Best Scrambled Eggs Recipes - Tips for Perfect Timing and Stellar Flavors
Scrambled eggs is a fabulous snack or breakfast dish - so comforting, simple and easy to prepare. A variety of flavors and ingredients, and a soft, but firm texture, are the keys to enjoying eating scrambled eggs regularly as a main dish or a side dish. Otherwise you can become bored with classic plain scrambled eggs. Adding some herbs and a little ham or bacon helps, but there are so many other ways to enjoy scrambled eggs using spices, stellar flavors and intriguing extra ingredients.
Tips for Cooking Interesting and Special Scrambled Eggs
The keys to good scrambled eggs are:
► Careful attention to timing
Most people do not like uncooked egg whites and yolks. Similarly overcooked scrambled eggs can be tough and disappointing. Perfect timing is not just a matter of total cooking time. You need to know just the right moment to gently begin stirring the egg mixture. You need to lift the curds in the egg that form at the bottom, up to the surface, and allow more egg mixture to contact the hot base of the pan. You also need to lower the heat and take the pan off the heat the just before all the egg mixture has set. Cooking scrambled eggs is similar in some ways to cooking omelets. Remember that the pan is still hot when it is removed from the stove and cooking continues while you season the dish, add extra ingredients and prepare to serve the scrambled eggs.
► Knowing which additional flavors and ingredients to use and how and when to add them
It is also important to know which ingredients need to be pre-cooked. Managing the flavors and extra ingredients is an art form, as you do not want to interfere with the delicate cooking process and the timing of the cooking process, or to leave the ingredients tasting raw.
► Matching the flavors and extra ingredients to the subtle taste of the eggs
Eggs have a delicate and rich taste and they pair with some ingredients better than others. You need to be careful in choosing the flavors and extra ingredients that complement the taste and texture of the eggs. Cheese and herbs pair well with eggs. Some flavors are too overpowering.
► Good quality, fresh free-range eggs at room temperature
Good eggs are essential for good scrambled eggs. Make sure the eggs a free-range and fresh, and hopefully organic (Note: not all free-range eggs are organic and vice versa).
► The cooking process is more like folding than scrambling the eggs
Heat a walnut size piece of butter in a small solid saucepan over a low heat. Whisk 2-3 large eggs together, and add the various additional flavors, herbs and ingredients. Do not add salt and pepper at this stage as salt tends to affect the eggs when they are cooking. Once the butter is just foaming, pour in the eggs until they begin to set at the bottom. Drag the cooked curds to the top until the next portion of liquid eggs begins to set. Allow the eggs to cook without stirring for another few seconds, before dragging once again with a wooden spoon. Repeat the process into all the egg is almost completely set into big soft curds. It may take 5-10 minutes on low heat. Add another knob of butter to finish the dish and stir through. Season with salt and pepper, a teaspoon of creme fraiche, some cheese and any extra flavors and herbs that you want to remain uncooked to retain their punch.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Scrambling Eggs
► Cooked On Too High a Setting
Scramble your eggs on low heat. It is much easier to keep control of the timing, getting the right consistency. It also avoids overcooking and burning.
The key to perfect scrambled eggs is to know when to remove the pan from the heat. Remember that the eggs will continue to cook in the hot pan, and so remove them before they are completely cooked to allow for this (wet but not runny).
► Stale or Poor Quality Eggs
Fresh eggs not only taste better, they also absorb flavors and odor better and retain more moisture.
► Inadequate Stirring
The best scrambled eggs are evenly cooked, soft and have small curds which improve the texture and appearance of the dish. Inadequate stirring leaves the eggs unevenly cooked.
► Whipping the Eggs Too Early before Cooking
Whisk the eggs just before adding them to the pan. Whisking too early allows the air that is whipped into the eggs to escape and produces tougher eggs. The whisking not only mixes the eggs and yolk together, it adds and fluffiness.
► Adding Ingredients that are Uncooked
Trying to cook the added ingredients and egg at the same time is problematic. It is better to pre-cook the ingredients before they are added.
► Adding Liquid to the Eggs Before Cooking
Adding liquid such as milk, water or cream to the eggs makes it harder to cook the eggs evenly as the liquid will inevitably separate during the cooking. Add the liquid towards the end of the cooking process.
► Using The Wrong Skillet or Saucepan
The skillet or saucepan should be heavy and the right size for cooking the eggs. Generally, an 8 inch (20 cm) skillet works well for two eggs. It may be better to cook a large quantity in 2-egg batches, rather than try to cook all the egg mixture at once.
► Eggs are Seasoned Too Early
It is best to season the eggs at the end of cooking process, not to add them to the whisked raw egg mixture. If you add the salt too early, it can interfere with the whisking and may cause the eggs to separate and become watery when cooked.
