One of my absolute favoritest online comics is XKCD. Grand illustrations from this comic shall pepper my food posts for a while.
|I L L U S T R A T I O N|
|Lakes and Oceans|
random childhood memory
I used to have chickens for pets. There were two bantam hens that laid blue eggs. One had orange and gold feathers and she peeped from the time she was a tiny, tiny chick and kept the peeping into adulthood. The other was all black and her face looked rather like an eagle’s. She was fearless and fought raccoons at night.
“the unfertilized ova of birds”
I was waxing rhapsodic during a conversation about food, eggs in particular, when a professional pool player stated the above phrase with mild disgust. He was a vegetarian himself and could not comprehend why I would want to eat eggs. You get one guess as to which pool player that might be.
I still eat eggs.
They are still quite delicious.
We talked about poached eggs last time (although we did no poaching). This time, the focus is scrambled eggs. Once again, it’s a simple dish but the difference between good and fanf#ckingtastic is small details. You want your eggs to be fluffy and moist after scrambling, which is actually something that can be hard to achieve when you’re cooking protein over high heat.
|Oh, look. Perfectly scrambled eggs on toast with a variety of scrumptious accompaniments. Brought to you by the overachieving foul-mouthed chef known as Gordon Ramsay.|
|The way Mr. Ramsay cooks these eggs is not for those with a rushed morning.|
|Crème fraîche is a soured cream which is less sour than the “sour cream” typically found in your higher-end grocer’s dairy case.|
As a proletariat cook, I don’t have the time (nor funding) to go poking around Whole Foods for real crème fraîche. I use Greek yogurt instead. When possible, use full-fat Greek yogurt. Low-fat dairy stuff tends to curdle during cooking.
Fines herbes is made up of fresh parsley, chives, tarragon and chervil. I used dried herbs due to my aforementioned proletariat status. For this recipe, I bought a small jar of Penzey’s Fines Herbes blend for $1.79. Stealin’!
Penzey’s Spices is my current retail obsession. There is a store located within a reasonable distance of where I live (and if I really haul ass, I can make it before they close after I’m done with work). In particular, their prices are very reasonable (they import directly — no middleman), the quality is very high, and they sell smaller increments than most grocery stores so your stash doesn’t go stale before you’re done using it up (most spices last 18 months or so when stored in a cool, dry place away from light). I had to toss out all my old spices after fumigation last year (bummer) so I am slowly rebuilding (happily!) with the aid of Penzey’s.
Again, to eggfinity… and BEYOND!
Scrambled Eggs with Salmon Roe
One man’s bait is another man’s delicacy.
If you don’t like salmon roe, you can omit it from this recipe. If you like salmon roe, this easy recipe executed properly will make a bad day good, a good day great, and have you calling it “My Precioussss”.
|Here’s the chalk-egg-EGG photograph from the last time I cooked a goose egg. (The dish was not aesthetically pleasing, but it tasted daaaamn gooood.)|
|(Since I had to buy chicken eggs just so I could do this comparison photo, expect more egg recipes in the near future.)|
|This dish is a bird egg seasoned/garnished/accented with fish eggs. That’s like a mobius strip of egginess.|
I use Gordon Ramsay’s method of scrambling eggs (see video above) with some additional ingredients, shown below in the order of use.
That is ikura above, Japanese seasoned salmon roe bought from the place I like to call “NinjaMart”. (Nijiya Market — which means “Rainbow Market” — is the proper name, but I prefer associating one of my favorite markets with deadly ninjas rather than happy rainbows.) Ikura (イクラ) is a Japanese word adapted from ikra, the Russian word for “caviar”. Ikura is salmon roe that has been separated and then cured in soy sauce (or salt) and rice wine. The curing reduces the “fishy” taste and odor. You can also buy unseasoned salmon roe as well as roe that is still in the egg sac.
|Meet my newest pan. I have yet to name this one. (I name most of my appliances and favorite bits of cookware.)|
|Of course the goose egg would crack picturesquely for a dish that does not require it be cooked in a picturesque manner (unlike my last goose egg foray) for glamour shots after.|
|I would say one goose egg is equal to at least two large chicken eggs.|
|Place the egg over high heat and throw in some butter.|
|I should have used room temperature butter. Dogged it on that one.|
|I use a silicone spatula to stir things up.|
|When I feel the heat is cooking too fast, I take the pan off the burner (leaving the burner on) and continue stirring.|
|I learn that it is hard to take pictures of a dish meant to be cooked speedily over high heat.|
|I bring the pan back to the hot burner and stir some more. Things begin to congeal.|
|I mentioned it in my last goose egg post, but I’ll reiterate — the whites in a goose egg are quite different from those in a chicken egg. I feel the goose egg white is almost gelatinous and doesn’t cook up as opaque nor as hard.|
|Off the burner again. You can see the nice texture of the egg.|
|Time to gently fold in a dollop of creme fraiche (which I don’t have, but you should)/Greek yogurt.|
|I put too big of a dollop here, unfortunately, and ended up thinning the lovely fluffy texture to something more custard-like.|
|Off the heat but the pan is plenty hot.|
|Let’s sprinkle some
|Fresh herbs are the best but it’s not likely I’ll use up the bunches of fresh herbs before they go bad. If you do want to use fresh herbs, but don’t have your own herb garden and don’t want to buy all the different kinds, fresh chives are an excellent option.|
|Now we gently fold in the unfertilized ova of fishes.|
|Everything is folded gently. It’s like a very loving sort of origami. With food.|
Add some additional salmon roe for garnish as well as another sprinkling of pixie dust and you have…
Yes, it still looks custard-y. It tasted great, though — the roe and herbs held up well to the Scrooge McDuck levels of yolky richness. I will try this again with chicken eggs and I have no doubt they’ll turn out better in the texture department, although if they didn’t, I wouldn’t care.
A natural use for these very soft scrambled eggs was to put them on crostini, like so:
I used fines herbes like a drag queen with glitter and confettied (not a real word) one to make it look all pretty and high-society on its plate. A light dusting of fresh ground pepper (not shown here) also adds a nice flavor. This turned out excellent. The crisp, lightly seasoned crostini complemented the richness of the egg and roe. Yummers.
Salmon roe is optional if you don’t like it, but it is good.
Scrambled Eggs with Salmon Roe
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon creme fraiche or full-fat Greek yogurt
- 3 tablespoons salmon roe
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Chopped fines herbes (parsley, chives, tarragon and chervil), fresh (1 tablespoon) or dried (1 teaspoon), or herbs of your choice (chives are popular)
- Freshly ground black pepper