Growing up in the sticks I never really related to the wants and needs of country people. Sure I shot things and drove badly while bashing mailboxes, but this was mostly to assuage the abject misery of my station in life. I always wanted better things, fine clothes, performance automobiles, and especially exceptional food.
My mother being more practically minded than I, always harangued me with this phrase: "YOU and YOUR CADILLAC TASTES, do you think money fucking grows on trees? I knew money did not, at least not in our peach and pecan trees and I always hoped that tastes and money were not synonymous and I could indeed love the things I love and not be made to feel like a Benedict Arnold for being an Outlier.
Today is my mother's birthday so this is not an assault on her or her frustrations at having a snobby asshole son; rather, this series is an assault on Hamburger-Helper, Tuna-Helper, Spam, Mellorine, and Margarine. I always knew food could be better and I wanted to be the guy who found it. "which is the way he wants it, well...he gets it!"
My trip through the food world continues and my rant begins here with the humble, edible, egg.
Why are most restaurants awful at preparing scrambled eggs? I am a crack-whore when it comes to eating at breakfast establishments, yet I cannot order eggs my favorite way: scrambled!
I have learned to enjoy over-medium, poached, basted, and even an occasionally, boiled eggs. I eat these because restaurants ruin scrambled eggs. Do the kitchens assume I am a 9 year-old because I order scrambled and so they just throw it together because they think a 9 year-old would be less discerning? They should have known me when I was 9!
Without fail when I order scrambled eggs they are scrambled into rubber, spread across a griddle and cooked flat like an omelet without the filling, or cold. If I ask for them to be less well-done the server always says (in a thick drawl) "soft-scrambled"?
No! Not soft scrambled, soft scrambled eggs have runny whites and are as foul as Satanic literature. I want perfectly cooked scrambled eggs. It is the easiest way to cook an egg by far, and don't give me any shit about boiled, because boiled eggs take much longer and are actually borderline rancid with their sulfur-y stank.
I had a sirloin steak and eggs plate this morning at an establishment I had longed to try. The steak was a bit above my requested medium-rare as I knew it would be, which I why I did not order medium even though I prefer medium temp on a sirloin. So, I got the steak like I wanted and thought that I would take a shot at their scrambled eggs and hash-browns. UGH! Dumb decision. I loved my steak but the eggs were browned, flattened on a griddle and simply indistinguishable from a crispy crepe. On another note, the hash-browns were just garbage. The eggs were brown-er than my f-in hash-browns. So, they can cook a steak (almost) but not scrambled eggs and hash-browns?
Sad...but this is the life of an egg snob. I know it and my wife knows it.
Scrambled eggs should be well whisked, cooked in butter, and over a medium-low heat and stirred to keep the curds from getting too much heat exposure at once. They should be plated as they reach a stage when they are just finishing the transformation from liquid to solid so that the residual heat will finish cooking the sheen and a perfectly egg (or 3) is on the plate. Finish the eggs with a little grey salt, some nice bright pepper and there you have it. 4 to 5 minutes from the chicken's ass to the plate!
So many cooks pride themselves on their "turn" with an over-easy egg, but cannot make scrambled eggs properly to save their lives. I am not a professional egg cook. I suck at over-medium, can manage a good poached egg, boil well enough when I have to, and I am much more like the 90 year Julia Child than the 50 one when it comes to omelets. All of this being said, I will scramble an egg with the best of them and I will shave white truffle across the top, I will add cream and parmigiano to the mix, and I will serve them with risotto cakes from last night's Milanese.
I want so desperately to find a place to eat scrambled eggs while reading the paper, drinking a fine coffee, and chatting with my wife. I do not always want to be the damned short order cook. I do however always want scrambled eggs and I want them perfect.