Making Perfect Scrambled Eggs

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Scrambled eggs – easy right? 

Probably one of the first things we may have cooked.  Simple ingredients, simple technique?  Well, not so fast!  (Actually that’s one of the secrets!)

How many of us have eaten dry, rubbery eggs from a buffet server or (like me) served up overdone eggs to family in the morning?  After many stays at business hotels, eating my complimentary eggs, I just had to embark on a journey to find out how to make the most perfect scrambled eggs possible.

The secret lies in two words – slow and low.  Cook them slowly and over low heat.  Now, that’s the opposite of everything I learned about scrambled eggs – they’re fast and difficult to ruin.  Not true. Perfectly cooked scrambled eggs taste very different from the overcooked version we often find on buffets.

In fact, I learned that most chefs choose the French method of cooking the eggs very slowly over low heat with a double boiler method.  I wanted to perfect a more achievable method for home cooks like me.

So, here are tips that I learned that can take your eggs from dry to delicious.

• The liquid you add can be water, whole milk, reduced fat or cream.  The difference will be in how creamy you like your eggs to taste.  You also can simply scramble them without any liquid at all.

• Beat the eggs with a fork or a whisk to combine the yolk with the white and to add air.  The more you beat the eggs the less variation between the white and the yellow when they’re cooked up and the fluffier the texture.

• Cook scrambled eggs over a temperature NO HIGHER than medium low.  They should take 4 – 10 minutes to cook – depending on the number of eggs.

• The more you move the eggs around the smaller the “curd” will be in your finished eggs.  Regardless of how chunky you like them, try not to overwork them in the pan.

• Remove the eggs from the heat of the stove when no more liquid is running around in the pan.  They should look “almost done” when you take them off.  If they look done, they’ll be overdone when you serve them up.  They continue cooking after you take them off the heat. 

• If you want to add goodies to your eggs like mushrooms, onions or ham, keep in mind that anything should be at least room temperature when you add it.  Also, anything that you want to be fully cooked should be sautéed before adding it to your eggs.  Otherwise, you’ll be cooking the additions until done, and will risk overcooking your eggs.

Some Simple Additions to Scrambled Eggs
• Sautéed mushrooms
• Fresh chives
• Mined jalapeños to taste
• Diced cooked shrimp or crab
• Sour cream or cream cheese (cut into small bits) or goat cheese
• Chopped ham, smoked salmon or other breakfast meats
• Seeded and chopped tomatoes
• Chopped sautéed onions, green or red peppers.

So, the next time you’re going to whip up a batch of scrambled eggs – take a few extra minutes, slow down the process, lower the heat and taste the difference.

Live and Learn!