Most mornings in my culinary career started in the dark, with just a few minutes to go from brushing teeth and hair to running out the door. I never ate breakfast or even made coffee. Fortunately, in the food business, free coffee is a part of the benefit plan.
But coming home tired, with no patience to cook, I started making eggs at dinner.
I loved breakfast food, and dinner became a perfectly acceptable time to eat eggs. And, because eggs cook quickly, they are the perfect meal after a busy day of work.
Eggs also don’t require a lot of planning. They last in your fridge for several weeks, and they are an inexpensive protein source. If you need some egg cookery practice, a dozen eggs won’t break the bank.
Here are my tips for how to cook scrambled eggs at home, for whichever meal you choose.
Egg Cooking Methods
Scrambled eggs are the easiest eggs to cook at home. Fried and poached are also simple ways to cook eggs, but you add the complexity of cooking the yolks and whites to your desired doneness.
If you want fried or poached eggs and are an inexperienced cook, start by breaking the eggs into a bowl first instead of trying to break them over a hot pan. Once your eggs are cracked and in the bowl, simply slide them into a greased pan, for frying, or simmering water, for poaching.
Use a Non-Stick Pan
Non-stick pans are meant for egg cookery. In a restaurant, they take the utmost care of these precious pans. They make sure never to touch them with metal utensils and store them at the end of breakfast with towels between each one, so they don’t scratch each other.
Non-stick pans are universal today and are a boon to a novice cook on many levels. Keep your pans in good condition and when they do get scratched and lose their coating, replace them.
A rubber scraper is the tool you want to stir the eggs. It is gentle on your pan, and it works best to scrape the cooked eggs from the bottom.
Nowadays, these are usually heat resistant, but if yours is not, they will melt away over time in a hot pan.
Use Low Heat
When scrambled eggs brown, it changes the delicate flavor and texture. You will want to avoid browning. Cooking on low heat is the best way to do this. It is also easier to avoid overcooking.
For fried eggs, low heat is the rule as well. Eggs cook quickly, and you will have better results if you are not rushing.
Simple Scrambled Eggs
Here’s the basic recipe: break two eggs into a bowl, sprinkle with salt, and beat rapidly with a fork until the eggs’ color is uniform. You don’t want any clumps of egg white. The beating will take about thirty seconds.
Use a combination of butter and oil when you start cooking. For a small eight-inch pan, I put a half teaspoon of butter and one teaspoon of oil. The butter helps to coat the pan entirely, but if you use all butter, it will burn if the pan gets too hot. (If you only have one or the other, that’s okay. If using oil, make sure you coat the bottom of the pan, and if using butter, keep the heat low, so you don’t burn it.)
Put your pan on the stove, add the butter and oil, and turn the heat on medium-high. When the butter melts and combines with the oil, swirl the pan from side to side to coat the entire surface. Now add the eggs, then turn the heat down to low. Using your rubber scraper, slowly push the eggs across the bottom of the pan. This pushing will lift the cooked eggs from the bottom and allow the runny, uncooked eggs to fill in the space.
Continue to slowly push and scrape the eggs until the eggs solidify. Turn the heat off. If you are using an electric stove, move the pan off the burner. Gently flip the eggs over, so any uncooked egg on top is now on the bottom, touching the hot pan. The eggs will continue to cook until you remove them from the pan.
Adding Cooked Veggies
Eggs are a neutral-flavored food that makes an excellent place to mix in a few vegetables into your meal. Two things to note, make sure to cook the vegetables first. Eggs cook quickly. The vegetables won’t have time to cook before the eggs are done. Second, when you start stuffing your eggs with vegetables, they don’t cook the same because there isn’t enough egg to surround each piece of vegetable. You can only squeeze in about ¼ cup of cooked veggies for two eggs.
Cook your Scrambled Eggs Last
Eggs cook fast, and they don’t taste as good when they are cold. Cook them last.
To put together a breakfast with toast and bacon, cook the bacon first, then make the toast. Keep the two items warm in your oven, and then start cooking the eggs.
Eggs: Quick and Simple Protein
Eat eggs any time you need a fast meal.
Serve your eggs with sauteed vegetables and toasted bread, over steamed rice and vegetables, with roasted potatoes and vegetables, or in tortillas with toppings like a soft taco.
Eating breakfast food for lunch or dinner is perfectly acceptable, and an easy way to make a quick meal.