This one was initially for Cole, cooking lesson #3 and scrambled eggs.
Even if he doesn’t make eggs during dorm life next year, he will eventually. They’re a staple, right? Breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner. They are also economical. (And I’m talking about organic free-range, vegetarian eggs. Still so cheap!) One day he will need all these things – kitchen skills and inexpensive meals, right? But beyond all this, Cole likes eggs even though he complains about making them sometimes.
I realized this winter we had an egg situation going on with the whole family. Everyone wanted or needed them but no one wanted to make them, and when they did, there was a messy trail left behind.
But hey parents, do you ever find yourself doing something you never intended to keep doing but you’re either not aware that you are hustling or the work seems easier than A, B, or C? Well, eggs were one of those things. Without intention, Tim or I were making the eggs for the kids and ourselves at different wake-up times. One of us was also cleaning up after it was all said and done or using multiple pans all morning long. If we weren’t making or cleaning it, no one was making eggs for themselves and egg-less children were hungry by 9 a.m. On approximately December 2017, I had ENOUGH.
I invited the whole fam damily into the kitchen for an egg refresher to get us all on the same page, and we implemented a new kitchen practice for living at the Bursches:
Everyone (except the 6-year-old) will make their own eggs in our All-Clad pans daily, and they shall clean all dishes involved.
Well, anybody living with another human knows, nothing is that seamless. Cooking and community necessitate empathy, respect, common courtesy and in my opinion, a parent who doesn’t do everything for their children.
And some of you will say, “For crying out loud why doesn’t this family have a non-stick pan though?!”
Well, I’m not going to rant to you about what non-stick pans are or aren’t, how they leach crap into your food, flake off and become part of your omelet, okay? Enough said. You can look up the research and decide for yourself. Or how they don’t allow for browned bits, deglazing or the perfect crusts to develop when cooking everything else besides eggs. Truth.
How I ended up not having non-stick pans was not by reading an article that scared the $%&* out of me. It’s less glamorous. My last non-stick pan died (as they always do) about ten years ago, I couldn’t afford a new one, and someone said to me something like, “Well, you have to have a non-stick pan for eggs don’t you?” And because I’m stubborn like this, I didn’t buy one. Ha. Instead, I figured out how to use what I had which was a previously bought set of All-Clad pans. Hello.
When this beautiful pan and a little clarified butter can give you the most beautiful and delicious eggs along with anything and everything else a chef/cook needs, why even bother with the flaking and replacing. Cooking eggs in a metal pan actually taught me how to lock-down the basics of cooking (like egg making) as well as gain high performance skills with heat and timing, how to adjust and learn what is good or even better, about smoking points and different oils, and how having a pan along with the right utensil for every use is annoying when one kind is all you really need. We never went back.
Here’s our recipe. And what to do when it goes awry.
|perfect scrambled eggs in an All-Clad pan|| |
- 2 teaspoons of clarified butter (see videos for options)
- 2 eggs whisked well
- small to medium metal pan
- salt & pepper to taste
- Heat pan on high for 1 minute (make sure it's fully heated!), then add clarified butter or oil. Set the timer for 1 minute while butter melts, heats, and easily covers the pan surface. This time can vary but as you learn your pan works with your stove, make sure your pan is hot and that your butter/oil is fully warmed up and ready for eggs to sizzle. Do not let your fat get to the point of smoking. When butter or oil moves around your pan quickly and easily when you use your wrist to tip the pan in a circular motion, your pan is ready. Visa verse, if the oil or butter moves slowly and doesn't coat your pan, wait a little longer as your fat is not hot enough to create a non-stick surface. This will take practice to know, use the 1 minute above as a guide.
- When pan and fat are hot and about to bubble, pour in eggs and working quickly with a firm spatula or spoon, scrape eggs toward the middle, so the oil or butter follows your swipe and recoats the pan.
- Fold and slightly break apart eggs as needed to maintain fluffy folds but also cook insides as much as you like. Again, learn the kind of eggs you prefer. I prefer mine slightly wet and one last fold to cook the wet layer, then I'm done.
- When ready, remove from heat to stop eggs from frying and drying.
- Pan should remain clean if the pan and your butter/oil were hot enough.
- If there is a layer of egg film cooked on the bottom of your pan, try to adjust next time. To quickly remove the film when you are done, immediately put water in your pan and return to high heat, scraping as if you were cooking or deglazing a pan. This habit will remove all egg film in seconds rather than trying to wash it off now or later.
- If you notice oil or butter smoking, your heat is too high, or it’s been left on the heat for too long.
- If eggs are too wet, trying breaking them up more next time and flipping them once or twice rather than just folding.
- If eggs are too dry, try less breaking and more folding or less time on the heat.
- If eggs are burning, try a little bit more fat in your pan before you decide to turn down your heat. In a metal pan, even if you cook with more fat, it doesn’t just get stirred into the eggs. If the pan is hot enough, some fat will stay in the pan when you are done if you let it. See video part 2 below.
And that’s a wrap on Cole’s cooking lesson # 3. He says 3 out of 5 times a week his pan is clean when eggs are done and believe me this ratio I can live with. As for Cole’s cooking lessons? We now have cake, queso and eggs. I mean, what else does the boy need? Snacks! He always wants another snack. Stay tuned!
~Heather (& Cole)