Straining makes scrambled eggs airier |

Straining makes scrambled eggs airier

One of the first dishes I learned to cook was scrambled eggs. Now that’s a recipe for instant success. That’s what I thought at the time, but as I became a more serious cook I discovered that scrambled eggs were still simple to prepare but required an extra step to go from humdrum to dreamy. What is the secret• A fine meshed strainer and a bowl. After you whisk the eggs so that they are airy and well blended, you’ll find that straining the mixture creates an unusually creamy and tender final result.

Another tip is to cook the eggs on as low a heat as you can (or have time for) to develop a thick, custard-like consistency. Stirring them continually will also help. Remember that scrambled eggs will keep on cooking after you take them off the heat, so take them off a few seconds before you think they are ready and transfer them straight onto a serving plate.

I make these for my husband and myself, but you can double or even triple this for a large group, if need be. For a bigger batch, you will need to use a much larger and higher skillet, however. I really like to use a wooden spoon or high-heat plastic spatula to move the eggs around. These tools seem to work best.

Scrambled eggs with bacon or ham are a favorite weekend breakfast choice. Here those flavors are blended by using prosciutto, the Italian cured ham, which avoids additional cooking. Serve these elegant scrambled eggs with warm homemade muffins and mugs of coffee with steamed milk. A winter fruit salad with grapes, apples, pears and persimmons would be a perfect accompaniment.

Stirred Eggs with Fontina, Prosciutto and Chives

You can vary the cheese by substituting cheddar, Swiss or even goat cheese for the fontina. Crispy bacon or pancetta would make a fine substitute for the prosciutto; you will need to cook the bacon or pancetta first and then cut it into bite-size pieces.

For a vegetarian dish, add sauteed leeks or onions, mushrooms or diced tomatoes instead of the prosciutto for a vegetarian dish.

• 8 large eggs

• 2 tablespoons milk

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

• 1/4 cup finely diced fontina cheese

• 1/4 cup finely shredded prosciutto

• 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives, for garnish

In a medium-size bowl, whisk the eggs to combine. Put a fine strainer over another mixing bowl and strain the eggs, making sure that the albumen (the white stringy part) remains in the strainer. Add the milk, salt and pepper to the eggs, and stir to combine.

In a medium-size, nonstick saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the egg mixture and stir continually with a wooden spoon or high-heat plastic spatula. When the eggs begin to curd, keep stirring for 2 to 3 minutes or until the eggs are very creamy. Add the cheese and prosciutto and continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes until the eggs are still creamy but not dry, or until the desired consistency is reached. Turn into a shallow bowl and garnish with chives. Serve immediately.

Makes 2 to 3 servings.

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