Getting your scrambled eggs just right is not hard, the folks at America’s Test Kitchen tell us. But you have to pay attention. “When your spatula just leaves a trail through the eggs, that’s your cue in our dual-heat method to turn the dial from medium-high to low,” they write in “The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook: 2001-2015” (America’s Test Kitchen, $45).
Rich and Creamy Scrambled Eggs
Why this recipe works: Scrambled eggs often end up as either tough, dry slabs or pebbly, runny curds. We wanted foolproof rich scrambled eggs with fluffy, moist curds so creamy and light that they practically dissolved on the tongue.
The first step was to add salt to the uncooked eggs; salt dissolved some of the egg proteins so they were unable to bond when cooked, creating more tender curds. Beating the eggs until just combined, using the gentle action of a fork rather than a whisk, ensured our scramble didn’t turn tough. For the intense creaminess we were after, we chose half-and-half over milk; it produced rich, clean-tasting curds that were both fluffy and stable. To replicate the richer flavor of farm-fresh eggs, we added extra yolks. Finally, when it came to the cooking process, we started the eggs on medium-high heat to create puffy curds, then finished them over low heat so they wouldn’t overcook. Swapping out our 12-inch skillet for a 10-inch pan kept the eggs in a thicker layer, trapping more steam and producing heartier curls.
It’s important to follow the visual cues in this recipe, as pan thickness will affect cooking times. If using an electric stove, heat one burner on low heat and a second on medium-high heat; move the skillet between burners when it’s time to adjust the heat. If you don’t have half-and-half, substitute 8 teaspoons of whole milk and 4 teaspoons of heavy cream. To dress up the dish, add 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley, chives, basil or cilantro or 1 tablespoon of dill or tarragon to the eggs after reducing the heat to low.
8 large whole eggs
2 large yolks
1/4 cup half-and-half
Ground black pepper
1 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
Beat the eggs, yolks, half-and-half, 3/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper with a fork until the eggs are thoroughly combined and the color is pure yellow; do not over-heat.
Heat the butter in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until fully melted (the butter should not brown), swirling the coat the pan. Add the egg mixture and, using a heatproof rubber spatula, constantly and firmly scrape along the bottom and the sides of the skillet until the eggs begin to clump and the spatula just leaves a trail on the bottom of the pan, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and gently but constantly fold the eggs until clumped and just slightly wet, 30 to 60 seconds. Immediately transfer the eggs to warmed plates and season with salt to taste. Serve immediately,
Makes 4 servings.
Rich and Creamy Scrambled Eggs for Two
Follow the recipe for Rich and Creamy Scrambled Eggs, reducing the whole eggs to 4, the yolks to 1, the half-and-half to 2 tablespoons and the salt and pepper to 1/8 teaspoon each. Reduce the butter to 1/2 tablespoon. Cook the eggs in an 8-inch skillet for 45 to 75 seconds over medium-high heat, then for 30 to 60 seconds over low heat.
From “The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook: 2001-2015”