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Scrambling/Scrambled Eggs


Fat Guy
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Since we're on the home fries topic, how do you all scramble your eggs?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Well, when I am on the Atkins diet, I scramble them with heavy cream.  But I remember reading somewhere that you should only add water.  That is supposed to make them fluffier and lighter.  So usually that is all I add.

Life is too important to be taken seriously.[br]Oscar Wilde

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I add a tablespoon of water, milk or cream, depending on my mood, beat with a fork until combined, but not foamy and turn them into a heavy pan in which butter has been melted.  I use low heat and scrape and stir evey so often.  I like large, soft curds, so I keep the stirring to a minimum.  I remove the eggs when they are thoroughly set, but still a little shiny.  

I love these discussions about preparing seemingly simple dishes -- like home fries.  One of my favorite cooking exercises is the attempt to perfect a very simple dish and hearing people say, when they eat it, "This is the best___ I've ever had."  Of course, perfection, by definition, can never be achieved, so there remains a constant challenge.  

(Edited by Sandra Levine at 11:40 am on Dec. 29, 2001)

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Nothing less than three eggs per person. Always pinch of salt, no pepper (added only on finished product). A teaspoon of light or heavy cream is nice, reserve the use of water for omelets only. Beat with a fork (not whisk - don't ask why) in a suitable bowl. Do not over-beat nor ahead of time of use. Non-stick pans are preferred, although I do not have any, I just have so many that an "egg" pan is never sticking because it will never get washed!

Here is a little trick, when the eggs need to be cooked a bit in advance, and are maybe served in a pre-heated china or pottery dish: as soon as they are placed, scraped, ladled or whatever in that vessel, add a "shot" of cold!!! heavy cream, stirring well. This will prevent the eggs from continued cooking through their own heat or the heated casserole on a "Rechaud/Chafing Dish". I have held eggs that way for more than 15 min, without detriment to their quality

Peter
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I generally use butter rather than cream (truffle butter is a nice treat), and certainly never water.  I have tried the long and patient method, beating them gently in a bain marie, but all that really achieved was having egg stuck to the bowl instead of the saucepan.  I don't recall it making much difference to the eggs.

You can also make them in a microwave.  Quick, rubbery and disgusting :biggrin:

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Quote: from Sandra Levine on 11:34 am on Dec. 29, 2001

I add a tablespoon of water, milk or cream, depending on my mood, beat with a fork until combined, but not foamy and turn them into a heavy pan in which butter has been melted.  I use low heat and scrape and stir evey so often ... <snip> ... One of my favorite cooking exercises is the attempt to perfect a very simple dish and hearing people say, when they eat it, "This is the best___ I've ever had."  

Me, too!  :cheesy:

I cook my eggs as Sandra does.  But having recently dragged out my Nero Wolfe Cookbook to present to this list, I tried his manner of preparing scrambled eggs in the top of a double boiler.  They turned out pretty gaggy actually, but that may be because they called for a LOT of cream -- and I only had milk in the house.  Even so, if I ever try it again (with cream), I'd cut way back on the cream.  

Eggs are wonderful whether boy, pooch or pry (to quote from the by-now famous call from a hotel guest to "ruin sorbees" in a hotel somewhere in Thailand).

Gail

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Has anybody tried the Jean-Georges method of a whisk, a saucepan, and high temperature?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Non-stick skillet at medium heat. Butter. Whisk the eggs but loosely. A dash of mineral water. Pepper. Pour into skillet. Toss around roughly with a rubber or wooden spatula. As they set, fold. Pour out onto toast with whatever mushrooms. Dash of porcini oil. Salt.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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2-6 eggs depending on who's eating, beaten with a fork, a few grinds of pepper. Butter (or Olive Oil, depending on mood) in small non-stick skillet, medium-high heat. After butter stops foaming, beat a little salt into eggs and pour into pan. Using heat-proof rubber spatula, draw cooked egg to center of skillet all around the pan, allowing uncooked to get to the sides. Turn off heat while eggs are still a little runny. Turn over eggs to finish if still too wet. This produces nice large curds. I like to grind on a little more pepper at the end.

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I've been known to break an egg in a hot pan, then break the yolk and toss the finished product between halves of a roll or baguette, but when someone's looking, or I'm having a special breakfast with some nice smoked salmon, I go for the slow custardy haute cuisine finish.

Break the yolks and minimally beat the eggs. I think forks are best as a wisk is more likely to overbeat the eggs. Melt butter in pan, pour in the eggs and stir with a wooden spatula until desired degree of doneness. Very soft is my ideal. I avoid both milk and cream and toss in cold butter to cook the eggs and stop the cooking when I have them at the proper temperature.

Caviar would be even better than smoked salmon, I suppose.

Robert Buxbaum

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I agree that making everyday dishes spectacular is one of the treats of cooking...for this amateur at least...My wife thinks I'm turning into an obsessive compulsive person since I've been seriously learning how to cook...She saw me whipping egg whites to fold into a pancake batter for our daughter and just scratched her head...by the way that is another way to make everyday pancakes into something great...talk about light and fluffy..if that's what you like ...

I've played with scrambled eggs 50 different ways...I always liked restaurant scrambled eggs, they always seemed more yellow than what I achieved at home and always a smoother texture...so I cooked them a bunch of ways...high heat is the killer of good eggs...here's what I like the best...

