First off, about 4 years ago, we threw away our Teflon coated cookware, for similar reasons as Mr. Patterson, not to mention little pieces of the Teflon flaked off in our food, and were being ingested. Not healthy. However, after years of making beautiful omeletts with Teflon, suddenly, everything started to stick to the pan. Thus, we were excited to read about this new method.
Food: The Way We Eat: Which Came First?
A seasoned chef goes back to basics, starting with the perfect breakfast. ...At first I made scrambled eggs and toast every morning, but that was before Alexandra, my fiancée, had me throw away our Teflon pan. An environmental lawyer, she cited the lawsuits, fines and nasty press that DuPont has incurred in connection with its nonstick pans. "DuPont claims its cookware is perfectly safe," she said with the practiced disdain of her profession, "but if the fumes can kill birds when the pans are overheated, then it's probably not good for us either." This from a woman whose dinner conversation often swerves into apocalyptic territory, like the high mercury levels in tuna or how perchlorate from rocket fuel has shown up in organic greens in California....
This method requires a degree of blind faith. After all, pouring cold liquid into hot liquid promises to yield little more than murky yellow water. Following a lot of trial and error, I came to a few basic steps that lead to perfect eggs every time.
The most important factor is using only the thick whites and the yolk. At first I could get this technique to work only with very fresh farmer's-market eggs, whose viscous whites are high in protein (the main bonding agent). As eggs age, the thick part of the white erodes, and the thin, watery part increases, which is why fresh eggs (less than one week old) are best for eating, and older ones are better suited for meringues. This flummoxed me until a quick e-mail message to my friend Harold McGee, the food scientist and author of "On Food and Cooking," solved the problem. He discovered that using supermarket eggs is just fine if you start by cracking each one into a slotted spoon (or sieve) and let the thin white drain away, then work with the remaining thick white and yolk.
Next, beat the eggs with a fork, but don't add salt. (The grains of salt will tear the structure of the eggs, causing them to disintegrate on contact with the water.) Let a covered pot filled with about four inches of water come to a low boil over moderate heat, then remove the cover, add a little salt and stir the water in a clockwise motion. After you've created a mini-whirlpool, gently pour the eggs into the moving liquid, which will allow them to set suspended in the water rather than sink to the bottom of the pot, where they would stick...
After saying a quick prayer and adding the eggs, cover the pot and count to 20. Almost instantly the eggs will change from translucent to opaque and float to the surface in gossamer ribbons. This all happens very quickly, and by the time you lift the lid, they should be completely cooked.
Tilt the pot over the strainer while holding back the eggs with a spoon, and pour off most of the water. A few bits may escape, but the strainer will catch them. When the rest of the water has drained, gently slide the eggs into the strainer and let them sit there for a minute while you get bowls or remove bread from the toaster.
very happy with these: extremely fluffy. Just needed salt, and a dollop of butter.
Poached Scrambled Eggs 4 large eggs 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (optional) Fine sea salt Freshly ground black pepper.
1. Crack each egg into a medium-mesh sieve (or narrow-slotted spoon), letting the thin white drain away. Transfer the remaining yolk and white to a small bowl. Beat the eggs vigorously with a fork for 20 seconds.
2. Set a medium saucepan filled with 4 inches of water over moderate heat. Put a strainer in the sink. When the water is at a low boil, add a few large pinches of salt, then stir in a clockwise direction to create a whirlpool. Pour the eggs into the moving water, cover the pot and count to 20.
3. Turn off the heat and uncover the pot. The eggs should be floating on the surface in ribbons. While holding back the eggs with a spoon, pour off most of the water over the strainer. Gently slide the eggs into the strainer and press them lightly to expel any excess liquid.
4. Scoop the eggs into bowls, drizzle with olive oil if desired and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. (Variations: Serve with butter; smoked paprika; piment d'Espelette; or a spoonful of crème fraîche and a dollop of caviar.) Serves 2. Adapted from Daniel Patterson.