Thursday, May 21, 2009
Yes, this was once (briefly) my nickname. Nine years ago I decided to be industrious and take a science course during the January break of Interterm at my university. Natural History via a three week camping trip in Baja California (Mexico) seemed like just the thing to appease those credits...especially for a fine arts major!
The group was divided into daily chores, rotating every day. A few days into the trip, I was on a breakfast team. Scrambled eggs were on the menu and I was determined to show off my cooking skills, considering that I was to be married in a few months. I must have felt like I had a lot to prove.
The eggs were probably overly dry and not that flavorful, but those campers didn't care or didn't know the difference. They kept coming back for more, particularly some of the bigger guys. And I was aiming to please, perhaps to be known as the good cook in camp.
So, more eggs went into the pan. In fact, we cooked up every last one of the dozens of eggs in the food cooler. Well, I was pretty proud of myself until the science prof and trip coordinator bellowed, "What happened to all the eggs?"
Ooopsss...you mean those were supposed to last us the whole trip? Uh oh. It was no secret who had kept the eggs cooking. That terrible proverb "pride comes before a fall" rang loudly in my ears (at least it should have!).
From there on out, I was humorously referred to as "Senorita Huevos"...Miss Eggs.
I never knew that eggs weren't supposed to be brown and rubbery until an episode of Top Chef a couple of years back when Gail Simmons wouldn't shut up about how much she hates overcooked eggs.
After that night we tried some new recipes, particularly Alton Brown's method in "I'm Just Here For the Food"...a French double boiler action. The eggs and cream and salt were all combined and then cooked together. They were good and our first experience with moist and luscious eggs.
But it was my husband who wanted to try another method. HIs favorite chef (Gordon Ramsey of Hell's Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares) demonstrates a totally different way to cook scrambled eggs. He portends that the eggs should not be mixed with cream or salt before cooking as the salt breaks down the eggs somehow. The following recipe is his method with a little bit of our own touch!
A TB or two of butter
A touch of cream
A touch of sour cream
A good pinch of salt
Freshly snipped chives
Sorry for the subjective amounts, but this is the creative process here!
Break the eggs into a smallish saucepan adding in the butter, stirring over medium heat with a spatula. Break the yolks and fold the eggs constantly (think "risotto"). The eggs will start to firm up, turning into curds.
When they are just set (not dry-looking!!), take them off the heat. Stir in a pinch of salt to taste and a bit of cream (not too much...you don't want them to be runny) and a dallop of sour cream.
Run out to the garden and cut some chives. Snip them on top of the eggs. Serve over a crusty piece of sourdough.
Unfortunately, cooking these eggs in a stainless steel saucepan will make for some messy clean-up. It sticks like something nasty. Make sure your husband has a good scratcher pad when he's washing the dishes!