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.
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.
FRENCH SCRAMBLED EGGS
Time to table: 20 minutes
Serves 1, easily multiplied
- 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
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg white
- 1 teaspoon water
- 1/2 teaspoon good mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- Pepper to taste
- 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.
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