Monday, November 28th, 2011...4:58 pm

Hangover Food

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WOW – I’ve been gone for a while, huh. I’m not entirely sure what happened – but an entire summer came and went and I seem to have completely forgotten about this space. Yeesh, I’m still trying to wrap my head around how that happened. But I’m sorry! And I’m back! And the weather is cool again! And I’ve gotten the blown lightbulbs in my kitchen replaced! Which means I’m back in the kitchen, pottering around with jamming and breading and various cookery, including getting cracking on my Christmas 2011 menu (I’ve earmarked a few roast goose recipes) so I’ve got my fingers crossed that I won’t get too distracted by the festive season and forget to take pictures and post the button-popping, pants-splitting feast I’m intending to inflict upon my guests.

In the meantime, I thought I’d post a recipe which we could all use on those hungover mornings amidst the festive (read: alcohol-drenched party) season. It’s a post that I’ve had saved in my drafts for over a year now, and that’s not even because I managed to forget about my blog. Scrambled eggs are a slightly controversial topic – in the kitchen, at least. It’s probably got to do with how there are so many different incarnations of scrambled eggs – do you like large or small curds, runny or fully set eggs? How creamy do you like it? And do you want them plain or flavoured with simple herbs like chives, or have you been fortunate enough to come into possession of truffles whose fragrance you can imbue your raw eggs with, before topping the hot mess with a few (or many!) thin shavings?

Since I figure we who scramble eggs at home don’t tend to have fresh truffles on hand, I figured I’d talk about how I like to do my basic scramble. If I feel like poshing it up a little I’ll fold in some fresh chives, or drizzle with truffle oil (for the fragrance without the cost!). I also don’t normally bother with cooking my eggs in a bain marie – it’s too much of a hassle without a proportionate pay-off, especially if I’m hungover and just want to cobble together a hot meal to settle my stomach.

For the record, I’m a fan of medium-soft set large curds, and in order to scramble eggs to my liking, I find the best tool to move your eggs around a non-stick pan is a silicone spatula. It’s flexible enough to scrape up every last bit of egg from the sides of your pan, whilst allowing for the least disruption of your eggs, which leaves you with large ribbons of eggs weaved around each other as the proteins coagulate. And one point to note which I find most important, regardless of how you like your eggs done, is to ensure that you pull your eggs off the heat (and onto a warmed plate or slice of toasted bread) before they are cooked to your liking, so the residual heat doesn’t overcook your gently scrambled eggs by the time they move from the kitchen to your mouth!

My Favourite Scrambled Eggs

3 large eggs
fine sea salt
50g whipping cream
10g cold unsalted butter
10g unsalted butter, softened
fleur de sel
freshly cracked black pepper
freshly toasted bread
optional: truffle oil and chives, to garnish

Crack the eggs into a bowl, a season very lightly with a tiny pinch of fine sea salt. Add the cream, and beat gently with a fork until the whites and yolks are amalgamated, but try not to incorporate too much air into it. Cut the first 10g of (cold) butter into small cubes, and add it, along with the cream, to the eggs, and stir briefly.

Heat a medium-sized nonstick pan over medium-low heat. Add the next 10g of butter to the pan, and move it about to coat the entire surface, until it melts and starts to foam. Be careful that the butter doesn’t burn – you don’t even really want it to brown at all.

Tip the eggs into the pan, and let it sit for about 15-20 seconds: just long enough to form a thin skin on the base, then gather the solidified layer from the outside to the inside, or in a large, circular movement. You don’t want to beat the eggs or whisk them up to form tiny bits, you want to smoothly crumple up large curds and allow the uncooked egg to settle back to the bottom of the pan before repeating this process. Depending on the size of your pan, it should take about 2-3 minutes to cook altogether. If the egg seems to be setting too quickly, remove the pan from the heat and to let the pan cool slightly.

About 1 minute before the eggs are done, remove the pan from the heat. Fold the eggs gently, one last time, then tip them out onto your toasted slices of bread. If using, drizzle the truffle oil over the eggs, and snip a couple of lengths of chives over to garnish. Otherwise, just sprinkle with a little extra fleur de sel, and top with a few more twists of the pepper mill. Serve immediately.

Yield: Serves 1

 

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