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Scrambled Eggs--A Survey

This morning, Wahine made me scrambled eggs for breakfast-in-bed. She has a particular prep that maintains a white/yellow contrast, whereas mine tends toward the monochrome of well-whisked. While I like my prep, I LOVE hers. Hers just tastes *eggier* to me--maybe it's the rustic look?

Anyway, I'm wondering how folks like their scrambled eggs, homogenous or mottled/streaked.

Aloha,
Kaleo

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  1. A whisk never goes near my scrambled eggs: too much air makes them dry and tough (unfortunately, "fluffy" is an equivocal word in scrambled egg land that can mean very different things); I am not looking to capture any steam in the eggs (if I wanted that, I'd make an omelet in a very hot pan, which sometimes I want to do...). Fork only, held flat back-and-forth more than elliptically, to minimize aeration. Stop before the eggs are uniform, but mixed well enough to emulsify additions of ice- cold slivers of butter over low heat once the eggs start to thicken, to result in a moist, custardy texture (curdless clouds, I would call them) in the French manner.

    35 Replies
    1. re: Karl S

      These are very interesting tips, Karl S. I never knew that incorporating air into scrambled eggs or capturing (or not capturing) steam in the eggs made a difference. I will try the ice cold butter slivers over low heat next time to see if I can achieve the custardy texture you achieve.

      1. re: gfr1111

        You may prefer your eggs (as I in fact do) more set than this very classic treatment (always finish off-heat, but you can cook them somewhat more, periodically intervening with some cold butter to slow the formation of distinct curds, than in the linked video), but just for reference:

        http://www.marmiton.org/pratique/tech...

        They should still be somewhat spoonable; I serve mine over dry toast.

        All that said, you can see how different this is from the broken omelet that is the more common version of scrambled eggs in the USA.

        1. re: Karl S

          Your egg 'treatment' went around a few years ago and many of us made the switch and have never looked back. Thanks again.

          1. re: Karl S

            I never order scrambled eggs when visiting America. I want scrambled eggs - not a chopped up omelette - still moist/creamy/runny.

            At home, I lightly stir the eggs before setting them over a low heat. Pretty much constant stirring for 10 - 15 minutes to get the right texture.

            1. re: Harters

              I wouldn't think any restaurant any where would be able/willing to take the time to do them this way. IMO, it's a do-at-home dish.

                1. re: sandylc

                  Oh, I eat poached eggs out in an almost raw state :) The only salmonella I ever got was from a recalled peanut butter that didn't make it off the shelf in a Rio grocery store.

                  1. re: c oliver

                    Oh, I don't think it's necessarily a real concern; I'm just saying that restaurants/the health department would consider it to be one.

                    1. re: sandylc

                      No more so than soft poached or over easy. And I've definitely ordered very soft scrambled but that's not the low and slow technique.

                  2. re: sandylc

                    I eat eggs cooked soft or medium with no probs, eat raw batter, dressings.

                    But I buy eggs produced in very healthy conditions.

                    1. re: mcf

                      I buy GREAT pastured eggs. But I also eat them in restaurants where I'm sure they're nothing special.

                      1. re: c oliver

                        I do, too. So far, so good, but I always have them cooked medium, no less, in a restaurant.

                        1. re: mcf

                          Not me. The runnier the better :)

                          1. re: c oliver

                            It's a good day when I find yolk in my beard...

                              1. re: sandylc

                                A beard net would be a solution to the problem or a razor.

                              2. re: kaleokahu

                                Leftovers!

                                You can scrape it off and slap it on some Hawaiian sweetbread and call it the aloha shmear.

                    2. re: c oliver

                      Whereas my understanding is the French may think of scrambled eggs as restaurant food (because of the skill and time required) and omelettes as home cooking.

                      1. re: Karl S

                        I've never seen scrambled eggs in a French restaurant, but I've seen plenty of omelets.

