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A recipe from hospital

Hospital food is renowned. Even today when it’s a lot better than it was in the past, it’s still not great. Think of school dinners, but with smaller portions. I think most of us on the ward spend a disproportionate amount of time waiting for the next meal. With that in mind I thought I would write about one of my more successful recipes: scrambled eggs.

“What a humble dish!” you’re probably thinking, and often you would be right. If you Google howto scramble eggs or recipe scrambled eggs, then each of the first two hits gives the same sort of instructions. They all start by getting you to break some eggs into a bowl, add salt, maybe add milk or cream, and beat lightly. This is plain wrong. In fact, most of what is written about scrambling eggs gives you the sort of meal you get in a café. My scrambled eggs would not be out of place in a good restaurant.

The traditional way A better way
4 eggs 4 eggs
Butter 1.5 oz unsalted butter
salt seasoning
milk or cream 2 tbs crème fraîche

In the traditional recipe you break the eggs into a bowl, add some salt and maybe some milk or cream, whisk the eggs lightly and then pour into a lightly buttered, small frying or omelette pan. Cook them over a medium or low heat, keeping them moving so that they don’t go rubbery. Add something to flavour them, such as smoked salmon, and turn out over some toast. A perfectly respectable dish. Scrambled eggs can be so much more.

In a medium saucepan, melt the unsalted butter over a low heat. I know it sounds like a lot, but it’s worth it, I promise. Break the eggs carefully into the pan. Don’t whisk them, or even break the yolk. Do not add salt yet. If you do, the eggs will be watery. With a spatula keep moving the eggs around. The whites will start to set, and shortly one of the yolks will break and join the mixture. Just incorporate the yellow with the white naturally. The motion should be a sort of scoop and turn with the spatula. Continue doing this while the eggs cook. They’ll cook quite slowly, and will stay liquid for some time. You want to cook them very slowly, so every now and again take the pan off the heat and stir for a while.

Eventually the eggs will begin to set. When they look fluffy and almost set, but they are still soft, take the pan off the heat and add the crème fraîche. That will stop the eggs cooking any more. You can also add the flavouring ingredients, including the salt. I like chives and smoked salmon, or parma ham, torn into strips.

Turn out the eggs onto toast. Some authorities recommend toasted sour dough bread, which is very good, but any good bread toasted lightly will be wonderful with this recipe.

And now it’s confession time. This isn’t my recipe at all, it comes from Gordon Ramsey:

UPDATE: Edited to correct the egregiously misspelt yolk. Thank you, Carol.

{ 3 } Comments

  1. Frosty | 2 March 2010 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Love scrambled eggs & will definitely try this variation with your recommendation ;o)

    Just want to wish you all the best with the treatment whilst I’m away. Web access permitting I will try to update the blog & keep up to date with how you’re getting on.

  2. icyjumbo | 2 March 2010 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Great. I know you’ll love them. They do them this way in the Glass House in W. and they’re almost as good as mine 😉

    Have a great time on your travels. You can tell us all about them when you get back if not before.

  3. Carol | 3 March 2010 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    It makes my ‘mix up the eggs and microwave them, stirring occasionally’ sound like a sacrilege!

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