Wednesday, August 11, 2010

EGGS - Scrambled Eggs and Eggs Over Easy... Really, That's a post???

Well, yeah, actually, eggs can and should be a post.  Especially if I am following the basic know how passed on by ALTON BROWN in his book, Good Eats, the Early Years.  If you are following along with my blog, you've seen me cook from two applications (he doesn't give recipes, he gives applications).  Once you master a part, you can then apply that knowledge to a bigger whole.  Think grade school times tables leading to landing on the moon.  You can't land on the moon if you don't master the times tables.

Pan Seared RIB EYE STEAK with a Cognac Pan Sauce, Chapter 1, I can cook a steak, probably better than 50% of the world's population.  But, I still learned a few tips (and the RECIPE for the Cognac Sauce was worth the price of the book alone!).

Chapter 2, Mashers - Garlic Mashed Potatoes, was equally basic, but still provided information I did not know (do you know why some potatoes are better for whipped potatoes and some are better for smashed potatoes?  Heck, did you even know there is a difference between whipped and smashed?

So, I moved on to chapter 3, and Alton's applications for Eggs Over Easy and Scrambled Eggs.

First up, over easy... Only real difficult aspect would be the flipping of the egg in the pan instead of using a spatula.  He doesn't provide a good reason for doing it this way, other than (I assume) it just looks really cool to be able to do it and not break the yolk.  It's what real cooks do.

Also, a tip is to use butter.  Real butter.  1 TBS, and don't skimp.

  • Non-stick pan, low heat, 1 TBS Butter... 
  • Wait for the Butter to foam.  Crack the eggs into the pan and lift the handle just enough for the eggs to pool slightly on one side.
  • After 10 or 15 seconds, gently lower the pan flat on the burner.  Wait another 10 seconds and jiggle the pan to make sure nothing is sticking.

Compare the two similar photos.  See the difference, in the first, surrounding the yolk is the raw "CHALAZAE" or egg white.  See it is clear, and you can see through it.  That's raw.

See the second, and the white is completely set, but not hard.  Now, it's time to flip.  Good luck...

  • Flip the egg by pushing the pan away and snapping the far edge upward.
  • As the egg turns, try to bring the pan up to catch the egg, preventing a hard and potentially yolk busting landing. 

And here it is... Slowly count to 10, and reflip (it will be easier this time).

I had one small break on an edge that allowed a small amount of the yolk to break free (you can see the small amount).  The hot butter helped to reseal it quickly, and not much got out.  When I plated it, I was able to hide the break and it looked perfect...

I did my best in the photo, but can you see how moist the egg still is?  It really doesn't take long to cook.  keep a close eye, and the instant the egg white turns from clear to opaque, start the flipping process and get it off the heat in just a few seconds.  A hard egg has no flavor, is chewy and not pleasant...

This one is incredible... still just a little bit of a runny center...

Followed Alton's directions, and it worked like a charm... Practically perfect in every way indeed!

Oh, and salt and pepper to taste.

In the same chapter, he gives a quick lesson on scrambled eggs...

His main tip (actually, there were two)...

Use more milk than I thought... 1TBS milk to each egg.  Whisk in a bowl, not in the pan.  Use real butter.  Don't skimp on the butter.

But his main tip involves how eggs cook.  If they are over cooked, all the water is forced out of the eggs.  If you have ever been served scrambled eggs and there is a small bit of water under them, they have been over cooked.

To beat this problem...

Once you have poured the egg soup into the pan, and the curds have begun to form (big soft lumps), drop the heat to low and shift from stirring the eggs to folding the curds over on themselves.

Just as there are no more liquid eggs flowing around the pan, kill the heat and transfer onto a warm plate.

Let the egg rest for one minute to finish cooking before serving.

These are what mine looked like just as I took them off the pan.

Eggs should be soft, buttery, creamy and rich.  Hard overcooked dry eggs are a crime against cooking.

It's just an egg.  No reason it can't look and taste like a cook made it.

And I am very grateful to any and all of you that have noticed my pictures getting better.  I would like to think that it is the photographer and not the camera that makes the difference, I did buy a new camera while here on the island.  I mostly bought it because it is shockproof (to a degree).  If you drop it from the counter, it will not break.  Also, it is waterproof up to 15 feet of water.  Perfect for snorkeling photos...

But also, if you have wet hands, and still want to grab a quick photo of a soufflé before it falls, no need to worry about it getting wet in the kitchen.

It has several "settings" to make it idiot proof, including one for photographing moving kids, a different setting for pets (adds color accents to highlight the coat), candlelight setting for low light photography (like in a restaurant where you do not want to be noticed with flash photography while you photograph a plate), portraits, flowers, landscapes, wide angle... It even records short movies and sound.

It has an underwater setting if you take up snorkeling...

And it has a setting for photographing food (really!).  It enhances saturation and contrast and automatically adjust depth of field for macro (close up) photography.

It is small, less than the size of a pack of cigarettes, fits in your pocket easy, and since it is shockproof, carrying it around in your back pocket is no problem

It did take a while to get through the instruction book, but the digital images are easily deleted so there is no long lasting evidence.  the battery is rechargeable (charger included) and I LOVE it.

Take a look, all for under $200.




  1. Great egg tutorial. I love Alton Brown's recipes and the science behind them, but just like in high school, science puts me to sleep, so I turn him on at bedtime.

  2. Will have to look at that camera - I have a great Canon, but it's bulky to carry so have been wanting a purse sized camera to take with.

    Love Alton. Love that show. Love that book. #2 comes out in October I think - already preordered my copy because I love the science behind it all.

    And as far as a post about eggs, it is a bit of an art that those just learning to cook need to learn so I don't see a think wrong with it (besides, I did one myself!)

  3. LOVE eggs! We have a dozen hens providing us with fresh eggs for the family and some left to sell. :) Good post!

  4. Super interesting. Thanks Dave. I will have to give this a try (tonight).

  5. I can flip an egg without breaking the yolk, but I have no idea how I do it. I'll have to pay more attention. Also just learned a new technique that cooks the egg on a very low heat, and without flipping, your white gets set and you really do have a sunny side upper...without the white glaze. Either way, I love em. Your photos have been great with this new camera! Don't you just love new toys?

  6. Milk in scrambled eggs..haven't tried that one yet. America's Test Kitchen recommends half and half instead of milk, so I normally make half and half from cream instead...I'll have to give this a go.

  7. Very interesting. I learned something new today.

  8. It's definitely a post...when the eggs look this good! I remember in my college culinary classes spending at least a whole chapter and lab on eggs. It's definitely relevant. Good point not to skimp on the butter too! I'm craving breakfast now...

  9. Stopping in to get caught up over here. Been crazy here.

    They both look great. I never have been a good flipper, though I love over medium eggs with good toast.