Friday, May 30, 2014

scrambled eggs




What Gordon does not mention is he is making scrambled eggs as a failed sauce. 

When the eggs are sufficiently warmed to melt cold butter then they are basically cooked. By lifting off the heat while stirring or whisking throughout you control the degree the eggs form curds. 

The instant you notice curd forming then remove the pan from the heat and keep stirring. Gordon places the pot on wood surface to retain the heat of the pot, but if he would place the pot on the cool flat metal surface of the stove  then it would actually cool the pot sufficiently to abate curds forming while continuing to whisk incipient curds back into the liquid egg. Then back on the heat to continue thickening without forming curds. 

You control how stiff the eggs become by controlling the evaporation.  Keep the eggs liquid as sauce, or stiffen the eggs as familiar overcooked scrambled eggs heated in a pan. You have to decide when to stop. If you keep going the eggs will rubberize as people usually have them and these soft sauce-like scrambled eggs are the mark of a cook who knows what they are doing while rubbery scrambled eggs cooked dry are the mark of a dummkopf cook. 

A tablespoon of sour cream or crème fraîche whisked in at the end stops the cooking action completely and prevents further curd formation plus it adds a touch of acid just like a failed Hollandaise sauce. Which should give you ideas about additions such as cayenne and lemon instead of sour cream or crème fraîche. 

Note, no salt until the eggs are finished and ready to serve. Salt makes the eggs go wonky until the eggs are finished then salt to your heart's contentment. Plus anything else that you like, say, green onion or chives, mushrooms whatever. 

I love that Gordon says serve on sturdy thick slice of sourdough bread and not English muffin, funny because English muffin or bagel would be our first instinct. Plus he nearly burns his bread in a toaster behind him, when he has the pan for his mushrooms and tomato right there already hot. He could have used that same pan at the same time with his vegetables and do all that at once, and blow off the toaster altogether. 

So now you are expert. 

Surprise the h-e-double wooden spoons out of your main squeeze honey pot with this smoked salmon on croissant idea, forget Christmas, this meal is great anytime:


Close your nasal passage and say, "qua-soo." You have to love how French have so many ideas for stale bread, and they're all great. Dry croissants make the best bread pudding ever, another egg, cream and bread dish. This book is tiny with fantastic photos, it is quite the work of art, and it manages to tell you all you can do with eggs.



The book receives high ratings on Amazon. But why did the few people mark it down? Let's look.
  •  I would have liked more specific tips and ideas (e.g. the book should mention unlined copper bowls and simiar tricks; cooking time depending on different egg size and temperature; doing Hollandaise using bain-marie).
  • What determines the taste of different eggs yolks? 
  • How do you make the perfect scrambled eggs?
  • What are the differnt kind of eggs? 
  • How do eggs vary in taste across countries? 
  • How much omega-3 has omega-3 eggs?
  • I did not realize this was written by a master of french cooking. so it was a disapointment for me
  • I have three chickens and needed the 101 rescipes for the home chicken owner
  • It is very french and I am not fond of french cooking
  • I'm a 20 year old male, and I like to cook. I bought this book because eggs are cheap and they taste good, but for many recipes in the book I don't know what some of the ingredients are.
Ha ha ha ha ha . Stop it, you're killing me.

Eggs are fundamental to cooking. The last comment caused me to cast back when I was a teen myself and decided back then that I needed learn about eggs for myself. On my own I understood then that I must know what eggs do and learn how to get eggs to do various things. If I would master eggs first then that right there would go a very long way in mastering a lot of other things too.

The copper bowl thing mentioned in the first comment is about meringue having to do with copper ions knocked off while whisking. The ions are picked up by the egg whites and strengthening them while imparting a faint copper sheen. Meringue whisked in a copper bowl is sturdier than if whisked in ordinary glass bowl. Also, plastic bowl will not do. No oil allowed and plastic is a petroleum product.

Taste of egg yolks is determined by the diet of the hens laying the egg. The more varied, including leftover human food, seeds, bugs and grub whatever they go around pecking lead to both tastier eggs and tastier chicken. It does make a big difference, not only in taste but also in color and how the yolks stand up taller when cracked into a pan. My egg farmer friends said they do not see a difference, but I sure do. Here is another thing you are not going to like, the eggs I bought at Whole Food, their central one, not the nearby one, are altogether better than the usual grocery store eggs from regular battery chickens. That would be the difference you might see in other countries.

23 comments:

Lem said...

I recall in the infancy days of this so called blog (I say that so as to avoid comparing to other... more matured blogs ;)

Palladian posted a certain kind of egg named after some roman soldier I believe. not sure, don't quote me. It looked like a hard boiled egg.

The internet, Yahoo answers, is all over the place, as to how long to hard boil an egg. 7 to 8 minutes seems just right for me.

MamaM said...

Palladian posted a certain kind of egg
Scotch Eggs

Chip Ahoy said...

Scotch eggs are in the little book. He uses peasant xxxxx pheasant eggs, smaller eggs that you see during Christmas holidays for some reason. Which makes sense for packing sausage around them. The photographs of them are beautiful and not odd at all, as you might imagine. Scotts are somewhat known for battering and deep-frying everything imaginable including Mars bars. Just for the fun of it. I think. By way of experimentation. It's a pub thing. Turns out, the Mars bars are wonderful deep-fried.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

The jury seems to be out on whether eggs are bad for your cholesterol levels.

