What could be more fitting as the first post to launch this blog than paying homage to the egg. Back in favor after suffering some bad press, it has been called the perfect food. Notice how poached eggs seem to be garnishing all kinds of dishes? It seems to me that too little time has been spent talking about the delicate art of proper egg cookery. A highly valued skill among chefs, it often takes center stage when one is interviewing to cook in prized kitchens. The creamy scrambled egg most often falls prey to fast prep and ends up rubbery instead of the texture and feel of custard.
Look at these beauties! They are served in the shell. You do that by gently cutting off the narrow end of the egg. That is accomplished by tapping it all the way around with a sharp knife and cutting it off or, using egg scissors, found in most kitchen stores.
Here’s the technique:
Low and Slow
It takes some patience to make really good scrambled eggs. If you rush the cooking, the eggs will become tough and dry. Think low and slow for a creamier result. Continuous stirring will produce small curds which result in delicate, light, creamy eggs. These eggs are so delicious, it is like eating custard. My husband licks the pan when I make these. Literally!
4 large eggs (farm fresh is best)
2T chilled unsalted butter, divided
Cayenne pepper or splash of hot sauce, if desired.
Combine 1 ½ T of the butter and eggs in a small room temperature saucepan or non-stick skillet. Season the mixture lightly with salt and cayenne, if using. Place on medium-low heat and cook, whisking gently and constantly while scraping bottom and sides of pan, until eggs are just thickened, creamy, and small curds begin to form, 3-4 minutes total (more like 7 minutes if you have an electric stove and are starting cold). If the mixture begins to stick, remove from heat; whisk gently for 30 seconds and return to heat and continue cooking until set. Remove from heat
Add remaining ½ T of butter; whisk until melted. Season with salt and divide among small bowls or other serving vessels.
NOTE: Top with chives, crisp cooked bacon, sausage, sautéed mushrooms, cheese or toppings of your choice. For a fancy presentation, top with soft whipped cream and a dowllop of caviar or stir in some smoked salmon before plating and top with crème fraiche.
Keep checking in because I will cover, “The Perfect Poach.” Do not be afraid! You can learn to do a foolproof method that will not let you down and guess what? You can make them ahead. Who knew? You rock!