Before you go off on me with ‘Come on Will, I was planning on coming here for recipes and you’re posting scrambled eggs?’ hear me out.
I am in the pursuit of becoming a better cook. Which means I’m not just trying to blow through a list of fancy dishes I can impress people with at a dinner party. I want to learn the fundamentals of cooking (food pairings, cooking techniques and combining spices).
Scrambled eggs are the perfect vessel for learning spice combinations because 1) we’re all familiar with the taste of them and 2) you can add just about anything to eggs and they’ll taste good (A guilty pleasure of mine is a PB&J with an over easy egg in it. Don’t hate, try it).
For this weeks lesson, I’m going to be trying two different combinations, Northeast African and Middle Eastern. For the Northeast African scrambled eggs I’m using powdered garlic, ground cumin and dried mint. The Middle Eastern eggs take lemon and dried parsley.
I also took this as a chance to learn how to cook something I’ve been cooking since I was a kid. Making scrambled eggs is one of those things that’s so engraved into our brain that we don’t put any thought into it at all. Now I am.
First tip, don’t cook on high. Just because the oven can go that high doesn’t mean it’s the best setting, even if it’s faster. 4 Hour Chef says to cook the eggs on low and stir them about once a minute until they have a texture that translates from the French baveuse to snotty (I bet you’ll never forget this description).
Second, make sure you add your spices from an appropriate height. Sprinkling from between your fingers compared to shaking from the jar can make or break a recipe. How many times have you been shaking your spice container with nothing coming out until the whole container dumps at once? I’ve had it mess up my share of recipes. You can feel what’s happening between your fingers. You have no sense for how fast or slow that container is going to spew.
With these tips in mind, grab some eggs and some spices, and try some different combinations out. You should begin to take note that unlocking the distinct flavours of the world can be accomplished with a couple substitutions in spices.
Next week I’ll have a real recipe. Until then, explore the spice cabinet.