Cooking at home is not just cheaper and safer than eating out or ordering in, it’s also definitely a healthier lifestyle choice. Preparing food needn’t be an elaborate affair. Just a few of our simple strategies can help you crack the toughest recipes. We bring you a series of articles with tips and tricks for the kitchen, so you can learn how to cook like a pro, and avoid the mistakes that haunt rookies and seasoned chefs, alike.
Eggs are the most basic ingredient to work with, and are perfect for every meal—even just as a snack. Full of protein, essential vitamins and nutrients, eggs are a wonderful superfood. While scrambling them would seem like the easiest thing to do, many folks end up with a dish that’s undercooked, runny, rubbery or worst of all, dry.
Read on for suggestions on the tools, techniques and ingredients needed to whip up a batch of picture-perfect and healthy scrambled eggs:
- The Perfect Pan: While a cast iron skillet is ideal, if it hasn’t been perfectly seasoned before use, you will end up with most of the eggs stuck to the pan. That means less to eat, and more effort to scrub off while doing the dishes. A non-stick or ceramic pan is best, and ensure that you pick the right size. For two to four eggs, a small pan will do, but any more than that and you will need a larger pan, so you have more surface area to work with.
- A Skillful Spatula: A silicone or heat-proof spatula will be more flexible and efficient than a wooden one, while a metal spatula is avoidable.
- Get Bowled Over: Instead of cracking the eggs directly into the pan, whisk them in a bowl to incorporate more air, which will lead to a fluffier and uniformly soft scramble.
- Beat The Heat: Cook the eggs over a low flame in a pan that’s been preheated. Remember that if you plan to leave them in the pan, they will continue to cook for a bit, so take them off the heat just before they’re done to your liking. If you’re making a large batch, transfer the cooked eggs to a serving dish to prevent overcooking.
- Tease The Texture: If you like custardy eggs, then use wide and slow sweeping motions with the spatula but for a tight, crumbly texture, you should make small, rapid circles. For a mousse-like consistency, whisk the eggs while they cook in the pan.
- Butter Is Better: Some people like to add milk, cream or both to make them creamier. Not only does this add to the calorie count, it might make the end result too runny if you’re not careful. Skip this step, and indulge in butter instead. Just a small amount of good quality grass-fed butter will make a big difference to texture and taste, while being healthier than adding supposedly low-fat substitutes that are likely to contain harmful additives.
- Smart Seasoning: If you like adding cheese to your scrambled eggs, do so immediately after you remove the eggs from the heat, and use only shredded or crumbled varieties. Good choices are feta, cheddar or soft goat cheese. Herbs like parsley, chervil, tarragon, dill or chives enhance the flavor, but should be chopped fine and only added at the end. Salt, and as much freshly ground black pepper as you can handle, should be sprinkled just before eating, as adding salt earlier will draw out all the moisture and make the eggs dry.