While I was visiting an out-of-town friend she served me the best scrambled eggs I'd ever eaten. The next morning I told her I had to watch her magic.
The first key is butter. Lots of butter. Now, I'm a butter lover, but I didn't realize how necessary it was to use a whole generous pat — half a tablespoon for three eggs— in order for my eggs to be light and moist, but still cooked through.
The next thing to know is to cook the whites before the yolks. This was revolutionary to me; I had never heard of such a thing! Scrambling the whites while the yolks sit untouched lets the whites cook thoroughly without the yolks getting chalky.
One thing I did know about scrambling eggs is the importance of patience. Cook them slowly. In fact, my friend periodically removed the whole skillet from the burner to slow down the process. This not only helps keep the eggs from burning onto the pan, it also keeps the whites from getting rubbery.
Once the whites are cooked to perfection, it's finally time to break the yolks. I didn't fully understand this at first, so my beginning attempts failed to produce anywhere near as lovely eggs as my friend's. Wait until the white is completely cooked. Don't break the yolks until then.
Since the yolks have been sitting in the skillet alongside the whites, they will have already begun to cook. They will finish cooking very quickly.
If you're like me and like over-medium eggs with runny yolks you can turn the burner off as soon as the whites are cooked and you break the yolks. Stir it all up and the residual heat from the pan will finish lightly cooking the yellow parts. In any case, turn the burner off a little before the eggs are cooked to your liking because they will continue cooking through residual heat even if you serve them onto a plate — that's the nature of eggs.
Knowing a "gourmet" way to prepare a certain food is fun! Having this egg-scrambling skill in my repertoire doesn't mean I have to take the time whenever I scramble eggs. It does provide me with a way to make a mundane meal special though!
Do you have an extra-special method of preparing an everyday dish?
Tell us about it in the comments!