It’s the dawn of a new year, and first things first: breakfast. All promises for better living and resolutions to drop bad habits need fuel to come to fruition and what more appropriate way to start fresh than to crack a few eggs and give life to a delicious breakfast.
I have been making scrambled eggs badly for ever. I longed for fluffy eggs with a velvety finish. Instead I’d serve up edible but inelegant eggs that needed a generous serve of crispy bacon to divert attention from the dry yellow mess cowering on the toast.
And then we moved to the country, where new friends have productive chooks and old friends come to stay the night. So with the ingredients at the ready and a desire to cater delicious breakfast for our guests, I set out to learn how to make perfect scrambled eggs.
Here’s what I’d been doing wrong:
- Don’t whisk and season the eggs before going into the pan: this breaks down the eggs prematurely and results in a watery finish.
- Don’t stop stirring: scrambling eggs is a chemistry experiment, you’re orchestrating a change in form. Like a risotto, scrambling requires constant movement to have the desired creamy effect. A cake spatula is the best tool to use, not a whisk or wooden spoon.
- Don’t keep the eggs on the heat the whole time: the saucepan retains enough gentle heat to keep cooking the eggs away from the stove. Taking the eggs on and off the heat a few times during the cooking process gives you more control over the texture of the eggs.
Another trick I learned was to add a dollop of crème fraîche at the end of the cooking process in order to bring the temperature of the eggs down to stop cooking and to add extra flavour and texture.
I’d recently read an article on interesting flavour combinations, once of which was eggs and coconut. Egg yolks have a naturally salty, buttery taste that marries well with sweets. Coconut has a mild sweetness and a delicious nutty kick that complements the eggs beautifully. So, inspired by japanese omelettes that feature a touch of sugar to bring out the flavour in the yolks, I added a splash of coconut milk instead of crème fraîche to my eggs at the end of the cooking process. I then served them with some fresh chilli, parsley (though coriander would also be lovely if you do not hate it like I do) and slices of avocado to give an asian twist to my perfect scrambled eggs.
Serving up a plate of warm, fluffy eggs is a gorgeous start to a new day, and indeed a new year. My wish for this year is a slower, more deliberate style of living. I’ve planted a bunch of veggies in the garden that I’m patiently waiting to harvest and have scaled back my working hours to give me more time for the things I love. I hope your 2013 is filled with all the good things you desire – and good breakfasts.
Perfect Scrambled Eggs with a Twist
Serves 2, takes 15 minutes
5 fresh, organic eggs
1 generous knob of butter
1-2 tablespoons coconut milk (unsweetened)
Salt and pepper
Toast or english muffins
Parsley, chilli and avocado slices to serve (optional)
Crack eggs into a saucepan and add a knob of butter. Place saucepan on a generous heat and start moving the eggs around the pan, breaking them up and stirring with vigour using a flexible plastic spatular.
As you see the eggs start to form chunky bits, take the saucepan off the heat and continue stirring. Repeat this on/off heat combo a couple of times until the eggs have formed a velvety texture but are just under cooked. Remove them from the heat and continue stirring to let the heat from the saucepan finish them off.
To bring the temperature of the eggs down in order to complete the cooking process, add 1-2 tablespoons of coconut milk (depending on the texture you prefer for your eggs). Stir through and season with salt and pepper.
Serve on thick slices of toast or english muffins and top with fresh chilli, chopped parsley and a few slices of avocado.
Scrambled egg tips are from Gordon Ramsey. Watch him demonstrate it here.