French Scrambled Eggs

2011 may well go down as the Summer of the Egg, the soothing, nutritious, economical, endlessly variable – and yes, "incredible and edible" – egg. This is one of two ways I've been cooking eggs all summer, a relaxed weekend breakfast treat here, a no-trip-to-the-grocery quick supper there.

I love how the eggs stay soft, how the vegetables themselves take on the soft creaminess, how there's time to make a salad, set the table, all while the eggs cook. For anyone who collects new ways to cook eggs, this deserves a look and with any luck, a place in the repertoire.

French Scrambled Eggs
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Is it the chicken or the egg?

For my appetite (yours too?), one egg is “just enough” for a lady-size breakfast – but only so long as it’s a whole egg. Cook it sunnyside up, over easy, poached or shirred, I’m completely satisfied, just make sure the egg is whole. But once a single egg is whisked for scrambled eggs or an omelet, the serving size seems no longer just lady-sized but – well, let’s say it like it is – skimpy and stingy!

Why is this? Is it possible for the fixed portion size of one whole egg to seem more substantial than one mixed-up egg? What else could cause this difference in perception?

Okay so yes, I’m nerdy like this: one day I actually measured scrambled eggs.

One scrambled egg yields a scant quarter cup. Puny!
One egg plus an extra egg white yields a generous quarter cup. Plenty!

So now for scrambled eggs, cooked in this French style or otherwise, I now allow myself one whole egg plus, for volume, an extra egg white.

ALANNA’s TIPS Use a saucepan, not a skillet, to make French Scrambled Eggs. Less surface area helps the eggs cook slowly. For the softest, most tender eggs, keep the heat on low and just enjoy observing the slow-slow changes in the eggs as they cook. If the eggs begin to cook too quickly, lift the saucepan off the heat for a moment. The cookbook where I learned this technique says that it’s a waste to cook fewer than six eggs – but I disagree, I’ve made this several times for just one and the technique works great. It also suggests stirring in a teaspoon of cream and/or butter at the end. This is a luxury I don’t want to get too cozy with so haven’t tried! The vegetables are completely optional – but they do help compensate for that small portion size. Any vegetables may be used, just be sure to keep their sizes small so they can cook quite quickly.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite way to cook eggs that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

FRENCH SCRAMBLED EGGS

Cooked low and slow in a saucepan
Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 20 minutes
Serves 1, easily multiplied
    VEGETABLES
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 green onion, chopped (save some of green parts for serving)
  • A few grape tomatoes, halved
  • A chunk of zucchini, chopped small
    SCRAMBLED EGGS
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon good mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pepper to taste
    TO SERVE
  • Toast or Fried Bread or a warm tortilla
  • Good salt
  • A little chopped green onion

VEGETABLES In a saucepan (not a skillet, you want a cooking vessel with sides), heat the oil til shimmery on medium, add the onion, tomatoes and zucchini and sauté until just soft and the tomatoes begin to express their liquid. Lift out half the vegetables onto a plate and keep warm. Reduce heat to medium low, you might need to remove from the heat to help cool down.

SCRAMBLED EGGS In a bowl, stir together all the ingredients with a wooden spoon just until loosely combined. Pour into the saucepan (it should be cool enough that the eggs don’t begin to cook immediately). Scramble the eggs by stirring nearly continuously with a wooden spoon or whisk, letting them cook slowly-slowly-slowly, for as long as 4 or 5 minutes for a single serving, up to 10 minutes for more servings.

TO SERVE Top a slice of Fried Bread, toast bread or a tortilla with the cooked eggs, then the reserved vegetables, then a little salt, then the reserved chopped green onion.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per Serving: 157 Calories; 9g Tot Fat; 2g Sat Fat; 211mg Cholesterol; 451mg Sodium; 8g Carb; 2g Fiber; 5g Sugar; 12g Protein; Weight Watchers Old Points 3, PointsPlus 4 This recipe has been 'Alanna-sized'.
Adapted from Parisian Home Cooking by Michael Roberts, published in 1999 and the recommendation of our friend Gayle over a glass of champagne one night. The next day? I found a used copy for sale for just a few dollars on Amazon. I find the ingredients accessible and the recipes appealing. More than that, it’s not one of these new cookbooks, no matter the focus, that seem to throw in a few supper recipes (real food) just to focus on the real love, dessert. This cookbook has 328 pages, desserts start on page 304. That balance just makes sense. DISCLOSURE (My Disclosure Promise)

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More Ways to Cook Eggs for the Summer of the Egg

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Simple French Eggs Homemade Egg McMuffin Cooked in the Microwave Mexican Gashouse Eggs
~ Easy Egg Recipes ~
a collection of recipes from my fellow food bloggers

~ more egg recipes ~

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I love the sound of "Summer of Eggs" :) Trust me, if you'd get and Eglu and keep a few chickens in your gorgeous St Louis backyard, it'd be so much more and special summer of eggs ;)
 
Hi, I LOVE your blog. I love your stories behind the recipes. Natasha x
 
In France, scrambled eggs are only made with one egg. One egg is un oeuf.
 

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna