Think cooking is hard, it’s not. I’m not talking about being a gourmet chef, I am talking about being able to prepare meals and snacks that taste good and are nutritious. Knowing how to cook gives you the confidence to travel where there may not be a restaurant, and outside the US, most good food is cheap. And men, other than the benefits of not starving to death and saving money, there is another benefit to cooking; to woo women. Whip out some au gratin potatoes and pasta salad while camping in Patagonia while others are looking in their pouch of reconstituted rice and beans and you could be well on your way to having help warming your sleeping bag.
Cooking will be a continuing series of this blog, with cooking basics and recipes; including cooking and baking chemistry that will allow you to create meals from whatever is on hand and suggestions for basic cooking tools you should carry. We are going to start with basics and build from there with ideas on variations so you can make many similar meals from a basic plan.
One of the most basic things to know is how to cook eggs. If you are an adult and don’t know how to cook eggs, you are behind the curve. So this will be your first lesson, how to cook scrambles eggs. Specifically scrambled eggs because they can be added to or varied for not just breakfast but lunch and dinner meals.
How to crack an egg:
Note: This may seem silly but, don’t use a hard boiled egg.
1. Grasp said egg in your dominant hand between your thumb and first two or three fingers (depending on size of the egg).
2. Smack (with more force than a tap) the egg on a hard flat surface. You should have a large dent in the egg and hopefully it has ruptured. Insert your two thumbs in the dent and pull the egg apart. Always pull the egg apart while pointing the opening into whatever container you intend the egg to go – this goes double if the egg is not ruptured because when you rupture it, the egg may “explode” in the direction of the opening. This is a good way to end up wearing part of the egg if like most, you are pointing it at yourself while trying to pull it apart.
Hint: Drop the egg into a small bowl first before placing in bowl with other ingredients. This way if the egg is bad you can just throw it out. If there is shell in with the egg, use another larger piece of the shell to fish it out.
Now as promised; Scrambled eggs:
Things you will need.
- 2 – 3 eggs (how hungry are you).
- A pan.
- A wooden spoon or silicon spatula.
- A fork ( or whisk but since you will need the fork again later just use it now).
- A mixing bowl.
1. Crack the eggs as above and place one at a time in a mixing bowl.
2. Beat with fork (or whisk) till the yolks and whites are blended thoroughly.
3. Put the pan over medium low heat and melt a heaping teaspoon of butter in the pan moving it around while melting.
4. Once the butter is melted, pour the eggs into the pan.
5. Move the eggs around with your spoon or spatula while cooking. This ensures the eggs cook evenly.
6. People like their scrambled eggs “softer” or “harder” than others. Just keep stirring till they look like you like them.
7. Remove eggs from heat. Immediately place on a plate or eat. Eggs left in a pan will get “rubbery”.
For the minimalist approach, just put the eggs in the pan and scramble them there. Don’t forget to melt the butter first. And if you are using a non-stick pan, don’t use your fork or metal whisk to stir the eggs. Use that wood spoon I mentioned earlier and you can use it to eat the eggs with also, sweet.
Some people like to add milk to the eggs, this is suppose to make them fluffier. You can use about a tablespoon of cold water and get the same result, or just cook them over low heat.
Add ingredients like cheese or green onion and chive. Whatever spice or extras I am adding, I like to put in the pan with the butter to let them cook just a bit before adding the eggs. This helps release the flavor of your spices and make sure that the cheese is completely melted into the eggs.
Cooking Heat: I can’t stress this enough. The number one mistake that ruins eggs is trying to cook them too fast. At most use medium-low heat.
More minimalist cooking recipes and ideas to come.