MUSTARD ALERT! MUSTARD ALEEEEEEEERT!
[ Airhorn noises ]
I recently had an epiphany and I wanted to share it with the world. I’m pretty fascinated by scrambled eggs. How can something that’s so simple, lead to such contentious fighting over the right way to prepare it? Some people always add cream, others say that’s forbidden. Some whisk eggs in a bowl, while others crack them into the pan and mix.
Let’s just say…there’s a lot going on in the world of scrambled eggs. But it was in a pretty unlikely place, that I found the very best addition to this humble dish – Dijon Mustard.
Last week I was writing about my love for using dijon mustard (along with its brother in arms, soy sauce) on baked salmon. The flavor is assertive, the texture creamy – it makes for a perfect marinade. But what other dish can happily accept some bold flavors and benefits from a smooth, creamy texture? Scrambled eggs!
I half suspected this to be a terrible idea, a bit of mad-science experiment on breakfast. It turned out to be a glorious gift from the heavens, and I’ll explain why.
Dijon Scrambled Eggs
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Cook time – 10 minutes
When it comes to making scrambled eggs, I’m normally a bit of a purist. I start by cracking the eggs into a bowl, and whisking vigorously until fully mixed. While some disagree, I add salt at this point because it helps the eggs to retain their moisture. Don’t believe me? Head here for a very thorough debunking of the myth that pre-salting dries out eggs.
Pour your egg mixture into a ROOM TEMPERATURE PAN and toss in your butter and dijon. Stir to get the mustard evenly distributed around, and then turn on the heat to very low. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, gently stir the eggs regularly so that the bottom doesn’t dry out.
For the first few minutes, it will almost seem like your eggs aren’t cooking, but don’t cave and turn up the heat. Cooking eggs low and slow lets them cook very evenly, so your bottom doesn’t overcook. Keep stirring, and after about five minutes you’ll notice large curds start to form. Keep them moving, and after another three minutes your eggs will firm up to a finished product.
Keep in mind that the eggs will continue cooking even after you turn off the heat for a minute or two, so you’ll want to stop the cooking process a little before your preferred done-ness. I personally like my eggs very creamy, but something interesting happened with the addition of the dijon mustard.
Despite not cooking them for very long at all, you can see that the eggs have turned into pretty tight, firm curds. Normally, that means they’ll be pretty tough and dry (by egg standards), but it wasn’t the case at all here! The eggs, while firm, maintained a surprising amount of moisture. It was almost like when you sear off a steak to keep the moisture locked inside, my eggs retained their creamy interior. But why?
It turns out, that dijon mustard, besides being delicious, contains two very interesting things for your eggs – fat and acid. The fat part is pretty obvious – adding more luscious fat makes for more decadent eggs. But the acid is less straightforward.
Acids, by way of vinegar or citrus, is a common addition to many egg dishes. Hard-boiling some eggs? Put some white vinegar in the water! Poached eggs? Serve with lemony hollandaise! It turns out that the acid helps the eggs with coagulation, turning from liquid to a semi-solid.
More importantly, the addition of acid to our scrambled eggs helps them to firm up without drying out. So if you’re not such a huge fan of creamier, scrambled eggs this recipe’s for you!
The one thing that I haven’t really mentioned, but is the very best part of this dish, is the flavor. I LOVE dijon flavors, and the eggs picked them up nicely. While you can still clearly taste the eggs, the dijon added plenty of savory, but with a subtle nuttiness that really complements the eggs perfectly.
So feel free to drop in a dollop of dijon mustard into your next eggs, you’ll be happy you did!
Not Chef Jared