it a go.

    August 30, 2013 6:29 pm
  • 5
    olga said:

    Claire – I will definitely try the method you recommended – sounds fantastic. There’s a similar method that I learned from Marc Forgione while writing the book with him – and he swears by it. I love all these different methods of cooking something so seemingly simple like an egg!

    August 31, 2013 3:08 pm
  • 6
    Sam said:

    This is how my college roommate made scrambled eggs. It never occurred to me that this is why hers were so much better than mine…

    September 7, 2013 11:27 am
  • 7
    olga said:

    Sam – I’m obsessed with this method – so simple, and yet the result – amazing!

    September 7, 2013 11:52 am

Leave a comment