Cheesy Scrambled Eggs for One

Monday, December 15, 2014

After so many requests for tips on how I prepare my scrambled eggs, I wanted to go ahead and share. File this under one of those dishes I cook every day and never thought about writing up the recipe! Truthfully, eggs are something I make on autopilot as I eat them nearly every day. They are an inexpensive, easy and of course tasty source of protein in my diet. If you ask me how I like my eggs, the best answer is "Yes." Fried, in an omelette or frittata, on a sandwich, soft-boiled, poached, deviled...I mean can you really go wrong here? Lately, I've come back to appreciating the beauty in a plate of perfectly scrambled eggs (with bacon or sausage on the side!)

Now of course, the definition of "perfect" scrambled eggs will change depending on who you ask. I always strive for soft, slightly wet eggs with a medium curd. If scrambled eggs are dry or have any color on them, they're overcooked - and in my book, if they're better eaten with a spoon, they're way too creamy. I settle for somewhere right in the middle. My favorite way to eat scrambled eggs is piled on toast. I'm also a fan of stirring in herbs, sauteed onions and peppers, or slow roasted tomatoes if I'm feeling fancy.

The recipe I'm sharing today is my version of a basic cheesy scrambled egg. Any cheese that melts quickly can do the trick, but also consider what the flavor will bring to the table. Eggs are easily overwhelmed so I stay away from cheeses that are too strong. In this example I used Gruyere, which is mild but nutty. My absolute favorite cheese to use is freshly grated parmesan! Monterrey Jack is another great one; I just love the subtle spiciness it adds. When in doubt, you really can't go wrong with a sharp cheddar. And unless you're under the age of 10, there's no place for a sheet of melted plastic American cheese over your eggs. Even then, your kids deserve better.

The last thing I feel that's important to mention is how critical it is to both control your heat and use a decent pan. I prefer at least an 8" nonstick skillet if I'm scrambling 3 or more eggs. This is one of the few tasks I really don't use cast iron skillets for, because they retain heat so well that it can be tricky not to overcook your eggs. Finally, whether you're cooking over gas or electric burners here can also affect the method. Gas reacts immediately to adjustments in temperature, whereas electric burners take a little longer to warm up or cool down. If you're cooking on an electric stovetop, you may find it more effective to physically move your skillet to a cool burner towards the end instead of turning down the heat.

I hope by showing you how I scramble my eggs, you'll see that there's really no reason you can't step up your breakfast game in just a short few minutes! I wrote this recipe for one person, because it's usually a quick meal for myself. You can easily take the ingredients and scale up though.  Don't get too caught up in the quantities - at the end of the day, technique is more important here. Some melted butter, 2 or 3 eggs per person, a splash of cream, and a small amount of shredded cheese will do the trick.

Cheesy Scrambled Eggs for One

3 eggs
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp heavy cream (optional)
2 oz. finely shredded cheese
1/2 tsp dried Fines Herbes, or 1 tsp chopped fresh herbs
Kosher salt, to taste
Cracked black pepper, to taste

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Equipment Suggested: Nonstick skillet

I start out using medium heat to melt my butter until it's sizzling, and then immediately turn the heat down to medium low. Olive oil or coconut oil also make for amazing eggs, depending on the flavor profile you want. 

Using a fork or wire whisk, whisk the eggs for a minute until they are just starting to get frothy, and then add the cream. Cream adds a little more richness to the eggs, but if you want to cut back on fat you can eliminate that and use a couple teaspoons of water instead. I was taught that water helps create fluffy eggs when liquid evaporates and the steam escapes. I don't know if that's really true but it seems to do the trick!

Whisk the eggs another minute until all the cream is evenly incorporated and there's no visible bits of gloopy egg whites. You don't want to overmix your eggs though, so don't go crazy! 

When the skillet is ready, quickly pour in the eggs.

The best tool I've found to use for scrambling eggs is a silicone spatula. It's gentle, non-stick and won't scrape your cookware. Use your spatula to push the eggs towards the center of the skillet as they set around the edge of the pan. Every few seconds as the eggs set up again, push them towards the center. This helps to keep the cooked eggs from overcooking while allowing the raw egg to flow back onto the skillet's surface.

When the eggs are still very wet but starting to turn opaque, season with a pinch of good salt and cracked black pepper. I also stir in a little bit of my Fines Herbes blend. It's a mix of parsley, chives, tarragon and chervil and a really quick way to upgrade the flavor of your scrambled eggs. When you're doing a quick dish like this, sometimes a good dried blend is the way to go - if I was making a large batch of eggs to serve for a nice occasion though, I'd take the time to finely chop some fresh herbs. Up to you.

In the last 45 seconds or so, add some shredded cheese. It's really important to grate the cheese finely so that it melts quickly. The texture of scrambled eggs will be perfect if you don't overdo it on cheese - after all, we're not making nachos we're making eggs!

Once the eggs are mostly set, you can usually turn off the heat and let the residual heat finish cooking them off gently. Continue folding the eggs in the skillet until the cheese is melted and the eggs are cooked but moist.

That's it! Told you it was easy right? From start to finish it shouldn't take you more than 10 minutes to scramble up these delicious eggs.

I hope this quick tutorial helps answer any questions you had about making perfect scrambled eggs - if you have any questions feel free to use the comment section and I'll try to cover them there!

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