Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Egg-cellent Perk: Perfect Scrambled Eggs

I started blogging because it seemed like a fun way to keep track of the recipes I created. Once I got into it, I found out that there are some unexpected perks that can come with it as well – I’ve had some fun competing in (and losing) contests; I’ve been given money to throw a party, and every now & then, I get some free stuff to play with. Most of these perks have come because I am part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program. It’s because of them that I recently received a supply of Eggland’s Best eggs as my latest bonus.

Yes, premium eggs do cost just a little more, but I think eggs are one of the places where you get what you pay for. It really makes a difference in the final taste of dishes like my Ham and Tomato Mini-Frittatas, Gorgonzola EggSpread with Pita Sticks, or even Three Cheese Grits Soufflé.

Eggland’s Best have less saturated fat and more nutrition than other eggs (if you’re into the healthy eating thing). In addition to that, I love the fact that they don’t have that super-strength inner shell membrane that always drives me insane when I try to crack less expensive eggs (do they breed chickens to produce that Spiderman-like lining?). And let’s be real here: at about 20 cents apiece, even quality eggs are plenty cheap. When you are trying to eat inexpensively, eggs are one of the best values you can find, so it makes sense to buy the ones that taste better. Don’t believe me? Pick up a dozen premium eggs and see for yourself.

One dish I seldom order at a restaurant is scrambled eggs. They are always too dry and chewy. There are several things that go into a really good scrambled egg dish. It sounds a little fussy, but the extra effort is completely worth it. It really doesn’t take much time either – ask Don. He has a variation on this dish once or twice during the workweek for breakfast. I’ve already touched on the quality of the eggs, but there are a few more things that go into perfect scrambled eggs:

I do not like severe flavors first thing in the morning, so you won’t see me adding onions, peppers, garlic or anything like that, but I do add a little hot sauce anytime I make an egg dish. It’s not for the heat (I don’t add enough for that), but the combination of pepper and vinegar really enhances the flavor of eggs, making it brighter and deeper at the same time. I notice it when it’s not there.

I also think eggs need a little richness, so I add a touch of half & half to the scrambled eggs and just a small amount of butter to the pan. Again, it is noticeable when it’s absent. You don’t have to go overboard – you can get too much liquid in the eggs, and too much butter can just make the eggs greasy (which isn’t good either). I figure about a teaspoon of liquid per egg and a half teaspoon of butter per egg for the pan.

Scrambled eggs are just fine with nothing else but a little salt & pepper, but to make them perfect, they need some additional ingredients. Fresh herbs (or dried in a pinch) and a little cheese are usually my minimum requirements. A combination of parsley, dill, and Colby cheese are my default settings. Any type of pork product in an egg is always an excellent combination too. You can certainly vary the ingredients in this step to suit your individual taste.

Of course, the cooking method of scrambled eggs is just as important as the ingredients you add to them (perhaps more so). You have to cook them low and slow to get that creamy texture I love so much. If you are cooking scrambled eggs in less than 6 or 8 minutes, you’re doing it way too fast! A nonstick pan is essential in my book, otherwise the pan ends up eating too many of the eggs. And I never set the cooktop above medium low (that’s between 3 and 4 on my electric range – out of 10). You also need to babysit it (oh come on, it’s only for a few minutes). By stirring the eggs most of the time, you eliminate the possibility of browning, which for me is never good on scrambled eggs. Then you turn the pan off just before the eggs are completely cooked (the residual heat from the pan will finish it off without overcooking them).

If you follow these simple rules, you too can have perfect scrambled eggs each and every time.


  1. Those eggs do look perfect!

    I have recently discovered the idea of not cooking everything on high - LOL, I don't know why I didn't think of it before!

  2. i like how you keep the additions simple. thanks for the recipe- looks delicious, i will definitely have to try.

  3. Agree with the low and slow method. I take mine of the heat then back on. It takes time, but totally worth it.