Jul 15, 2009

Egg Phobia

Eggs are one of the few foods that weird me out. I cannot bring myself to eat anything with raw or undercooked eggs. Sunny Side Up...out. Over Easy...no way. Hollandaise Sauce...forget it. Egg Nog...please, no. I don't even want to smell it. As much as I love (am addicted to) chocolate, I can't eat chocolate mousse that's been made with tempered eggs or raw frothy egg whites. I can't even brush beaten egg over pastries or breads before baking because it comes out too eggy tasting in the end.

And it isn't so much about salmonella. It's the smell. If I catch the scent of raw, undercooked, or overcooked eggs...no way I'm eating whatever it is.
I have egg phobia. Wait. Let me just settle onto the couch for a minute. There we go. It all started when I was 8. I was helping make Sunday breakfast before church. My job was to crack the eggs. I cracked a few into the stainless steel bowl, noticing that the combination of raw egg and stainless steel gave off a bizarre (and unpleasant) odor. Then it happened. I reached for another egg and cracked it. It was as if the contents were under pressure. When I cracked the egg on the side of the bowl, it exploded, showering me and my fancy church clothes with rotten egg. I shrieked. I cried. I swore off eggs for a very long time.
Then one day, Tyler Florence helped me work through the demons of my past. I was watching Food 911 (ok, I was watching Tyler Florence, whatever). Tyler was helping some gal make breakfast for a shower-brunch-party kinda thing. He showed her how to make the perfect scrambled eggs. I remember him telling this woman that knowing how to master scrambled eggs was a sign of a good cook. And then he topped the scrambled eggs with slices of avocado, said something like "awright, cool," then everyone smiled and ate. And I had some serious thoughts going on. #1: I want to be a good cook. #2: Those eggs actually look pretty good and so far Tyler hasn't steered me wrong. #3: avocado on top of eggs is just odd enough for me to have to try.
If your scrambled eggs are just so-so, if they are hard and rubbery, if they are not light, fluffy, cloud-like heavenly bits of joy...try this version. And add some sliced avocado. Don't wrinkle your nose just yet. Buttery, creamy avocado works well with the eggs.

Perfect Scrambled Eggs w/ Avocado
from Tyler Florence/ Food 911

12 eggs
1/4 c heavy cream or half and half
3 tbsp unsalted butter
sea salt and black pepper
3 ripe avocados
chives for garnish, if desired

Crack the eggs into a bowl. Add the cream and whisk until the eggs look foamy and light. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Melt the butter until it foams, then turn the heat down to low and slowly pour in the eggs. Using a heat resistant rubber spatula, slowly stir the eggs from the outside of the pan to the center. Once the eggs begin to set, stirring slowly will create large, cloud-like curds. This sounds easy but perfect scrambled eggs that are soft and custard-like with no brown color are a sign of a really good cook. This process takes about 10 minutes. Season the eggs with a few cranks of black pepper and good salt, like fleur de sel. Serve with a few slices of avocado and a little chopped fresh chive. Serves about 6.

*I also add a pinch of salt to the avocado slices

I'm not into fussy breakfasts...unless someone else cooks. This is easy.

Whisk eggs and cream together until the eggs turn a light color and are frothy. The cream and the whisking help with the fluff factor.

Melt the butter until it turns foamy, a good indicator of when the pan is ready. This is my egg pan. I can't make scrambled eggs in any other.

Before adding the eggs, make sure the fire is on low. Don't rush it. This, and the folding technique are how you're going to get that cloud-like, fluffy goodness. And remember, this comes from someone with egg phobia.

It's hard to explain the folding deal in words. Let's go to video.

All that's left is to season the eggs with sea salt and black pepper. Serve topped with sliced avocado. I like to sprinkle a little salt on the avocado too.

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