It seems silly to blog about scrambled eggs. After all, it’s one of the first things a child might learn to make. I have a photo of my little sister, age four, stirring eggs on a stove top in a scarred nonstick pan in a hotel suite in Germany. (See! It’s so simple a four-year-old with limited resources in a foreign country can do it.) Those eggs were made with love, but the ones that came before and after did little to sell me on them. I hated how rubbery and dense they were, how they crumbled in the mouth, how they left behind a residue in the pan that dried into papery flakes. Even at my favorite brunch spots in NYC, scrambled eggs often arrive in large broken chunks, like an omelette that’s given up halfway through its journey to self-actualization. (The city will tear you apart, l’oeuflette.)
I disliked scrambled eggs because I didn’t know they were supposed to be different. So I ignored them. I poached, baked, and fried their cousins. But even then, I rarely felt poetic about them. Up until recently, eggs were an after-thought for me, and I guiltily threw away expired half cartons of them as I cleaned out the fridge before my next FreshDirect order.
Then I discovered that if one cooks them slowly, gently, over low heat, for much longer than one is willing to fuss over them, they’ll come out of the pan creamy, melting, and perfect. It was a perfectly-timed revelation for me. I had just started my new job and only had half an hour a night to cook (or loosely assemble) dinner. I turned to scrambled eggs in desperation and they’ve become one of my favorite ways to dine. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
A Tutorial On Scrambled Eggs:
Crack your eggs into a bowl. Add about half an eggshell’s worth of milk for each egg, 2-3 pinches of salt, and a pinch of pepper.
Stir gently with a fork until yolks break up and milk is fully incorporated.
Drizzle olive oil in a non-stick pan and heat the pan on medium-low. I prefer olive oil because it has a high smoking point and won’t brown your eggs.
Once the pan is warmed through but before the oil shimmers, add the eggs. Let them sit for 30 seconds, then gently stir them continuously with a rubber spatula on medium-low heat.
It will seem as if the eggs aren’t cooking at all. Don’t adjust the temperature. You want to keep stirring until they form soft clumps, about 3-5 minutes, depending on the number of eggs and pan size. This will allow you to incorporate plenty of air and steam off the excess water from the milk.
Once they start to look like this, they’re almost ready and will cook about 30 seconds more. Continue to cook and break up if you prefer smaller clumps. (I do.) This is the stage at which you can add some chopped fresh herbs.
Once all the liquid has been cooked, the eggs will look slightly wet and you’ll hear a faint sizzle. This is your cue that the eggs are done.
2 eggs serves one person, 3-4 easily serves two.
How to Enjoy Your Eggs Any Time of Day: With Smoked Salmon & Lemon Creme Fraiche
2-3 Scrambled Eggs
2 T chopped dill
2 slices of rye bread, toasted
1 large slice of smoked salmon, cut into six pieces
2 T creme fraiche + 1/4 t lemon zest + a squeeze of lemon juice
Cook scrambled eggs according to directions, adding chopped dill at stage 6. Split between slices of toasted rye, top with three slices of salmon each, and drizzle with lemon creme fraiche. EASIEST RECIPE IN THE WORLD. Works for any meal.