Secret #3: Perfect Scrambled Eggs

Okay! It’s day 3 in our 20-Day/20-Part series of blog posts titled “Tips, Tricks, and Secrets of Professional Chefs”.

We’re taking you inside the professional kitchen to show you the techniques that chefs use to make their dishes just a little tastier, a little easier, and a little quicker than the home chef has been taught to do.

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Yesterday, we talked about chefs use compound-butters to take steaks, chops, and chicken to the next level, in our post “Buttering Up”.

Today, let’s take a look at…

Secret #3: Perfect Scrambled Eggs

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Scrambled eggs are one of my favorite foods. I mean, really, can it get much better that a good, farm-fresh egg, a little butter, and a kiss of sea-salt?

I think not.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAlso, eggs off some of the easiest “recipes” out there, and are often one of the first that most future cooks (including my own little chef, here) learn to prepare.

After decades of scrambling eggs (my favorite preparation), I totally changed up my recipe about a year ago, when I learned, from the great Lady herself, Julia Child (well, from her cookbook, anyway) the secret  to making the best scrambled eggs…e-ver.

It’s pretty simple…DO NOT STIR YOUR EGGS!

Instead, draw your flat-edge wooden spoon slowly across the bottom of the pan, from edge to center, reaching all over the bottom of the pan. Add the cream and continue, drawing eggs to the center every 10 seconds or so.

The fat in the cream coats the proteins in the egg white and yolk, preventing the loss of too much liquid and yielding light, fluffy eggs. (Cooking over low heat is key, as well.)

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Nothing will seem to happen for the first few minutes, and then suddenly the eggs will begin to thicken into a custard-like consistency. Now leave the eggs along, allowing them to cook until they have almost thickened to your desired consistency. (I like to leave them in until the bottoms just start to color).

Farm fresh eggsA note on “farm fresh”:  As you can see in this photo, there’s a striking visual difference in color between your typical store-bought eggs (top and bottom) and fresh, local eggs from a small farm. The key here is in the time elapsed from coup to plate, as well as the more natural diet that small-farm chickens typically have.

This richness in the color of the yolk is just as evident in the flavor of the cooked egg. Another trick that’s often used in restaurant kitchens, both to deepen the color and add a bit more flavor, is to add an extra egg-yolk, for every three whole eggs.

Personally, I’ve found that the recipe below is awesome enough that it doesn’t require a yolk-boost, but feel free to experiment!

Here’s how I make them…

perfect scrambled eggs recipe

French Scrambled Eggs
Adapted (by me) from “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” by Julia Child

8 eggs (local, farm-fresh organic, if possible)
sea salt fresh ground black pepper
2 Tbs softened butter
4 tsp water
2 Tbs whipping cream
1 Tbs shaved Pecorino Romano cheese

Perfecting this recipe is as much (and maybe more) about the technique than it is about the ingredients.

Combine the eggs, pepper, and water in a mixing bowl, and beat lightly with a fork, just enough to mix, but not completely incorporate (you should still be able to define some of the whites from the yolks).

perfect scrambled eggsAdd butter to a NONSTICK pan, and heat over medium-low, until the butter has just melted, but is not yet foaming.

Sprinkle with a little sea-salt, to taste, and stir to coat the entire surface…preferably with a flat-edge wooden spoon.

Pour in the eggs, reduce heat to medium-low, and allow them to set, untouched, in the butter 20-30 seconds.

Slowly begin working your eggs toward the center of the pan (see the instructions, above.)

Nothing will seem to happen for the first few minutes, and then suddenly the eggs will begin to thicken into a custard-like consistency. Now leave the eggs alone, allowing them to cook until they have almost thickened to your desired consistency.

Sprinkle with cheese and remove from heat immediately (the eggs will continue to cook slightly.)

Re-season to taste, arrange on plates and garnish with parsley.

Oh, and (Julia forgive me)…I like my scrambled eggs with a little bit of spicy ketchup. Try it sometime!

Be sure to check back tomorrow for Secret #4 – Happiness is a Warm Plate

See ya then!

-Chef Perry

 

 

8 thoughts on “Secret #3: Perfect Scrambled Eggs

  1. I agree on the farm fresh issue. I have friends that have chickens. I buy eggs from their boys. My daughter will not eat store bought eggs just plain. However, she LOVES the farm fresh eggs. I’m laughing because they are so vibrant in color that the egg salad I made last week looked like I added dye to it, it was so brightly yellow. I didn’t add yellow mustard to it–just a dash of dijon. The taste and look of the eggs is awesome. If you haven’t tried farm fresh, it’s worth searching out a local purveyor. I have three different friends that sell eggs, so I can direct you to some places here in Sherwood.
    I buy from the two boys because they deliver my eggs to my house!!!!! I pay $3 a dozen for eggs laid by chickens I’ve known from babyhood–pampered, loved happy hens who are free to forage around their farm-like back yard. It’s great!

  2. Pingback: Secret #2: Buttering Up |

    • Sorry, Barbara…it’s in the directions above the recipe, right under: “DO NOT STIR YOUR EGGS”:…

      “Instead, draw your flat-edge wooden spoon slowly across the bottom of the pan, from edge to center, reaching all over the bottom of the pan. Add the cream and continue, drawing eggs to the center every 10 seconds or so.”

      -Chef Perry

  3. Pingback: Secret #4: Happiness is a Warm Plate |

  4. Pingback: Garden Scramble with “Everything Bagel” Cheddar |

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