Some people´s worst fear is dying penniless: the kids and grandkids have to pay for their own schooling and it´s all your fault. I don´t really understand this. There is always a convenience store to rob or an old lady´s oversized purse to grab. If you are creative, cash can always be found.
The thing that really creeps me out is the thought of dying eggless. Think about your two last months without a single egg in sight (or better said inside). How could this happen? An acute egg allergy? A disease that spreads only if the host eats eggs (though I have to wonder what kind of a god would invent a disease like that). Maybe there is a universal egg shortage; I don´t know. I just don´t want to leave this planet without having eaten eggs in the last day or two.
There was a time in when eggs were a rare treat on our weekend menu. We had kids, long working hours, bills needing divine intervention to get paid – the usual for busy young couples. Once in a while we rustled up some eggs for a Sunday brunch, but for the most part Sunday was just another Tuesday or Thursday, fired by bread and cheese, and if we managed to remember to pick them up at the store, cold cuts or peanut butter. Cooking eggs just seemed too (what´s the word?) stressful.
Fast forward to said kids having grown up. They are in high school or college, and maybe they have even moved out of the house. Heads over water, it´s time to think about enjoying life. A few years ago the wife and I made a pact to eat eggs every weekend and even for lunch or dinner on weekdays if the mood struck. We boil eggs (mine at 3 1/2 minutes, hers at 4+), we fry them sunny side up or medium, sometimes even hard. But what we do most often is scramble our eggs.
It wasn´t part of the plan but I have become sort of the Usain Bolt of scrambled eggs. My speed in the 100 meter race would provide some laughs, but I bet I can cook rings around Mr. Bolt if eggs are the dish du jour. My scrambled eggs are badass. They rock. And I want to share them with you.
Here is what you need:
– A good pan. I have two scrambled egg pans, an 8″ Lodge cast iron skillet which I´ve been using for years; the other an 8″ All-Clad sauté pan. Both work well for eggs.
– a small spatula
– unsalted butter
– 3 large eggs of best quality
– a splash of milk or water (no more than a splash; roughly 1 ts)
– salt (I use kosher salt) and freshly-ground black pepper
As with cooking in general, great ingredients are a plus, but any good eggs will do. If you have crappy salt or 4-year old ground pepper you should be shot, so hopefully that´s not an issue.
Good equipment is also a plus. I use either my seasoned cast iron pan or my favorite steel pan, but yes, you can use a teflon pan if you wish. What you don´t want to use is a skillet the eggs will stick to, leaving a thick, dry, eggy crust on the bottom.
Temperature is a huge issue if you´re shooting for Mr. Bolt scrambled eggs. The secret is low, low, low; not medium-low and surely not medium or higher. Great scrambled eggs can only be achieved using very low heat.
I like using a spatula instead of a wooden spoon or other utensil. There is something meant to be using a soft spatula to prepare soft scrambled eggs.
Here is the “recipe”, not so much a recipe as a method of working:
Use a fork to mix three (not four, not two) eggs and the milk or water together in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper after whipping the eggs into shape.
Turn the heat to its lowest setting. Melt 2 Tbs unsalted butter in the pan and roll the pan around so that the melted butter covers the bottom and the lowest part of the sides of the pan.
Pour the eggs into the pan. Do not stir. Do not shake. Leave the damned things alone until the outer edge of the eggs has set. When you have about a half inch “border” around the edge of the eggs, use the spatula to gently fold one section og the eggs toward the middle of the pan. Tilt the pan so that the still-liquid eggs cover the area left behind from your having moved the eggs toward the center of the pan.
Again, don´t stir, don´t shake. Give the eggs about a minute more to set.
Gently fold the eggs over as they set. Do NOT overwork the eggs.
Another secret revealed: Turn off the heat when the eggs are still slightly wet (there will be plenty of residual heat left for finishing the eggs). Continue the gentle folding just as needed. The finished scrambled eggs will still have a slight gloss to them. If the eggs have lost their sheen they are over-cooked.
Serve the eggs to your lucky recipient and to yourself. Put on some reggae music as you have now started your journey towards scrambled perfection.