We’ve given up our non-stick pans, and we earnestly sauté with our seasoned cast iron and other non-toxic cookware. And that’s great. But what about scrambled eggs cooked without copious amounts of butter or oil? Maybe some of you have found the answer, but for the rest, Daniel Patterson comes to the rescue with his recipe for 40-second poached-scrambled eggs. As miraculous as the face of Jesus on toast, the result is perfectly scrambled eggs that require no non-stick cookware and no added fat.
The idea of the poach-scramble mash-up came to the San Francisco chef when he gave up his Teflon scrambling pan and needed to get resourceful – green is the mother of invention. The result is an ingenious technique that has all the healthful niceties of poached eggs without the fussiness, and all the texture and taste of scrambled eggs without the fat. Here's an ever-so-slightly shortened version of the method.
4 large eggs
1. Put a strainer in the sink.
2. Crack the eggs in a bowl and stir vigorously for 20 seconds.
3. Add 4 inches of water and salt to a medium saucepan and place over moderate heat. When the water reaches a gentle boil, stir in a circle to create a vortex, and pour eggs into the center of the whirlpool. Cover the pot, count to 20. Turn off heat and remove lid.
4. The eggs should be cooked and floating on the surface. Drain off water into strainer, holding eggs back with a slotted spoon, then slide the eggs into the strainer. Gently press on the eggs to remove any extra water. Serve.
Patterson recommends straining the thinnest whites from the eggs first, but farm-fresh eggs seem not to require this step. For his exact version, see the description in The New York Times Magazine.