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Scrambled Egg-celence

November 15, 2016 | Frank Bonanno

I love eggs. One of my favorite episodes of Mind of a Chef is the one that focuses on this simple, perfect, delicious protein. No kidding, if I find myself up in the middle of the night, I’ll scramble some eggs and enjoy them with milk, cold out of the bottle. Random winter mornings, when the office is in that gray why-won’t-it-snow-already funk, I’ll make giant omelets or frittatas, and bring them up the Bones stairs still steaming, oozing cheese, and we all just dig in and eat them with serving spoons right out of the pan.

Last week, when I was preparing to do live cooking, I thought to make something complicated, maybe a little fancy–a dish more in keeping with what I’d cook at one of the restaurants for our clients than what I’d make at home. Here’s the deal, though–those lines blurred long ago, fine dining in my home, comfort food in the restaurants, and the consensus from the people I work with (who really know about such things) was Keep it Simple, Frank. Focus on the basics. So I scrambled up some eggs. You’d be surprised at how often that simple dish goes awry, even in restaurants.

Some tips: when you’re scrambling eggs, it really is necessary to use liquid. A friend was in the habit of scrambling eggs just plain with salt and pepper (you know who you are Heidi Rose), but she came around. The steam is what makes those little pockets of air and make this morning staple the fluffy treat is is. Naturally, I prefer cream, but milk is fine, and if you don’t have any milk in the house, you’re ok to use water.

Once you’ve mastered the scrambled egg (so easy, really), you have something to do with that left-over white rice that came with last night’s take out. If you scroll down past the scrambled egg recipe, there’s one for a simple egg stir fry that’s a go-to in our house for the Night After Peter’s Chinese. (Also, Heather Krupa made me include the recipe. She’s a force of nature, that one.)

Simple Scrambled Eggs

Serves four

Note: The key to scrambled eggs is a low, low flame, lots of butter and good God, heavy cream

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 4 oz heavy cream
  • 2 T butter

Tools 1 sauté pan, 1 mixing bowl, whisk, spoon

Process

  1. Whisk eggs and heavy cream together thoroughly in the mixing bowl, roughly two minutes, non-stop.
  2. Heat a non-stick skillet over low flame. Add butter and warm until fully melted and slightly bubbly.
  3. Pour the light, fluffy eggs into the bubbly butter.
  4. Stir the eggs as they curdle, from the outside in, non-stop until they are cooked to a creamy soft scramble.
  5. Just when the eggs are mostly set-up, but not quite solid, remove the pan from the flame. Add salt and pepper to taste, and stir for another 15 seconds or so. There should be nice, fat pockets of fluffy airy in the buttery, creamy eggs. At this point, if you so desire, fold in some cheese, or chives, or herbs to your liking.

Leftover Take Out Rice Stir Fried Eggs

Serves four

Ingredients

  • 2T each: ginger, garlic, mint, white part of green onion, pulsed together in food processor or finely chopped and mixed
  • 2 T sesame oil
  • 1 large box leftover white rice
  • 16 shrimp, peeled, cleaned and each cut into 3 pieces
  • 1 cup shelled edamame
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 1 bunch cilantro (for garnish)
  • Green part of the scallions, sliced on the bias (for garnish)
  • Sriracha (for those so inclined)

Tools 1 sauté pan, food processor or sharp knife, mixing bowl, spoon

Process

  1. Set the scrambled eggs you’ve so beautifully mastered aside and wipe out the non-stick pan. Now set it over a medium flame and heat the sesame oil until it just smokes.
  2. Stir in pulsed garlic/scallion/green onion/ginger/mint mixture and cook 1 minute.
  3. Add sliced shrimp; cook one minute more.
  4. Stir in leftover rice and cook 5-7 minutes until rice just starts to crisp and the shrimp are a lovely and dark pink (cooked through).
  5. Fold in eggs and soy sauce. Season to taste with black pepper (salt is unnecessary here, because of the salty nature of soy).
  6. Cook two minutes more. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish to taste with cilantro, the green part of the scallions and sriracha.