                          1. re: c oliver

                            Yep. Omelets are everywhere but I can't recall having seen oeufs brouilles in Paris or the South.

                        1. re: Karl S

                          Interesting. But then the French and their food is something else entirely :)

                        2. re: c oliver

                          I agree that you rarely see scrambled eggs in restaurants, although I know several British hotels and breakfast cafes that serve "proper" scrambled eggs. Of course, I havtn been in their kitchens so don't know what technique they use to get a creamy consistency

                        3. re: Harters

                          I enthusiastically tried this method yesterday, and served them with toast from my own Pain de Campagne and sauteed mushroom caps.

                          Meh. They were all right. More like a thick, almost-lumpy sauce than scrambled eggs.

                          I'll take the thoroughly cooked large, soft curds instead.

                          1. re: sandylc

                            Yeah, that was my reaction. More like a lumpy sauce. I tried Wiley Dufresne's method, supposedly the best. ICK. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/20...

                            1. re: mcf

                              Heh - WD’s “method” has been employed by hungover college kids for generations.

                              1. re: EM23

                                Why?

                                Was there a shortage of cold, leftover pizza?

                            2. re: sandylc

                              I'm with you two. The French method tastes like lumpy, un-buttery hollandaise to me. I much prefer them cooked thoroughly - large, soft curds, but NO slime. If I add cheese while cooking, I leave them a bit wetter, because I know that the wetness is gooey cheese, not undercooked egg.

                              1. re: biondanonima

                                My husband mixes the cheese into his scrambled eggs. Irks me. They turn into rubber and you can't taste the cheese. I do love cheese on top.

                                Hmm.. I am suddenly hungry.

                                1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                  I have nephews who will only eat scrambled eggs with cheese in them. It's because that is the only way they can choke down their mother's hard, dry scrambled eggs, they just don't know it yet.

                          2. re: Karl S

                            That is how I scramble my eggs, and I do like mine more set. As for using a whisk, I use a flat one from Kuhn Rikon. It stirs easily and does not incorporate air. It is what I use when making sauces, gravies, custards etc.

                            http://www.surlatable.com/images/cust...

                            There are a lot of whisks and many uses.

                            1. re: Candy

                              I LOVE MY FLAT WHISK!!!!!

                              It goes into the corners of saucepans so nicely!

                              And you're right; it whisks differently than a round whisk.

                        4. re: Karl S

                          Lovely description. Thanks! I'll try it your way next time. I usually use a wisk.

                          1. re: Karl S

                            "too much air makes them dry and tough."

                            Who knew? (Besides you, of course.) I always add half-and-half and whisk the crap out of mine. Thanks for the tips.

                            1. re: KrumTx

                              Half and half adds more water that can turn to steam than I prefer FWIW: butter adds less water, more fat/milk solids, but means you have to go slower with the heat.

                          2. fork only, mottled/streaked wet curds for me

                            1. For myself I break the egg in the pan, let it sizzle some and then swoosh it about a little with a scraper. So I am in the swirly category.

                              Now if it is for a crowd and they want scrambled I fork whisk in a bowl and pour it in the pan (monochrome).

                              That said, I prefer over easy (with crispy edged whites) or soft boiled.

                              1. Brief whisk. VERY brief, leaving strands. Prefer large, very soft pieces of egg, achieved by waiting a few moments and then a judicious series of shoves around the pan. Not so concerned about streaks as consistency.

                                  1. re: Antilope

                                    I break my eggs in the pan(low heat) and stir vigorously with a silicon spatula. I like em a little runny/soft.S&P near the end...

                                    1. re: petek

                                      I break in the pan and use a silicon spatula, too. I actually have a small one I prefer for scrambled eggs. Lots of butter, and sometimes I finish with cream cheese. I actually prefer more chew than the classic French custard texture - mine are creamy and more varied in texture than those.

                                      1. re: Savour

                                        I was going to suggest breaking into the pan as well. It's the best way I know of to have non-homogeneous eggs.