My wife's rubbery green egg pellets
By By Rober St. John / food columnist
June 19, 2002
Robert St. John is the executive chef and owner of New South Restaurant Group. His weekly food column appears in newspapers in Mississippi and Louisiana. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (601) 264-0672.
Julia Child once told me that most people underestimate the importance of being able to properly cook a scrambled egg.
Over a memorable breakfast, Child and I discussed egg-scrambling methods and techniques. My wife was sitting at the table, but she obviously wasn't paying attention to Mrs. Child.
My wife cannot scramble eggs.
The first time I ate my wife's scrambled eggs was during the first breakfast she ever cooked for me. It was early in our marriage and the eggs arrived at the table tinted in an unusual blue-green. I thought the odd color might be coming from a renegade ray of light beaming through the breakfast room window, reflecting off the wallpaper and onto my plate. No such luck. The eggs were green. Not wanting to disrupt the bliss that is newlywededness, I remained silent (and hungry).
After a few months and a dozen more helpings of uneaten breakfasts, she asked me why I didn't like scrambled eggs anymore. In a weak and reckless moment, I blurted out that the problem wasn't scrambled eggs in general, but her scrambled eggs. (In those days I was young, stupid and unwise in the diplomatic ways of a harmonious marriage).
As the old proverb says, eggs cannot be unscrambled. Likewise, comments about your wife's scrambled eggs cannot be retracted, and I was left with egg on my face.
Ah, yes, breakfast at the St. Johns.
Actually, my wife's eggs are not as much scrambled as they are rubbery-green egg pellets. Wasn't there a 1970s Top 40 hit called "God Didn't Make Little Green Rubbery Egg Pellets"? It was obviously recorded long before the good Lord and AM radio found out about my wife's cooking.
I don't know the exact chemical process that occurs to make an egg turn green, but my wife has discovered it. No she has perfected it. It is sort of like Easter in reverse. Instead of the shell being dyed, it's the yolk and whites (make that greens) that are colored.
I imagine that my wife will one day be lecturing to all of the great chemistry minds at Harvard, MIT and Jones Junior College on this amazing sauted chicken embryo-tinting process.
In addition to being green, their texture is remarkably rubbery.
Simply transferring a plate of my wife's scrambled eggs from the kitchen to the breakfast room is an adventure; they roll haphazardly around on the plate.
When walking with a plateful of my wife's rubbery-green egg pellets, one must be careful to keep the plate level at all times lest the eggs roll off of the plate, fall onto the floor and bounce back into the kitchen at which time you must return to the kitchen, pick up the pellets and start the breakfast process all over again.
My wife is the only person I know whose breakfasts require delivery tips and walking instructions.
My wife likes cheese in her eggs. The correct way to add cheese to eggs is to sprinkle finely grated cheese over the top just as the eggs are removed from the skillet. If cheese is added during the cooking process, the oil in the cheese will be released and the finished product will be oily.
Why do her eggs turn green? First off, they are over-cooked. Second, she adds pepper during the cooking process. Third, she doesn't care what I think about her eggs. She likes them over-cooked, hard and cheesy and has often let me know as much (as I'm sure she will do after she reads this column).
Maybe it is because she uses Pam cooking spray instead of butter. Pam is useful for some types of cooking, but the only non-stick substance that should grace a scrambled-egg skillet is butter. Eggs, salt, pepper, a touch of cream and butter, that's it. No Pam.
I will not eat green eggs with Pam.
I will not eat them, Rob I am.
I will not eat them if they bounce.
I will not eat them, not an ounce.
I will not eat those eggs of green.
I will not eat discolored
I will not eat them; do I have to yell it?
I will not eat those green egg pellets
For the record, (and because I like sleeping in my own bed) my wife cooks excellent pancakes and never once in her illustrious flapjack-flipping career have her pancakes come out green or rubbery.
Perfect scrambled eggs (for Jill)
3 eggs, large
2 teaspoons heavy cream or Half &Half
1 tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Crack eggs in a small bowl and stir well with a fork until the yolks and whites have just incorporated. Do not stir too vigorously or you will add air to the eggs (air is good for omelets).
Add cream to eggs and stir well. In a non-stick skillet over moderately low heat, melt the butter and tilt the pan to coat the entire surface. Add the egg mixture to the skillet. Using a rubber spatula slowly scrape the bottom of the skillet until the eggs begin to coagulate.
Continue to carefully stir the eggs until they are just done. The eggs should be almost fully cooked and custard-like (Julia Child calls them custardy lumps), yet have a slightly wet and shiny sheen to them.
Remove eggs from the skillet immediately and transfer to a plate (the eggs will continue to cook slightly for the next 30-45 seconds so it imperative to remove them just before they are done). Add salt and pepper to taste.
The key to cooking good scrambled eggs is using moderately low heat, a good non-stick skillet, rubber spatula, a touch of butter and being able to remove them from the heat just before they are done.
Julia Child reserves a few tablespoons of beaten egg to add back to the finished product. She also adds the cream at the end. I like to add cream before the scrambling begins.