Stellar Scrambled Eggs Recipes
Classic Scrambled Eggs with Chives Recipe
- Salt for seasoning
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons creme fraiche
- 3 chives or one green onion
- 6 large fresh, free-range eggs
- crusty bread for serving, chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
- 3 slices of tasty rustic, diced (ice-cold)
Whisk the eggs. Place a heavy-based skillet or sauce pan, on a low setting. Add half the butter and heat until just starting to bubble. Add the egg mixture and stir using a spatula. Keep stirring and dragging the curds away from the bottom of the pan as they set. Wait for 30 seconds to allow the wet uncooked mixture to cook and set before dragging once again. Repeat this process until all the mixture has been set and cooked (about 4-5 minutes). Remove the pan from the heat when the mixture is firm, but still very moist. Add the remaining butter and stir through. The mixture should be soft and quite lumpy. Add the crème fraîche, chopped chives or green onion. Stir gently and season the eggs with salt and pepper just before serving on the toasted bread.
Spicy Scrambled Eggs with Left Over Rice
- 2 cloves
- Salt to taste
- 15 fresh curry leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 spring onion, thinly sliced
- 12 black peppercorns, crushed
- 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 3 green cardamom pods, crushed
- 2 tablespoons ghee (or butter)
- 1 large shallot, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh coriander, roughly chopped
- 350 g (12 oz) cooked basmati rice (or similar)
- 70 g (2 1/2 oz) feta cheese, broken into pieces
- 1-2 large garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
- 5 medium free-range eggs, whisked just before using
Melt one tablespoon of ghee in a medium-size sauté pan or saucepan over low to moderate heat. Add the shallot and garlic and fry for 5-7 minutes. Then, add the cloves, cardamoms, and peppercorns and cook for a further minute. Add the chilli flakes, curry leaves, mustard seeds and turmeric, and cook for another minute, while stirring. Then, mix in the cooked rice and heat through while mixing. Drag the rice to the edge of the pan ready to add the eggs. Next, whisk the eggs and add to the center of the pan with a little more ghee. Cook the eggs, dragging the curds away from the bottom of the pan as the mixture sets. When almost cooked, mix in the feta and season with salt and pepper. Remove the scrambled eggs to a serving dish and drizzle with lime juice, sprinkle with the coriander, spring onion and some extra chilli.
Scrambled Eggs with Roasted Red Peppers, Potatoes and Cream Cheese
- 2 red peppers
- Salt to taste
- 60 g (2 oz) cream cheese
- 5 free-range eggs, whisked
- 1 teaspoon hot-smoked paprika
- 270 g (half a pound) new potatoes
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, gently crushed
- 1 tablespoon of coriander, roughly chopped
- 100 ml (3 1/2 fl oz) extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 thick slices of sourdough or other tasty, toasted (to serve)
Pre-heat your oven to 240 degrees C (465 degrees F). Place the whole red peppers on a baking tray and roast for about 30 minutes, flipping over halfway through, until the peppers are blistered and blackened. Transfer the red peppers to a small bowl. Cover the bowl with cling-wrap and set aside to cool. Then, when cool enough, peel the red peppers, remove the seeds and slice into strips. Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender. Then, drain and cut into thin slices. Place a large sauté pan or heavy saucepan on the stove over low to moderate heat. Add the oil and when hot, fry the garlic, potatoes and cumin for 6-7 minutes until the potato slices start to brown. Then, add the whisked eggs, coriander, strips of roast pepper and paprika. Allow to set and then drag the curds into the center and allow more of the liquid egg to contact the hot base of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat when the eggs are just cooked. Spread the cream cheese on the toasted bread slices and add a serving of the scrambled eggs on top, and serve at once.
Spicy Scrambled Eggs with Baby Spinach and Dukkah
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons dukkah
- 25 g (1 oz) unsalted butter
- 250 g (9 oz) baby spinach leaves
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 8 free range eggs, whisked just before cooking
- 70 g (2 1/2 oz) soft, rind-less goat cheese, broken into pieces
Blanch the spinach leaves and drain well. Melt the butter in a medium-size sauté pan or heavy saucepan on a low to moderate heat setting. Whisk the eggs, and when the butter starts to froth, add the eggs to the pan. Leave the mixture without stirring for about 30 seconds, until curds start to form at the bottom of the pan. Then stir gently, dragging the egg curds to the surface. Repeat until no uncooked egg remains but the mixture is still very soft and moist. Add the spinach, 2 teaspoons of butter, the dukkah and the goat cheese. Stir and cook for about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper and then serve with toast.
© 2015 Dr. John Anderson