Kitchen Mysteries is a weekly exploration of oddities surrounding cooking and food. They could be recipes that fail when they shouldn’t, conflicting advice from different sources, or just plain weirdness. If it happens in a kitchen, and you’re not sure why, send a tweet to The Food Geek to find out what’s happening.
Friend of The Food Geek Steve Whitaker asks via twitter,
See, now you’re just trying to get me in trouble. It’s something of a cliché that the true test of a chef’s skill is making eggs. To the professional chef, an omelette is an idealized thing that has specific characteristics: firm on the outside, creamy on the inside. No fillings stuffed in there. Some butter, maybe some herbs. To an arbitrarily chosen person from an arbitrary location in the US, however, chances are than an ideal omelette is quite different: thick, firm through and through, with a specific set of fillers including some combination of meats, cheeses, and vegetables, as well as a topping of some sort.
Scrambled eggs are in a similar situation. To one subset of people, a scrambled egg has an exact look, an exact texture, and any deviation from that is failure. It’ll be heavier on the firm than an omelette, but with some creaminess mixed in. To the rest of the people I’m likely to meet on a day-to-day basis, however, their preferences on scrambled eggs are going to vary. Most often, the arbitrarily chosen person will want something more thoroughly cooked, but some may prefer a degree of fluffiness, some may want a topping, some may want this, that, or another. It’s not as bad as the omelette, but it’s still difficult.
Therefore, like your coffee question from before, I will state the following: I am going to tell you how to make my favorite type of scrambled egg. This will not necessarily please anyone else (though I know several people whom it pleases). If you have a favorite, I heartily recommend posting in comments. I may secretly think you’re wrong, but I’ll know that it’s a matter of preference.
First, general facts about cooking eggs:
- Cooking them slowly will give you creamier eggs, while cooking them quickly will give you firmer eggs.
- If you want to add shredded cheese to your eggs, ignore the temptation to mix it into the eggs before you cook them. I can assure you that it’s a poor idea.
- Add salt to your eggs before you beat them.
- The fat you cook the eggs in will impart a tremendous amount of flavor. Choose well.
- 5 strips of bacon
- 4 eggs
- Kosher salt
- 1 11″ non-stick cooking pan
- 1 pair of tongs
- 1 spatula
- 1 fork
- 1 bowl
- Starting from a cold, non-stick frying pan, cook 5 strips of bacon over medium heat.
- While the bacon is cooking, season (with kosher salt) 4 eggs in a bowl or glass.
- Beat the eggs with a fork until combined.
- When the bacon is cooked, set it aside for future eating.
- The bacon grease should cover the bottom of your pan. Not the thinnest layer of bacon grease possible, but a bit more than that. Say 1 Tbl more than enough to cover your pan.
- While you were fiddling with the bacon grease, the pan should have cooled just a bit. Add the eggs and return to the medium heat.
- Mix with the spatula until the eggs are just a bit more moist than you would normally eat them. Plate with the bacon. Add some biscuits and maybe some fruit on the side if you’re feeling a little heart conscious.
Serves 2. The fifth piece of bacon can be split, or the cook can eat it while cooking the eggs to ensure that no fainting happens near the oven due to malnutrition. Use your better judgement.
If you are cooking with a metal pan, these directions are all kinds of wrong. However, the goal here is to slowly bring both the bacon and the eggs up to temperature. Bacon lays flat better if cooked slowly, and as mentioned before, eggs don’t dry out as quickly if you cook slowly. Also, I’ve been vague on the amount of salt partially because I tend to wing it with seasoning, and partially because it depends on what brand of bacon you use.
Armed with the knowledge I’ve given you, you should not only be able to reproduce the eggs I cook, but you should be able to modify it for your taste.