Best Recipe for Scrambled Eggs
Eggs are an obsession. There the chicken’s out of the bag. I, literally, buy a dozen eggs a couple of times a week. Not only do they make a frequent appearance at breakfast and brunch, I love having “breakfast” suppers.
I ran completely out of eggs once, in 1994, and haven’t forgotten the horror of that morning. The trauma has led me to stockpiling eggs (fortunately, the high turnover rate keeps them fresh).
When it comes to recommending basics that every cook should know how to make, it’s not surprising that “Scrambled Eggs, Fried Eggs, and a Great Omelet” make my list. If you’ve never taken an Egg Challenge – that is, challenging yourself to make the absolute best eggs you can make – I wholeheartedly recommend it. Take each of these egg basics and perfect it. Make them your own!
Today marks the start of a sort of Egg Workskillet (who makes eggs in a shop?!). We’ll take these three types of eggs and see where they take us. First up, Scrambled Eggs – a MUST HAVE in every cooks repertoire.
The basic, scrambled egg recipe (below) is the place to start.
Tips for Making the Best Scrambled Eggs:
I am, by no means a know-it-all, but as an egg fanatic, I have learned a few things over the many years I’ve spent with my little oval friends in the kitchen. Below are my top tips for making the best scrambled eggs possible.
- Buy Fresh. This is one of those things that people read and may roll their eyes over – or simply skip past the tip altogether! It’s kind of like seeing “drink more water” on a list of healthy tips. We tend to think, “Yeah, yeah…” But, just as drinking more water is essential to health, buying fresh eggs is essential to making the best eggs possible.
- Buy Organic Cage Free Eggs from Free Range Chickens. If farmers/companies are cool and compassionate enough to treat their chickens well, I trust them to know what’s best in all areas of their eggs. These are the individuals who go the extra mile to do what’s right. Who else would you want to trust with your food?!
- Add Pepper Jack. Cheddar, or Swiss Cheese. As the eggs begin to “pull themselves together,” add some shredded cheese. Cheddar and Pepper Jack are my personal favorites, but by all means experiment.
- Lighten Up. You can, of course, lighten things up (calorie-wise) by using cooking spray or olive oil in place of the butter and water in place of the milk.
- Replace the Lactose. You can also use lactose free milk in place of the regular milk.
- Go for the Gold. For a little extra decadence, use Half and Half or Whipping Cream in place of the milk – or go 1/2 and 1/2 with it.
- DO NOT USE CAST IRON SKILLETS. Sorry for yelling, but this one tripped me up one time and I don’t want it to happen to anyone else. See, here’s the thing. I’m obsessed with my cast iron skillet. So much so, that I throw anything and everything into it. I got a wild hair once and thought, “Hmmm, what if two obsessions – my beloved cast iron skillet and my beloved eggs teamed up???” Big mistake, the hmmm soon became an ugggghhhh. Because I’m hard headed, I tried it (first) with fried eggs, then again a few weeks later with scrambled eggs. Both were less than wonderful. The eggs even looked ugly – something I’d never, ever say about an egg – but there you have it. I did a little research after the fact (duh me, why not before the fact?) and – I forget where I read this – there is a chemical reaction between the iron in the iron skillet and the sulfur in the egg whites. It’s not, shall we say, a match made in Heaven. The color and the taste of the eggs suffers.
- Don’t overcook. The heat from the pan will continue “cooking” the eggs even after you remove them from the burner. This is just one of the examples of why, if you want to be the best cook you can be, you have to practice in the kitchen. With practice, you learn exactly what the eggs should look like at the point of removal.
- You do You. When it comes to scrambled eggs, it’s all about preference and about giving them your own signature. I think my scrambled egg signature is for them to have a little kick. However, sometimes I leave the kick out and enjoy the unmistakable beauty of simple, basic scrambled eggs.
- Play with the Co-Stars. Add picante sauce (or salsa – but, in my opinion picante is better), hot sauce, cherry tomatoes, diced Romas, diced green onions, scallions, avocado, crumbled bacon, chives, etc. Eggs play beautifully with so many different foods and seasonings – it’s part of the reason I love them so much, you can take them just about anywhere you want to go. In the eggs pictured at the top, I added cherry tomatoes and green onions at the end, then plated it with some great avocado seasoned with Montana Mex Seasoned Sea Salts (click the link for my review of these wonderful seasoned salts.)
- Serve Right Away, But.. Okay, like mashed potatoes, it is always best to serve scrambled eggs immediately after they leave the stove. However, if you have an emergency (like, say, your spouse is taking two forevers with his/her morning shower and is holding things up) – remove the pan from the skillet and place it on over some warm water. This is only in the event of an emergency. Seriously, you’d almost be better delivering their eggs to them in the shower.
- Whip ’em, Whip ’em Good. Just like the size of curds issue, this is also a matter of personal preference. Light beating produces more dense, solid scrambled eggs. Vigorous beating aerates the eggs, which results in lighter fluffier curds. I actually mix up the two approaches for several reasons. (1) I’m all about variety. I like to “stay sharp” with each approach, so I mix things up. I also find myself in the mood for one this day and the mood for another that day. Having said that, my favorite is the second approach – the one my brain registers as the “fluffy” scrambled eggs. (2) What I’m serving with the scrambled eggs often dictates my approach. If I’m having bacon, sausage links, or ham, I’ll go for denser scrambled eggs. It seems to me that they hold their own with meat better this way. If I’m serving them with gluten free toast, a gluten free English Muffin or bagel, or simply allowing them to be the star of the show with avocado or tomatoes, I’ll go for a “fluffier” scrambled egg. Again… it’s all about your personal preference.
Experiment, have fun, and find your own favorite way to fix scrambled eggs!