|Fluff piece: Scrambled eggs with herbs.|
Soufflés wait for no one... and neither do eggs cooked any other way.
My review of Mastering the Art of French Cooking (Vol. 1) by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck for The Star is out today (the link to the published page
will be up soon is now up; click here) and as an extension to the two recipes that were published, I tried all the recipes in the egg chapter since it wasn't very long. Child et al concentrated on poaching, shirring, baking, scrambling and omelette making. I will post about them over the next few days.
I decided to start with the method that I considered the easiest: Scrambling. I've reproduced the recipe as it appears in the book but I only used 2 eggs since I had many more recipes to test. I remember making scrambled eggs in Domestic Science class and milk being added to the beaten eggs before they went into the saucepan and I have been making scrambled eggs like that since my school days. They always seemed to come out a bit mushy. I would often overcook them because I didn't like them watery, which would result in some kind of rubberised custard. After reading the Julia Child's instructions, I now know not to add any liquid to the eggs.
I must have done something right for a change because with this recipe, the eggs came out nice and fluffy. I think it also had something to do with the free-range eggs I used. So that's one egg recipe down and a few more to go.
I posted about the Orange and Almond Spongecake from the book some time ago. Click on the picture on the right for the recipe.
TOMORROW: Poached eggs
Scrambled eggs in French (sic) are creamy soft curds that just hold their shape from fork to mouth. Their preparation is entirely a matter of stirring the eggs over gentle heat until they slowly thicken as a mass into a custard. No liquid or liquid-producing ingredients such as tomatoes should be beaten into them before cooking as this is liable to turn them watery.
For 4 or 5 servings
A fork or a wire whisk
8 eggs, or 7 eggs and 2 yolks
A mixing bowl
¼ teaspoon salt
Pinch of pepper
- Beat the eggs with the seasonings for 20-30 seconds too blend yolks and whites.
A heavy-bottomed enamelled, ovenglass, eathernware or stainless steel saucepan or frying pan, 18-20cm in diameter; depth of eggs in pan should be 2-3cm
A rubber spatula, wooden spoon or wire whisk
- Smear the bottom and sides of the pan with the butter. pour in the eggs and set over moderately low heat. Stir slowly and continually, reaching all over the bottom of the pan. nothing will seem to happen for 2-3 minutes as the eggs gradually heat. Suddenly, they will begin to thicken into a custard. Stir rapidly, moving pan on and off heat, until the eggs have almost thickened to the consistency you wish. Then remove from heat, as they will continue to thicken slightly.
A warm buttered dish
- Just as soon as they are of the right consistency, stir in the enrichment butter or cream, which will stop the cooking. Season to taste, turn out on to the dish, decorate with parsley and serve.
With cheese: Stir 4-6 spoonfuls of grated Swiss cheese into the eggs along with the enrichment butter at the end.