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Sometimes it takes the simplest of meals to remind you what real, good food actually is. I had this revelation last night as I tucked into my dinner for one of scrambled eggs on toast.
Mr Rigg was away for the night and my dinner choice was based on the fact that I really couldn’t be arsed to make anything more just for myself. We have a lovely farm up the road who produce organic eggs, so I always have a large tray of their eggs on hand for quick meals.
This time I had treated myself to some of their white Leghorn eggs, which I scrambled in my own sweet fashion – melt a healthy amount of raw butter in a saucepan, crack the eggs directly into the hot butter without whisking prior (I had two whole eggs and an extra yolk). Next I turn the heat down and let the eggs cook a little in the butter without touching them, then I use a spoon to break them up. This way you end up a mixture of quite distinct ‘white’ and ‘yolk’ but also some standard pale yellow scramble as well.
I considered skimming some cream off the top of our raw milk to add to the pan of eggs, cream in scrambled eggs is divine – don’t bother with milk! Anyway, that seemed like too much effort, so I just seasoned with salt and pepper and added generous amounts of snipped mint and chives from the garden, plus some pretty purple chive flowers.
The Wednesday Chef is one of those food blogs you just have to check back to every so often. It’s like a great magazine that you can dip into whenever you need something comforting to read or look at.
It’s written by Luisa, born in Berlin, once a New Yorker, and is a truly lovely blog to look through. She has also just written up a delicious sounding recipe that I first spied (like her) over at Food52: Tartine with Mustard Mayo and Mashed Avocado. Just the thought of it makes my mouth water.
You can see Luisa’s version of the scrumptious sounding snack here along with a recipe for Spicy Salmon Mash on Toast.
This is my perfect lazy Saturday (or Sunday!) brunch.
Lightly toasted bread smeared with butter. Crisp salty bacon. Sweet cherry tomatoes. Deep earthy mushrooms. And golden yolked eggs. Oh, and a big mug of hot chocolate.
How to create my perfect brunch
For me, creating the perfect brunch is about excellent ingredients and careful planning of how and when you cook each item.
Firstly, turn you oven onto a low heat and pop in two plates to warm.
In one, large cast iron frying pan I start off the bacon first. Meanwhile, I chopped my mushrooms and cut the cherry tomatoes in half.
Once the bacon starts to crisp, I add the mushrooms and let them start to cook. When the bacon is to cooked to your taste, remove and place in the oven.
Move the mushrooms to one side of the pan, drizzle a little olive oil onto the other side of the pan and add the cherry tomatoes – they should sizzle and spit. Season both the mushrooms and cherry tomatoes with salt and pepper.
Heat another smaller frying pan and add some oil – this will be your egg pan. As you crack in your eggs and start to fry them, instruct your boyfriend to pop some bread into the toast.
Just before your eggs are ready, remove the warmed plates and bacon from the oven. Butter your toast, divide the bacon between your plates, slide the fried eggs onto the toast, and spoon over some mushrooms and tomatoes.
Who could image that just two ingredients – egg and butter – could create such a delicious, moreish meal? N was anti-scrambled egg when I first met him. After finally managing to get him to try a mouthful of my scrambled egg, he can now be heard asking for it without any prompting at all!
Scrambled egg on toast, made with love and care, and not cooked to within an inch of its life, should not be dismissed purely as a side to a fried breakfast. Scrambled egg on toast can make a scrumptious and filling meal all by itself – at least in my opinion.
Using high quality eggs is essential for producing the tastiest scrambled egg possible. Organic, free range, rare breed/heritage or woodland eggs are your best bet. Or if you’re lucky enough to have your own chickens, home produced. We used free range organic eggs from Abbey Leys Farm.
Now I never really understood why recipes call for a ‘heavy based’ pan, but for scrambled egg it really makes a difference. If you use one that has a thin base (like my cheapo supermarket milk pan that I still have from university) then the egg at the bottom cooks too quickly and can burn and stick to the pan. A pan with a thicker base will cook the egg slower and more gently.
So, to make my scrambled egg I melt a good sized knob of butter in a heavy based saucepan. When the butter has melted and starts to gently bubble I crack in my eggs. Please note, I do not whisk up my eggs and pour them into the pan. I simply crack the whole eggs directly into the pan.
Now, the important bit – allow the eggs to cook everso slightly. You can burst the yolks if you like, but try and let the white, well turn white – like when you fry and egg. Now, give it a gentle mix (I used a metal spoon). Then let it cook some more. Then another gentle mix.
By adding the eggs whole to the pan, and gently breaking them up as they cook results in a chunky scrambled egg where some bits are white, some bits are golden, and some are milky yellow combination of the two. I think it makes for a much more interesting scrambled egg rather than one uniform taste and texture.
Have the heat on about a medium, but if the egg starts to stick to the bottom of the pan, remove it from the heat briefly and continue mixing. I do this back and forward, on and off the heat until it reaches the texture I like.
I like my scrambled eggs moist but not too runny, and certainly not dried out. The egg should slide off the spoon, not plop off like lumps of jelly. I know everyone has their own preferences, but if you usually cook your scrambled egg a bit longer, just try it more moist, just once. When I first tried cooking scrambled egg like this I couldn’t believe how different it tasted.
Once the egg is cooked, stir in a good grinding of black pepper and salt to taste. As with most food, I tend to be a purist and refuse to add too many embellishments, but yesterday I added some freshly snipped chives from the garden. Chives are an ideal paring for egg and provided an interesting taste addition to our scrambled egg.
Butter some slithers of toast and spoon the scrambled egg over the top.
My perfect scrambled egg
Serves 2 for lunch
A knob of butter
In a heavy based saucepan melt a good sized knob of butter over a medium heat. When it starts to bubble crack the eggs into the pan.
Allow the eggs to cook a little before bursting the yolks and giving them a gentle mix. Leave again to cook a little, and then mix gently. If the egg starts to stick to the bottom, remove from the heat and mix. Keep the egg mixture moving, but do so gently until it reaches a moist sloppy consistency.
Stir in some ground black pepper and salt to taste. If you are using chives, snip into the egg and mix.
Spoon the scrambled egg over a couple of slices of buttered toast.