The art of scrambled eggs

I may be alone in this, but I believe there is an art to making the perfect scrambled eggs. Scrambled eggs should be rich and creamy and they should never be dry or rubbery. I have yet to eat scrambled eggs from the microwave that meet these criteria. If you can prove me wrong, I’ll happily change my mind. But until then, I have to say, microwaved eggs are a no go.

Of course good eggs are a must, for ethical/karma reasons as well as quality you should always use free range eggs. The colour and richness you get in the yolk of a free range egg is incomparable, and easily noticeable by its absence from a dish. I have lately fallen in love with Holbrook Paddock Eggs on sale at the Capital Region Farmers Market. I was very tempted to by a box of their double yolkers this week, but came home with the single yolks. If you have a choice of free range egg producers near you, find your favourite and treat the supplier well. If you don’t have a selection, it’s still very good to go with a local free range producer. Buying local will mean your producer won’t need to struggle against the giant distributers, and you’ll likely get a fresher, higher quality product. Failing that, I’ll certainly understand if you buy free range eggs from the green grocer, butcher or supermarket.

I learned to make soufflé years before I could soft boil an egg. Similarly I could bake a cake from scratch before I could scramble eggs. I learned to do so in order to pass my cooking badge for Brownies. I learned to make scrambled eggs with milk. For many years I did so. But a dear friend of mine, of quality English stock, was taken aback by this recipe. Once she showed me how hers turned out, I never went back. The key is the addition of butter to the pan, no milk.

You must use a gentle heat. I add my salt and pepper to the eggs in the pan at the beginning of cooking. On an electric or wood stove, it is wise to turn the pan off just before they are cooked because the heat in the stove and the eggs will continue to cook them thereafter. This is also relevant cooking over gas, because although the stove won’t retain heat, the eggs will.

A habit I picked up from my grandmother was to add a generous quantity of chopped parsley to the eggs at the end of cooking. Parsley is very good for you, and I think it tastes great in scrambled eggs. The residual heat in the cooked eggs will be just enough to enhance the herb’s flavour, and soften the leaves. If you’d like to serve your eggs with salmon or trout I’d suggest you add dill instead of parsley. This works well with smoked salmon, or gravlax as I recently posted.

This morning I thought I’d try something a little new. I bought a bunch of beautiful tender garlic chives at market yesterday, and thought they’d make a lovely change stirred through my scrambled eggs. Indeed, I was right.

Scrambled eggs with garlic chives

Serves 1

1 teaspoon butter
2 eggs
1 pinch salt
1 pinch pepper
1 teaspoon garlic chives
1 or 2 slices bread
butter, to spread
Scrmbled eggs with garlic chives

Scrambled eggs with garlic chives

Melt the butter in a small saucepan on a low heat. Crack the eggs into the pan, add salt and pepper and stir with a wooden spoon to break up. Place the bread in the toaster. Cook the eggs gently, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes. When lumps of egg are cooked, and only a little raw egg is left in the pan, turn the heat off and continue to stir the eggs. You’ll see this runny egg will thicken and you’ll be left with moist creamy scrambled eggs. Add the garlic chives and stir through. Your toast should be popped, butter it and scoop over the scrambled eggs. Serve immediately.

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4 Responses to The art of scrambled eggs

  1. amelia says:

    mmmm, i always like to make mine with a dash of cream in with the eggs. And cook them in a metal bowl over water.

  2. As I read this post, I was thinking how I love chives snipped into my scrambled eggs (or omelette). A great recipe and the best eggs at the market!

  3. amelia says:

    Not a probs suz. I loveeeeeee scrambled eggs. Just reading this again is making me hungry!

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