So, I've decided to take upon myself a cooking challenge. You've learned from the previous entry that the first challenge is the egg. My first task in this challenge is to learn to make a great
scrambled egg. For this I found two different methods by Julia Childs and Jacques Pepin. Today I set out to attempt Childs' method.
There are no differences in ingredients between the scrambled eggs, however, the cooking techniques are slightly varied that produce distinct texture, appearance and even taste.
Child writes, "Eggs scrambled by my method ought to resemble a soft, broken custard: lumpy, moist and glossy. You must cook the eggs very slowly, over low heat, always scraping the pan with
a spatula, just until they are thickened, but still visibly soft."
The ingredients call for:
2 or 3 large eggs
Salt and pepper
1 T or more unsalted butter
Heavy cream (optional)
Using a non-stick frying pan, 10 inches top diameter; a straight-edged wooden spoon or rubber spatula.
So, following the directions from the cookbook
Cooking at Home by Jacques Pepin and Julia Childs, I set out on the first challenge. I cracked the eggs into a bowl, added in my salt and pepper and beat with a fork, just to blend. This went smooth (I have made scrambled eggs before :)
I melted a tablespoon of butter in the frying pan, enough to film the bottom and sides, and then poured in all but 2 T of the eggs.
According to Julia, the eggs are supposed to begin to coagulate after a minute or two. Throughout this entire process she says to keep scraping the bottom clear to draw in the uncooked eggs. After another 2 minutes or so they
should be almost entirely thickened into "soft, custardy lumps", at which point she says to remove from heat and fold in the reserved 2 T of eggs. Then fold in another teaspoon or two of soft butter, or a dash of cream.
I was very hesitant about reserving some of the egg and pouring it in over no heat. I am very skeptical of raw eggs, maybe because my mom would always caution about
salmonella poisoning when my sister or I would eat uncooked cookie batter.
I followed the directions but it took longer than I expected. The eggs did not seem to have any fluff. However, I stayed true to the timing of how Julia described,
rather than the product. I plated up the eggs after what seemed a very long time (longer than described, but yet not the consistency that seemed appropriate). However, they looked custard-like, and definitely soft. Maybe I should have used a more medium low
heat, because after plating and looking at my eggs, they looked dark yellow, ugly, and gooey. The first bite was even less pleasant than the look...My cousin and roommate, Luke, came to witness the finished product, took one look and said, 'those aren't even
cooked.' I hung my head in shame! Why didn't I trust my intuition, I thought they seemed undone. How could I have messed this up so badly? This definitely was not a good start.
Needless to say, I ate them anyway, and let me just say, the texture was ummm, well, like slime.
Day 1: FAILURE! I should know better! I can't believe how I let this happen. I'm still not feeling the greatest after ingesting that stuff.
Going into this challenge, I had really high hopes...only to have them crash right away. I feel I've insulted the cooking Gods. I'm sure if Julia had seen how I desecrated
her eggs, she would spit me a new one and tell me that maybe I should pursue a different hobby!
How am I supposed to go on from this? Was my heat too low? Did I scrape too much?
Well, tomorrow, or when I'm recovered from this and ready to try again, I will have to at least cook them through! Ugh! This challenge has started out on the wrong foot! Oh well, join me next time when I once again attempt Julia's