SCRAMBLED


Lazy Sundays deserve some scrambled eggs. Yesterday, I dove into J. Kenji López-Alt's recipes for "scrambled eggs, two ways". One version was light 'n' fluffy; the other was creamy and dense. Spoiler alert: I enjoyed both versions.

Introduction: The main difference between these two scrambles is the amount of air within the eggs. This can be controlled in two ways: movement and temperature. As beaten eggs heat up on the stove, moisture evaporates. This creates pockets of air. If you stir eggs constantly as they heat (as opposed to gently folding them), the air pockets will disappear and the eggs will become creamier. Similarly, if you heat eggs over medium-low heat (as opposed to medium-high heat), the air pockets will not form as readily and the eggs will become denser.

It turns out that (1) salting the eggs and (2) allowing them to rest (>15 minutes!) are actually super-important steps in crafting scrambled eggs. Adding salt weakens the bonds in the egg yolk proteins. Resting allows the salt to dissolve fully. This combo produces tender eggs that retain their yolk moisture (i.e., they don't "weep"). Adding milk basically increases the moisture content in the eggs (making them fluffy), as well as the protein and fat content (making them tender). Adding cream and cold butter prevents egg proteins from bonding (making them rich) and decreases the temperature of the scramble (making them dense). To serve the perfect scrambled egg, you should cook until ever-so-slightly underdone. This is because the evaporation of moisture and the coagulation of egg proteins continue off the heat.

Light and fluffy scrambled eggs:

Materials:

- 4 eggs

- heaping 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

- 1 1/2 tablespoon whole milk

- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Methods: Combine the eggs, salt, and milk. Whisk for 1 minute. Allow to rest for at least 15 minutes. Melt the butter over medium-high heat. Whisk the eggs again and add them to the pan. Scrape the pan and fold the eggs gently as they cook, about 2 minutes.

Creamy scrambled eggs:

Materials:

- 3 eggs

- 1 egg yolk

- heaping 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

- 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into tiny cubes

- 1 tablespoon heavy cream (or sour cream or creme fraiche)

Methods: Combine the eggs, egg yolk, and salt. Whisk for 1 minute. Allow to rest for at least 15 minutes. Whisk the eggs again and then add the cold butter. Transfer the egg mixture to the pan. Stir the eggs constantly as they cook at medium-low heat. Remove the eggs from the heat and add the heavy cream. Stir for about 15 seconds.

Results and Discussion: Both versions were quite good! The light 'n' fluffy eggs had a nicer texture, I think. The creamy scramble seemed almost cheesy (in the best possible way). But the creamy eggs were harder to clean off the pan. So methinks the light and fluffy scrambled eggs win this round!! Just a couple of insider tips: If you're in the mood, fry up some bacon while you wait for your eggs to rest. Then cook the eggs in the bacon grease. Once you've made the scrambed egg variety of your choosing, stir in some goat cheese off the heat. Mm hmm.

Light and fluffy (shown on the top), creamy (shown on the bottom)

© 2017 by A LADY IN A LAB COAT

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