A timeless classic food. Perfect in its simplicity. Basis is slowly cooked eggs that have been beaten and mixed with milk, with additional ingredients such as potato, bacon, ham, cheese, tomato and salmon to mention a few. Often served with toast or bagels.

A truly tasty dish, that makes a great breakfast or lunch, and so easy to make even I can do it. A good batch of scrambled eggs is a work of art. Often underappreciated because they're not (1) cooked properly or (2) using the right ingredients. As follows are some basic laws for making scrambled eggs:
  • Beat the eggs thoroughly. Open a can of whup ass and get out the hose if you have to. You can't make scrambled eggs if the eggs aren't scrambled. (is that Zen?)
  • Cook under a low flame, making sure you continuously scrape the bottom of the pan (this and this only is where the egg gets cooked).
  • Whatever ingredients you use make sure they're finely diced, unless you specifically like it chunky.
My classic scrambled eggs recipe:

Ingredients:

2 eggs per person and one extra just because
1 table spoon of butter per person
a handfull of chives cut nice and small
a pinch of salt and a poke of pepper
Instructions:
Find a heavy bottomed pan that is not so big that the egg mixture will spread out too thinly1. Put the butter in the pan and melt it completely on a medium heat, when it's melted turn off the heat and leave it alone.

Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl and add the salt and pepper. Beat them well but do not over beat them, the mixture should be a nice consistent color with a light big bubbled foam on the surface, you do not want to fill your egg mixture with millions of air bubbles as this will result in spongy scrambled eggs (beurk).

Pour your egg mixture into your pan of melted butter, while you were beating the eggs the butter cooled down a bit which means that the egg mixture doesn't immediately start to harden on the bottom of the pan while you put down the mixing bowl and grab your flat edged spatula.

Cook on a low heat stirring constantly, the sirring is very important and in truth is not really stirring but scraping the mixture off the bottom of the pan and folding it back ito itself. If the mixture starts to cook too fast just pick the pan up off the heat and continue stirring until things look right again.

Good scrambled eggs should not be too dry so the key to finishing is to take the pan off the heat when the mixture has 80% solidified, you actually want it to be 90% solidified so leave it in the pan for a couple more minutes and that last 10% will carry on cooking.

Serve with a handfull of chives sprinkled on top, and marvel at the simple honesty of eggs and butter.

1: If you are doing an awful lot of eggs (like for 12 people) then a heavy rectangular casserole dish works extremely well because it makes the scraping and folding very easy.

Some additional serving suggestions/tips:


  • Add several tablespoons of habanero sauce for a kick that goes well beyond the standard Tabasco sauce
  • Add a large amount of longhorn cheddar cheese to the beaten egg mixture, some fresh, diced jalapenos, and chorizo that you browned before beating the eggs. The eggs will acquire a nice flavor if you leave some of the grease from the chorizo in the pan before scrambling the eggs in it. Wrap in a large flour tortilla, enjoy.
  • Adding too much milk sometimes results in a bunch of water at the bottom of the pan. Simply pour it off. It is better to add too much milk than too little. If you have ever unknowingly ordered scrambled "eggs" at Denny's...well, they don't add any milk.
  • If there are any bits of shells in your beaten egg mixture, grind them up into very tiny bits by smashing them with a spoon (if you can't get them out with your fingers). This will avoid the nasty "crunchy" effect from ineptly-cracked eggs.
  • Don't forget to stir constantly.

Slang for the gold embroidery that decorates the visors of naval officers' headgear. Remember that cap Rob Reiner wears onscreen in This Is Spinal Tap? "USS Coral Sea CV-48" on the front, and eggs all over the rest of it.

Occasionally used to refer to officers themselves.

SCRAMBLED EGGS
... in theory and practice

(By special request, an extra pretentious HOWTO on yummy scrambled eggs.)


As with most simple recipes, the deliciousness of a given plate of scrambled eggs is related more to the quality of the ingredients than any particular skill on the part of the cook. One wants top quality chicken eggs: size Large, grade A or better, and as fresh as possible from the store. Also important, at least to this recipe, is olive oil, which should be extra virgin and as green as possible -- greener oil means higher olive fragment content, and thus more interesting taste. Black pepper ground in a mill and sea salt should do for spices. Finally, have a five or six big chunky ice cubes on hand; if you are obsessive-compulsive you can make these from distilled water, but that is probably overkill ...

