Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Simple Tips for Great Roast Potatoes and Scrambled Eggs

During the week, the only time I can afford for breakfast is usually just making a bowl of instant oatmeal. But on the weekends, I love to have a good breakfast. My dear hubby usually makes the french toast - I'll go into the trick for that another time - but if there are scrambled eggs involved, I'm usually the one on it.

I know people can be picky about their eggs, and there's a lot of hype for the Gordon Ramsey style eggs: super creamy, laden with creme fraiche, they are good but more like an egg pudding than anything else. In the end, I keep coming back to my favorite style eggs: fluffy, moist, and very tender large curds. You don't cook these exceptionally slow, or even on that low of a temperature. The trick, really, is just to stir as little as possible. It makes sense - people like fluffy omlettes, but you don't stir omlettes, you just push them. Use the technique towards your scrambled eggs, and you will be rewarded with large, creamy curds.

The Method for My Favorite Scrambled Eggs
4 whole large eggs
1.5 TB half and half
large pinch kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
2 tsp unsalted butter

Beat the eggs with the half and half, salt and pepper, until the yolk is all combined.

In a nonstick skillet over low heat, melt the butter. Let the pan get up to temp; it should be warm, but the butter shouldn't brown or burn.

Add the eggs and let set for about 20 seconds or so. Using a rubber spatula (preferred) or wooden spoon, start to push from the outside of the pan to the center, like making an omelette. Make sure the bottom looks like it's cooking, but not too dry. If dry, turn the heat down. Continue pushing occassionally; after about 1 1/2 minutes, start flipping large sections of the eggs. It should take about 2-3 minutes to cook the whole pan. Cook too fast, and you'll have dry eggs; cook too slow, and you will need to stir a lot, breaking up your large curds.

Plate when eggs are done to your liking, remembering that done in the pan means overdone on your plate. Serves 2.

The Method for Perfect Oven Roasted Potatoes

Ok, so this really isn't a recipe. It's a simple technique that has served me well. Blanche your potatoes for about 6-7 minutes in salted boiling water. Thoroughly dry, toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and whatever else you like, and roast in a single layer in the oven at 425 for about 30 minutes, turning two or three times. The simple act of blanching will give your potatoes a perfectly crisp exterior.

For added deliciousness, add some thickly sliced shallots with the potatoes. Halfway through roasting, add some fresh chopped thyme. Garnish with some freshly chopped parsley when serving, if desired.

With these techniques, it's easy to put together an awesome brunch, or a nice light supper. I topped these scrambled eggs with some flaked smoked salmon, and sour cream thinned with a little half and half and lemon juice. Top with some fresh herbs like thyme, chives, or parsley.

1 comment:

  1. Blanching the potatoes does wonders. I often will also pre-heat the oil, either in a pan in the oven or in the microwave (with some dried herbs in it, too). I also CRANK the heat in the oven up as high as it will go to make sure I get lots of delicious brown bits.