Nonstick Pan....with melted butter over very very low heat...

I *whisk* the eggs ALOT...I mean for 2-3 minutes aggressively whisking....I only add salt and a touch of pepper...I would have thought that over whisking would do something weird, but it didn't

I then cook over that low low heat...it's takes a while...usually 7 to 10 minutes...maybe longer...it takes patience for me not to crank up the heat to finish them

I take the eggs out of the pan when the eggs are set and still *wet*...

The result I've found and that I like is a very rich taste and smooth smooth texture...I made eggs like this for my wife and she was confused while eating them....She thought for sure I added a ton of cream and/or butter....which I hadn't...although melting in some butter at the very end is also an excellent way to finish ...

Long time lurker and someone who truly enjoys this site...thanks to all the posters...Hopefully I'll overcome my shyness and attempt to make some more contributions....

Tom

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Tom, we'd very much like to see more of you here. Like you, I find that the most interesting part of cooking is breaking things down into their smallest possible components and then putting those techniques and processes under the microscope.

On New Year's Day I tried the Jean-Georges method (I call it that because Mark Bittman wrote about it in the Times a couple of years ago and credited it to Jean-Georges; I don't think Jean-Georges really invented this) of scrambling eggs. You use a small saucepan so you have a thick layer of eggs, rather than a wide skillet where you have a thin layer. You use medium-high heat and a lot of butter, and you whisk the eggs the entire time you're cooking them. This way, the eggs never really set and you get similar results in 1-2 minutes as you'd get with some of the much slower, low-heat methods. I couldn't believe how well this worked.

I had been planning to serve these eggs with caviar, but I had so much crabmeat and lobster left over from New Year's Eve that I switched to eggs with lobster and crabmeat.

By the way, did I ever post about my experiment with European and American eggs? Last time I was in London, I smuggled home half a dozen British eggs and half a dozen French eggs, and tasted them against the eggs from Ronnybrook here in New York. Now, I don't know if Harrod's is selling the best available eggs, but they certainly sell good stuff. I mean, there was a binder full of photographs hanging from a chain next to the eggs, demonstrating through pictures the excellent conditions under which Farmer Devonshire's chickens are raised. (Well, maybe his name wasn't Devonshire.) The French eggs came from a supermarket near the border where our friends had shopped a couple of days earlier, so I don't know if they were the best specimens, but they were labeled organic. Anyway, so I tasted all these eggs, and when I was cooking them I thought for sure the English eggs would be best, followed by the French, followed by New York. The reason I thought this was because of the color. The European eggs were much darker and more orange than the pale yellow New York eggs. But when I tasted: No difference at all. Or, rather, there were some minor differences, but there was no qualitative distinction worth reporting. So, perhaps not a huge sample, but at least I tried. It wasn't easy hiding the eggs in the suitcase. I thought for sure they'd be all over everything, including the cheese . . . but that's another story.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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That's impressive: Half a cup of cream for two eggs. Assuming a 2 oz. egg (I believe that's the size of standard USDA Large eggs), that's half eggs and half cream. Apple did not mention what kind of cream is used, which should make some difference. I mean, the various creams on US supermarket shelves can range from 10% to 40% milkfat, I think.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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MMM. Scramled eggs French style.  More like a custard.  I start by breaking three eggs per person in a small container (to minimize the air getting in the mix).  Beat with a fork until the yolk and white are thoroughly blended.  I use a heavy bottomed sauce pan over a very low flame.  Melt clarified butter and pour the eggs in the pan, leaving about two to three tablespoons in the mixing bowl, to which I add some heavy cream or preferably creme frais.  I stir the eggs preventing them from forming large curds, removing from the heat if they are cooking to fast.  When they are the consistency I like (custard), I pour the remaining egg/cream blend into the pan and stir until fully blended.  Remove from heat and plate on a hot dish.  Serve with hot buttered rye bread.  Salt and pepper to taste.

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Oh, I forgot to mention that I tried pheasant eggs, which are available in a nearby market and they were the most "eggy" eggs I've ever tasted.  They are about 1/2 the size of chicken eggs, so you need to use about six per person.  Same method.  You can really taste the difference if you use very fresh eggs vs. those that have been in the fridge for a week or so.

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Quote: from Fat Guy on 11:16 pm on Jan. 2, 2002It wasn't easy hiding the eggs in the suitcase. I thought for sure they'd be all over everything, including the cheese . . . but that's another story.

And wouldn't we love to hear it.  It wasn't so lucky the time I tried to smuggle in some pears from Italy.  I ate three, standing in customs, rather than surrender them to the customs officer, so that, obviously, he could eat them himself.

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Quote: from Fat Guy on 11:01 pm on Dec. 29, 2001

Has anybody tried the Jean-Georges method of a whisk, a saucepan, and high temperature?

I must be crazy, because I whisk the #### out of 'em.  Sometimes, if I'm beating a large batch (12 at time?), I use my hand mixer.  I usually add only salt and pepper to the eggs, and put them in a hot non-stick pan.  I continue to whisk in the pan -- I like them fluffy.  

By the way -- I love adding either a good pinch of crushed red pepper, or a half teaspoon of good curry powder while beating the eggs.  It makes for a nice change.

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