Monday, February 20, 2006
The Best Scrambled Eggs in the World
Once upon a time, there was an onion and a tomato. They had big dreams. When they grew up, they wanted to be part of classically great dishes like pasta alla vongole or roast veal. So they worked hard in school, studied how to caramelise properly and how to trust themselves with the amorous advances of sizzling-hot olive oil.
Then one day, it was time. They were good little onion and tomato, hardworking and earnest, if a tad ambitious. Imagine their disappointment when they were to be used in nothing more than plain old boring scrambled eggs. Onion cried and cried as he was diced up with a cheap, blunt knife, touching the cook with his grief and causing the poor dude to cry too. Tomato, on the other hand, was coldly accepting of her fate, and succumbed to the dicing with a dignified squishiness.
Little did they know that Cook did not merely make food for the sake of sustenance, but was instead a quiet, diligent researcher of food science, avid reader of cookbooks, and a hardworking apprentice in the art of delighting by taste.
So onion was dumped into the pan with sizzling hot olive oil, tossed with panache and care as if he were a truffle or a treasured piece of salmon belly. Onion was surprised, as he expected to be burnt beyond rescue and dunked with tabasco sauce to disguise the acrid flavour. His loud wails slowly subsided to sobbing, and eventually to laughs of delight as he was carefully, evenly browned.
With a sudden burst of heat, Onion started sizzling and Tomato was thrown in, with a loud hiss of protest and the wonderful sourish aroma mingling with the homely comforting smell of saute-ed onion. Almost immediately, the pan was taken off the heat, barely singe-ing Tomato, allowing her to remain firm and juicy even as Onion was about to be caramelised.
Suddenly 3 beaten Omega eggs were dumped into the pan, flavoured with two pinches of precious sea salt. Oh woe is me!! cried onion again, Cook is going to turn up the heat and make us into fucking lumpy curds in 5 minutes.
But no! They watched in disbelief as the heat was turned all the way down, and Cook, who had just finished his basketball game and was half-naked and still dripping with sweat, lovingly caressed the egg back and forth in the pan with a wooden spatula. He did this patiently, unflinchingly, for 20 minutes over the lowest possible heat, allowing Egg to confidently congeal slowly, beautifully, into a consistency like that of the softest yoghurt, and before all of them hardened into lumps, they were already scooped out of the pan into a bowl, and sprinkled with a big share of freshly-grinded black pepper.
And so Tomato and Onion, bursting with pride, achieved their dreams of becoming a simple, great dish.
*Anyone wants to eat the Best Scrambled Eggs in the World, let me know, I'll be happy to cook for you :) Except for Sheng Wai(killian) and Weng Fai, who made a lot of stupid comments when I cooked for them last time. Stupid food noobs.