Everyday Scrambled Eggs

MAKES: 2 servings

TIME: 10 minutes

Very good scrambled eggs can be had in a hurry, provided you donв’t overcook them. Adding a little extra liquid helps prevent overcooking (if that liquid is cream, of course, it also lends a luxurious texture). A tiny squeeze of lemon will make them even more tender. But this technique starting in a cold pan, and making sure that the curds stay smal is the single best way to make creamy, delicious scrambled eggs.

4 or 5 eggs

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 to 2 tablespoons milk; cream; rice, soy, oat, or nut milk; freshly squeezed lemon juice; or water (optional)

1 or 2 tablespoons butter or extra virgin olive oil

Beat the eggs lightly with some salt and pepper and the liquid if using. Put the butter or oil in a medium skillet, prefereably nonstick, over medium-high heat and when the butter is melted or the oil is hot, add the eggs. Cook, stirring frequently and scraping the sides of the pan (a heatproof rubber spatula is a good tool here).

As the eggs begin to curdle, you may notice that some parts are drying out; whenever you see that, remove the pan from the heat and continue to stir until the cooking slows down a bit. Then return to the heat and continue cooking. The eggs are done when creamy, soft, and still a bit runny; do not overcook unless, of course, you intend to. Serve immediately.

Variation

Scrambled Eggs with Cheese. Use virtually any kind of cheese you like except for the ones that don’t melt easily like feta or queso fresco: As the eggs begin to set, stir in 1/2 cup grated cheese.

The Best Scrambled Eggs

MAKES: 2 servings

TIME: 40 minutes

Perfect for dinner or a lazy weekend brunch, because these are easily cooked while you prepare other ingredients.

4 or 5 eggs

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons cream

2 tablespoons butter or extra virgin olive oil

Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat them just until the yolks and whites are combined. Season with salt and pepper and beat in the cream.

Put a medium skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium heat for about 1 minute. Add the butter and swirl it around the pan. After the butter melts, but before it foams, turn the heat to low.

03.png Add the eggs to the skillet and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. At first nothing will happen; after 10 minutes or so, the eggs will begin to form curds. Do not lose patience: Keep stirring, breaking up the curds as they form, until the mixture is a mass of soft curds. This will take 30 minutes or more. Serve immediately.

11 Simple Additions to Scrambled Eggs

As in making a flat omelet or frittata, you can add almost anything you want to the beaten uncooked eggs before scrambling. Try any of these with either Everyday Scrambled Eggs or The Best Scrambled Eggs:

  1. Minced pickled jalapeГ±os to taste
  2. Sauted mushrooms, onions, spinach, or other cooked vegetables, cut into small dice, about 1/2 cup
  3. Chopped fresh herbs, 1 teaspoon (stronger herbs like oregano, tarragon, and thyme) to 1 tablespoon (milder ones like parsley, chive, chervil, basil, and mint)
  4. Sour cream, cream cheese (cut into bits), or goat cheese (crumbled or grated), about 12/3 cups.
  5. Any chile or any cooked beans, about 1/2 cup
  6. Cooked and lightly buttered grains, especially farro, pearled barley, bulgur, or millet
  7. Any cooked salsa, up to 1/2 cup, drained if it’s quite moist
  8. Peeled, seeded, and diced tomato, up to 1 cup; or 1/4 cup reconstituted sun-dried tomato (or, even better, 1/2 cup Oven-Dried Tomatoes)
  9. Tabasco; Worcestershire, Hold the Anchovies; soy sauce; or other store-bought sauces to taste
  10. Minced scallion, up to 1/2 cup
  11. Chopped Roasted Red Peppers, up to 1/2 cup