Friday, April 17, 2009

Loaded Scrambled Eggs

I've found that if you try to scramble eggs with anything else (sausage, veggies, etc.) the eggs tend to either overcook or be too watery. The good people at Cook's Illustrated figured out how to make the eggs fluffy while loaded down with good stuff. The secret is to cook the filling separately and then fold them into the nearly-cooked eggs off heat. This ensures that the egg structure is not destroyed by your fillings.

  • 12 large eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt (fine salt - not kosher or course sea salt)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper (or more if you like it)
  • 6 tablespoons half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable or canola oil
  • 8 ounces Italian sausage, casings removed and broken into small pieces
  • 1 medium bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 green onions or scallions, white and green parts separated, both sliced thin on the bias
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/2 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1/2 cup)

Beat eggs, salt, pepper, and half-and-half with a fork in a mixing bowl until well combined. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until it starts to shimmer. Cook sausage until browned but not cooked through, about 2 minutes. Add bell pepper and white scallion parts. Cook until sausage is cooked through and pepper starts to brown, about 3 minutes. Empty pan onto a clean plate and set aside.

Wipe out the skillet with paper towels. Add butter and heat over medium heat. When the butter foams, swirl to coat as much of the pan as possible (including the sides) and add the eggs. With a silicone spatula, constantly stir the eggs, being sure to scrape down the bottom and sides of the pan. As you stir, lift and fold the eggs as they form curds (do not over-scramble, as this makes for a poor texture). Cook eggs until large curds have formed but the eggs are still very wet (too wet to eat). Off heat, gently fold in filling and cheese until evenly distributed. If eggs have not firmed up yet, return to heat for no more than 30 seconds (if eggs look done in the pan, they will be overdone on the plate - they will firm up as they cool). Divide eggs among 4-6 plates and sprinkle with the green parts of the scallion. Serve immediately (they don't keep well after cooking).

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