Sunday, January 24, 2010
Perfect Scrambled Eggs
Perfect Scrambled Eggs
By Mr Breakfast
No cheese. No overt flavorings. Just eggs and what it takes to make them taste and look like great eggs.
The Best Way To Beat Your Eggs
One of the most important ingredients in scrambled eggs is hardly ever mentioned... air. It would be nice if we could just dollop a Tablespoon of air into the mixing bowl, but for the time-being, incorporating air into beaten eggs requires good old-fashioned elbow grease (or the electric equivalent).
The more you whisk -- the more air bubbles become trapped in the shaken and unraveling protein of the eggs. As the eggs cook, protein molecules firm-up around the air bubbles resulting in a spongy texture and hopefully full and fluffy scrambled eggs.
The American Egg Board describes well-beaten eggs as "frothy and evenly colored". When your eggs match that description (generally after about 2 minutes) you should stop beating.
Over-beating will completely unravel the protein molecules and destabilize their ability to form a microscopic casing around the air.
In terms of whisking motion, a tilted wheel motion works far better than a vertical stirring motion. A fork works as well as a whisk but requires a slight bit more time and energy.
Electric Mixers and Blenders - There's no need to shy away from these time-saving devices if they are used correctly. Electric mixers should be set to a moderate speed that approximates hand-whisking. The same rules of over-mixing apply.
Eggs mixed in a blender should be "blended" for 20 to 25 seconds. Set the mixture aside for a couple minutes before cooking to let the foam settle.
The Best Way To Scramble In The Pan
The actions you take once the eggs hit the fry pan will dictate the size of the scrambled egg pieces (curds). Some recipes suggest stirring the eggs with a wooden spoon immediately as the eggs hit the heated surface. Others direct you to let the eggs start to set before stirring/scrambling. Of the two, the second method results in larger fluffier pieces.
When the first hint of setting appears you should begin to push the eggs around with a spatula. There are opposing schools of thought on how to handle the eggs at this point.
FoodNetwork.com tells us to "push the curds to one side and let the uncooked eggs spread over the surface of the pan."
Martha Stewart suggests: "Using a spatula or a flat wooden spoon, push eggs toward center while tilting skillet to distribute runny parts."
For scrambled eggs that might be described as light and fluffy, Martha Stewart's push-to-the-center technique narrowly edges out the competition.
Before we scramble our brains contemplating the best plate to eat scrambled eggs off of, the texture differentials of eating with a spoon and the ideal temperature of the chair you sit in as you eat... let's get back to the reason we're here. For your breakfast pleasure (and to review)... Mr Breakfast Presents...
This recipe serves 2 hungry people.
6 large eggs
6 teaspoons (1 teaspoon for each egg) low-fat milk
3 dashes of salt (1 dash for every two eggs)
1 Tablespoon butter for frying
Heat a large non-stick frying pan to a setting just above medium. A 12-inch pan works well for 6 eggs. Do not add butter yet. We just want get the pan ready.
In large metal or glass mixing bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk and salt. Beat vigorously for 2 minutes.
Alternatively, you can place the eggs, milk and salt in a blender and blend for 20 to 25 seconds. Allow the mixture to set for a couple minutes to let the foam settle.
Melt the butter in the frying pan. As the very last of the butter is liquefying, add the egg mixture.
Do not stir immediately. Wait until the first hint of setting begins. Start the Martha Stewart scrambling technique ("Using a spatula or a flat wooden spoon, push eggs toward center while tilting skillet to distribute runny parts.")
Continue this motion as the eggs continue to set. Break apart large pieces as they form with your spoon or spatula. You will come to a point where the push-to-center technique is no longer cooking runny parts of the egg. Flip over all the eggs. Allow the eggs to cook 15 to 25 seconds longer. Transfer eggs to serving plates. Add salt and pepper to taste.
A note about milk and water: Soy milk works effectively in the recipe. Whole milk lends an overly milky taste to the eggs. No-fat milk and water can both be used in place of the low-fat milk but the creamy texture of the finished product is reduced.