Some kind of frying pan and a utensil with a flat edge should be used for the actual cooking. Inertia of utensil material is what we are looking for here, as one does not want the cooking surface to flavor the food. In order of worsening desirability, try to get a pan made out of glass, stainless steel, Teflon, or if there is a gun to your head, cast iron. A stiff rubber utensil is probably best, but a metal one may be used; melting of synthetic material utensils should not be an issue with the low temperatures involved.

Get the pan hot, to just under the point where a drop of water sizzles immediately. Too much heat turns the eggs green and burns the oil, while too little bores the cook to death with cooking time and may result in flat eggs. Add a little oil and distribute it across the surface; if it smokes, turn down the heat, wash out the pan, and try again.

At this point, my methodology deviates significantly from standard scrambled egg practice. Instead of beating the eggs to even a slight degree, crack them directly into the hot pan. Purists may argue that fluffiness will suffer if the eggs are not beaten. Making them this way, however, helps avoid green eggs and sulfurous smell by keeping the yolk matter more separate from the white matter -- one never sees green fried eggs, correct? Besides, fluffiness is not the be-all and end-all of scrambled egg yuminess, and a spongy came-from-a-powder-style dish of eggs is almost worse than none at all. To further my defense, while most recipes call for some dairy product to be mixed in during beating, because of the olive oil and ice this recipe needs none to be successful.

Since we are not, in fact, making fried eggs, immediately subsequent to adding the final egg, begin scraping and turning at the eggs now barely turning white on the bottom. While doing this, encourage the surface tension (actually a nuclear envelope, yum) of the yolks to break, that they may be folded into the egg mass proper. The yolk will naturally stay somewhat separate from the white, sort of an oil-on-water effect, so the final product will have faintly visible swirls of white and yellow. Add salt and pepper to taste, remembering that one needs about 20% more sea salt than regular iodized salt to achieve the same degree of saltiness.

Using ice cubes during cooking is another deviation, which must be major as I couldn't find any other instances of it on the internet. However, using an ice cube is how my mother taught me to scramble eggs, and I've talked to others who have heard of the method outside of my family, so it is neither especially isolated nor (probably) a valueless practice. My guess is that the icy coldness stops the thermal reaction which hardens the egg matter, thus protecting it from over-cooking while not stopping the entire dish itself from cooking. This, along with having extracellular hot water to "boil" the cellular egg material, and the bonus of moisturizing the eggs in general, is probably why the use of ice cubes increments deliciousness so cromulently.

At any rate, about two minutes after the final egg begins cooking, it is time to add the first ice cube. With your fingers, push the cube to the bottom of the pan, then move it over the pan's surface, turning and breaking the eggs just as the rubber scraper would. Alternate between the two as needed, since the scraper can turn the eggs all the way over, but the cube needs to come in contact with as much egg matter as possible. When the cube is too small to continue, throw it in the sink and begin with a new cube.

The stirring with ice will continue for the duration of the cooking. If you simply can't imagine scrambling eggs without a dairy product being involved somewhere along the line, add heavy cream or half-and-half after the first ice cube. Otherwise, occasionally (two to five times, adjusting for quantity of eggs) clear off a space in the middle of the pan and pour a teaspoon of oil in it, then wait for the oil to get hot and stir the eggs back into it. You will know the eggs are done when there is no, as in exactly zero, snotty-looking raw egg material visible anywhere in the pan. While letting the eggs become too dry will discolor them and make them disagreeable to some, leaving randomly distributed half-mouthfuls of hot, sticky goo throughout the final product is roughly infinitely worse -- as in all things, strive for balance.

Serve the eggs on a pre-warmed ceramic dish (of whatever shape suits your fancy) if possible, with whatever else you enjoy with your eggs. For a treat that will make them even worse for your body, sprinkle with some strongly flavored cheese, maybe Cheddar or Pecorino Romano. Even though scrambled eggs would seem to be pretty innocuously flavored, their strong protein content and sulfur undertones will simply overwhelm weak farm cheeses, Mozzarella and the like.

Enjoy!

Scram"bled eggs (?).

Eggs of which the whites and yolks are stirred together while cooking, or eggs beaten slightly, often with a little milk, and stirred while cooking.

 

© Webster 1913.

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