Thursday, March 19, 2009

How to Make Scrambled Eggs

With all due respect, this is not the correct way to make scrambled eggs. This (as MFK Fisher could tell you) is the correct way to make scrambled eggs:

First, put a tablespoon or two of butter in a cold pan over very, very, very low heat.

Once the butter has just melted, crack as many eggs as you like directly into the pan.

Add about a tablespoon of cream or milk per egg and stir very lightly with a wooden spoon, just enough to break up the yolks. VERY IMPORTANT: Do NOT whisk the eggs. Just swirl enough to mix things up a little.

Leave the eggs alone. Nothing will seem to happen at first. Do not be frustrated. Go water the garden. Read a magazine article. Come back when the whites are just starting to turn opaque. Stir again, gently, just enough to create large curds. Uncooked eggs will fill in the gaps. Cook, again on the lowest possible heat, until all the whites are opaque. Stir one last time, remove from heat while still "wet"-looking, and season with salt and pepper.

This method, adapted from MFK Fisher, is not for the impatient—as Fisher herself wrote, it is "never to be attempted by a nervous, harried woman, one anxious to slap something on the table and get it over with. Its very consistency, slow and creamy, is a deterrent to irritation." It takes between half an hour and 45 minutes, but it results in the creamiest, gentlest-tasting scrambled eggs you will ever make. Fisher again: "I love this recipe, for its very gentleness, and for the demands it makes upon one's patience." You can make scrambled eggs more quickly, and less well, but why would you bother?

1 comment:

  1. I'm gonna have to side (mostly) with you on this one, Erica.

    Crack the eggs directly in the pan and stir things up just enough to break the yokes. This way, in the end you get some white, some yellow. Scrambled eggs that are all one color are boring to look at and to eat.

    Only place I stray from your method is that I don't bother with milk or cream, but I do add a generous amount of shredded cheese. And instead of a wooden spoon I use a heat-resistant rubber spatula.

    Cheers to good eggs.