One source on the intertubes said that the cholesterol you eat has nothing to do with the cholesterol in your bloodstream so eggs are just fine and you can have as many as two per week.

I'm like, whatever, it's not like I paid anything for that advice so I've got no beef.

rcocean said...

Chip is a cooking eggs-pert.

Ha-ha.

rcocean said...

Eggs are difficult. Runny, no good, Rubbery, no good. Gotta hit the sweet spot.

French and stale bread = why they created French Onion soup. Its great too.

Unknown said...

Chives are sexy. Gotta give it to her in bed.

Unknown said...

Men who can cook. I really like the idea.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I love softly scrambled eggs!!! I melt the butter in a small cast iron skillet. It is about 6 inches across and is my very favorite cooking pot. Just as the butter is beginning to bubble, I take it off of the heat and pour in the eggs that have been beaten with some whipping cream and a little salt. Starting from the outside of the pan where the eggs are starting to curdle, I softly fold in the cooked eggs to the middle and keep repeating until the eggs are just done. If it gets too cold I put the pan back on the flame for a few seconds to keep the temperature even. Soft pillowy puffs of yellow golden goodness. A little cracked pepper and perhaps a sprinkle of sea salt. They are the perfect breakfast with some sauteed chicken livers....in butter of course! Warm and smooth inside and crusty crisp coating of flour. (Now I am really hungry)

This is why I never order scrambled eggs in a restaurant. They are overcooked, hard, rubbery, horrible things.

Unknown said...

oh DBQ - you had me up until the sauteed chicken livers.

Chip Ahoy said...

When you put the butter in cold, a lot of it as Gordon does, then it melts steadily while stirring, and that is the same thing as making an Hollandaise. Exactly. Except a a bit less butter. Plus it tells you when it is nearly done, because it was hot enough to melt all the butter.

ricpic said...

...salt makes the eggs go wonky...

And we're supposed to know what wonky means?

Soft pillowy puffs of golden goodness....

Who sez pottery's dead?

Synova said...

I bought a bale of alfalfa for my hens today. The yolks get deep orange when the hens eat the leaves.

I used to let the hens out in the yard, though they eat everything they're willing to eat right off, so the yolks don't get as orange, but I had too few hens laying and far too many roosters accosting them (the roosters don't bother the hens that aren't laying, they can tell) so the roosters are now shut out in the yard and sleep on or under the porch.

Synova said...

I hard boiled eggs today, 12 minutes with a room temp med-small egg straight into boiling water and then into cold water. They weren't quite done enough and the deviled egg filling is lumpy, but they peeled really well.

I think that the cook time is messed up by the altitude. Pasta takes longer than it should here, too.

Synova said...

Any idea if the sauce book by the same guy is any good, Chip?

My husband and I went out to eat yesterday because it was our 27th anniversary and we had sauces...

He had slightly overcooked trout with a garlic and green chili butter sauce, and I had slightly overcooked chicken with a really fabulous artichoke cream sauce. (The grilled veggies were excellent, my mashed potatoes were good, his rice was meh.)

We both agreed that the yummy sauces more than made up for the slightly overcooked meat and I'm thinking... I can make sauces. I manage sushi at home, I can manage a sauce.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Chip!

It's funny that you posted this, because right before you posted it, I was on Youtube watching videos like this! About...scrambled eggs.

I am always seeking the best scrambled eggs, both to eat and to make. I haven't been satisfied on either score, although the place where I recall really enjoying the eggs is a hotel in DC -- the name escapes me now but I could track it down. Here's what I remember about the eggs. They were...folded sort of, and -- not exactly wet but a little creamy. They weren't watery or uncooked-eggy, if you follow me.

Is that even how scrambled eggs are supposed to be? Or is what I just described a culinary sacrilege? If so, I repent.

Meanwhile, I'm going to try your method on Monday. I'll report back!

Synova said...

I've had "wet" eggs like those in the videos and they're great... because the wet is butter and cream instead of undercooked egg. So, sure, they're wet but they're not *slimy*.

deborah said...

Some people like to put milk in their raw eggs and whip before adding them to the skillet. I think it ruins the taste, maybe on a chemical level (paging EPR).

I heat a teflon skillet till water dances on it. Add butter till it just starts turning brown. Crack in two eggs. Salt and pepper. Scramble till still a little wet. Put on plate and eat.

deborah said...

(Remove from heat after cracking eggs in; lower temp, put back on.)

Evi L. Bloggerlady said...

Eggs from a chicken with a varied diet are far better. The key is plenty of green stuff, that gives the yokes a bright orange color.

Freshness makes the eggs all perky when you crack them open.

Fr Martin Fox said...

This got me curious about Gordon Ramsey, with whom I wasn't very familiar. So back to Youtube...

He's not a very nice man, is he?

Synova said...

I don't know if he's not very nice, or if he's putting on a show for the "reality" television.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Chip!

Thanks for the tip; I just finished eating my Gordon-Ramsey-style scrambled eggs, and they were pretty good.

I'm not sure I quite got his technique down, and I think you had modifications; so I'll keep trying.

Thanks!