Whether it’s mandated or self-initiated, the coronavirus quarantine is on. Hopefully, by now you’ve gotten yourself a few supplies — don’t hoard toilet paper! make chicken broth! — and you’re feeling some degree of safety and security. This next stage is going to be a hard one: staying inside, keeping out of public spaces, and not going to large social gatherings.
You’re likely to get a little stir crazy. Okay, maybe a lot stir crazy.
To help you through the quarantine, we’re going to be offering recipes throughout the month that will allow you to level up your cooking game and eat well at home. The ingredients we’re using are easily available through delivery services (and stores). If you do go to the store or a market, remember to wash produce (and yourself) thoroughly.
– Steve Bramucci, LIFE Editorial Director
Scrambled eggs are about three things: The best ingredients, a little skill, and cooking fast on your feet. As with all food, a dish lives or dies by the ingredients you’re using. Buy fresh, organic eggs from the farmer, if you can. The skill level here is entry-level but you have to give a little extra effort to get that shine. Lastly, eggs cook fast. The biggest mistake people make is having a pan that’s too hot or leaving the eggs on the heat while they cook.
This recipe cuts right down the middle between barely set French scrambled eggs and those heavy diner curds you find across America. These scrambled eggs are a just set luminous dish that lets the egg shine. Let’s make some luscious, fluffy, and umami-filled eggs.
This is a super easy recipe to source. If you can, go to a farmer’s market and get eggs that were harvested that morning. The fresher the eggs, the less you have to amp them up. The yolks should be bright orange and the whites should be almost crystal clear with a slight beige tinge.
Next, you’re going to need some quality unsalted butter. I’m using Kerrygold Irish butter. That’s simply because it’s good butter and I have it on hand. The point is to use a fat that’s going to add creaminess to the eggs. You will find scrambled eggs cooked in olive or sunflower oil in different regions but, for me, that works better with omelets or frittatas.
You’ll need a little MSG, salt, pepper, and something colorful to adorn your plate. I’m using a birch mountain salt, a white, Sichuan, green, and black pepper mix, and arugula heads. I like the bitterness of the green leaf against the velvet and umami of the eggs. You can use green onion, chives, ransom, or whatever you have around.
Lastly, you’ll need a non-stick pan, egg whisk, and soft spatula. An eight-inch pan is more than big enough for two eggs — remember, the more surface area you have the faster the egg will cook.
Prepping scrambled eggs is pretty straightforward. Gently crack your eggs into a medium bowl with plenty of space to move the whisk around.
I turn my stove on to a medium to medium-low setting. Know your stovetop. Too much heat and you’re going to have hard, flat eggs. Low and slow is your friend. Next, I add a small pad (maybe a teaspoon) of butter to the pan.
As the butter is melting, I beat my eggs. I like to gently hold the tip of the whisk on the bottom of the bowl and briskly make a continuous oval motion. You’ll want to do this until a very loose foam starts to form on top of the egg — no more than two minutes. That’s the whites taking on some air. That’s precisely what gives the scrambled eggs texture and fluffy-ness.
I don’t add cream, sour cream, salt, or anything else. Let those eggs shine on their own. Plus, adding cream is overkill when you’re already using butter — milk fat is milk fat, after all.
Once the butter has fully melted but not started to brown, I use the spatula to scrape out all the eggs into the pan.
This is where things get technical. You want to quickly sprinkle a pinch of MSG over the eggs. Remove them from the heat immediately (the pan is hot enough to cook the eggs-. Then move the spatula in a circle motion around the pan. Gently flip the eggs maybe once as you continually move that spatula around.
As soon as the eggs start to curd, fold them onto a plate. This should take less than 30 seconds from the eggs hitting the pan to the eggs hitting the plate (hence I don’t have photos of this process). The eggs will have a very loose and semi-set look to them. Don’t worry, they’re going to set entirely on the plate in the next 60 seconds or so.
The last step is to jazz these eggs up for service. I add a nice dusting of fresh cracked pepper from the mill. I liberally sprinkle on the birch mountain salt. Lastly, I chop some arugula tops and set them on the side for a little color and flavor balance.
That’s it. The eggs are nicely set but still have that loose, fluffy, and full-on umami balance going on. They’re super soft, taste of rich egginess, and are the perfect quick breakfast or lunch.