Scrambled Eggs

Pete’s recent rumination on creamy eggs got me to thinking about something that I don’t understand. Why does no one who runs a restaurant these days know how to cook eggs? I can count on the first two fingers of my left hand the number of times I’ve had good scrambled eggs served to me in the last year or so. Once was at Dottie’s in San Franscisco, and once was at the excellent Taco Loco Taqueria in Pittsburgh (I’m not kidding, it really is good Mexican in Pittsburgh). My bitterness stems from how easy it is to make scrambled eggs. Leaving aside the French Creamy version, I give you my mom’s staple breakfast food:

1. 2 eggs 2. 2 sprigs of scallion, chopped as fine as you care to. 3. 1 pinch sea salt. 4. Black pepper to taste.

Crack the eggs in a bowl. With a fork or chopsticks, beat the eggs until the whites and the yolks mix well. Mix in the salt, pepper and scallion.

Now heat a non-stick pan until hot, and add olive oil. When the oil is really hot, throw in the eggs. Stir the eggs around for 30 seconds to 1 minute until they start to get solid, but are still soft inside. The trick is to get the eggs hard enough but not too hard. Serve with toast, sausage, rice, chinese pickles. Whatever.

For more of a Chinese style egg, mix in soy sauce instead of salt. For omelettes, do the same thing, but flip the eggs over in one piece rather than mixing them around in the pan. For a dinner treat, add grape tomatoes and Fontina cheese to the mix, don’t stir stuff around too much and then put the pan in the oven to get a nice frittata.

So, what’s wrong with eggs I get when I eat out? They are universally overcooked, undersalted, and generally served to me in a cold chewy rubbery mess. The worst are the buffet eggs that sit out on a steam table for 3 hours becoming a completely solid yellow brick of pain and nastiness.

Anyway, be nice to your eggs. Keep it simple, keep it fast, and for god’s sake put the salt in before serving.