What do our fellow bloggers, writers, and online friends eat, first thing in the morning? This is a series Leela Cyd designed for us a couple years ago, and in honor of Breakfast Week we're bringing back five of our favorites!
This morning Deb shares a recipe for scrambled eggs with chives and goat cheese on toast. It sounds simple, but as with all things wonderfully delicious, it's all in the details of this divine preparation of a breakfast classic. Deb talks us through in her usual writing style, full of wit and grace.
Deb's blog, Smitten Kitchen, is an extraordinary exploration of classy recipes. Deb explains her home-spun dishes with a superb sense of humor and real-life tenderness, not to mention gorgeous photos. This combination makes for a fantastic read and as a subscriber, I do the happy dance every time she posts a new recipe. As a reader since the site's early years, I feel as though I know Deb pretty well — she writes with such intimacy, levity and honesty. All that good stuff and ridiculously tasty recipes.
About this breakfast Deb says:
Scrambled eggs are best made at home, and where their path from frying pan to plate to fork to your belly is as short as possible. Scrambled eggs should have a short lifespan. That’s my first tip. The next one is that they should always be taken out of the pan before they are done — I look for about 85 to 90 percent doneness, they should look a bit wet, enough to make you a little nervous. Don’t be. These blazing hot eggs continue cooking on the plate and I guarantee that by the time you get them from counter to table, fork to belly, they’ll be dreamy: cooked but not overcooked. Not even a little, thank goodness.
Last, and look, I’m sure this isn’t Proper Egg Scrambling Technique or anything, but to make them the way I like them, I go easy on the scrambling. I do a pour-pause-nudge-pause-push-pause-pull thing, lots of letting them set for a second or 10 before moving them again. I get them in a ribbony pile in the middle of the pan, break it up a little with my spoon or spatula, and eat them quickly. I guess I like a few pieces to bite into, to feel like I’m consuming something more than coddled mush.
And with that, that “coddled mush” remark, I think my real secret is out: you see, I am not a scrambled egg person which means I’ve got some gall advising you on yours. But when I started making them this way — plus a thick piece of toast, smear of goat cheese and sprinkle of garlic chives — I became one. I started making up for lost time; they have been breakfast, lunch and dinner in the last week; even my Sunday bagel was no longer deemed acceptable. Don’t you hate it when that happens?
I'm not surprised that Deb has shown me a better way to do something I thought I had down pat. Her 'barely scrambled' technique of 90 percent doneness makes the eggs velvety and luscious. This is how eggs want to be served! And with the addition of tangy goat cheese and peppery lightness of the snipped chives, this breakfast is absolutely elegant. It's delicious beyond compare. I expected greatness from Mrs. Smitten Kitchen and I was proved so very right. Hooray!
Deb's Scrambled Egg Toast
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk, half-and-half or cream
1/8 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons butter or olive oil
1-inch thick piece of bread, such as ciabatta
1 tablespoon goat cheese, softened (cream cheese also works)
1 teaspoon chives or scallion greens, thinly sliced
Set your table and pour your coffee. I am an absolutely nut about eating my eggs the second they come out of the pan, and to do this, your table needs to be ready for you; your troops should be gathered. Toast your bread, then smear it with the goat cheese and sprinkle it with half the chives. Set it aside. (P.S. If you decide to butter it before adding the goat cheese, I will not tell anyone.)
Beat eggs with milk, salt and pepper in a small bowl, with a fork, until combined, with a few big bubbles. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-low heat; once hot, add butter. Once butter is melted and foamy, add eggs and pause; count to 20 if you must, but let those eggs begin to set up before you start nudging away at them. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, begin push your eggs once from the outside to the center of the pan and pause again; count to 5 if you must, before continuing with another push. Continue in this manner around the pan as if you were trying draw spokes of a wheel through your eggs with your spatula, pausing for 5 seconds after each push. Go around the pan as many times as needed, until your eggs in the center are ribbony damp pile — it should look only 75 percent cooked. Use your spoon or spatula to break up this pile into smaller chunks — to taste. Your eggs should now look almost 90 percent cooked.
Immediately remove the pan from the heat and pile the scrambled eggs bits high on your goat cheese toast. Sprinkle with an additional grind of black pepper and remaining chives. Eat immediately.
Thanks Deb for contributing to our Breakfast with a Blogger series!
(Images: Leela Cyd Ross, image of Deb provided by Deb)