After an hour and a half in the dentist chair this morning, I was feeling a little delicate at lunchtime, despite the gentle and thoughtful care of my dentist, Marc Mortiboys. So when it came to lunch, something soft and soothing seemed appropriate, and remembering Marc has been telling me about the health-giving and anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric, sprinkling some on some soft and creamy scrambled eggs seemed a good way to go. I also read about how exceptional this spice is in this month’s Red magazine, with extracts from Elizabeth Peyton Jones’s Eat Yourself Young and found some more information in Sally Beare’s The Live-Longer Diet book, which I reviewed on the blog in January.
We’re used to turmeric as the bright yellow spice that flavours and colours curries; it’s sometimes used instead of saffron – as it is much cheaper – to colour paella but really shouldn’t be as it’s not the same flavour at all. It’s a pungent spice and as a member of the ginger family has a similar lemon-y smell. Its health-giving properties are impressive: apart from being an anti-inflammatory, as said above, it’s said to boost the immune system, aid digestion, lower bad cholesterol, keep bones strong, repair cell damage and detoxify the liver. Well, you might wonder, how on earth did you ever manage without it! So, I’ve been thinking about how to use it more and today’s lunch of scrambled eggs seemed a good start.
But how to cook perfect scrambled eggs, I wondered? I may have been scrambling eggs since I was a school kid, but whenever I write on the blog, I like to check out the experts’ advice. And when it comes to something as basic and classic as scrambled eggs, then where better to go than Delia and her Cookery Course and a quick look in my 1923 edition of Mrs Beeton’s Cookery Book.
Mrs Beeton adds a little milk to the eggs, as my mother taught me. A dairy addition to eggs I discussed when writing about cooking the perfect omelette. However, I decided to go with Delia on scrambled eggs. She tells us that she is ‘a disciple of Escoffier’. Thus, no milk. However, she does say for a touch of luxury you can add a little thick cream, but I thought that was definitely a creaminess too far for me. Especially for lunch.
These two eggs weren’t as fresh as those wonderful eggs I enjoyed at Manoir de Laize in the summer, still warm from the hens, but they were Waitrose’s best organic Black Columbian. With such a simple dish, you need good tasting eggs.
Beat two large eggs with some salt and pepper. Melt a good knob of butter in a small saucepan till foaming but don’t allow to brown.
Add the eggs and stir briskly with a wooden spoon.
When the eggs come together but are not quite done and there’s still a little liquid, remove from the pan (they are going to go on cooking in the warm pan and you don’t want to overcook and them become rubbery), add another knob of butter and mix well.
Transfer to a plate (warm preferably) and sprinkle over some turmeric.
Serve with some toast on the side. Unfortunately the only bread I had in the house was day-old traditional baguette from Paul. An excellent bread but toasted a little crunchier than ideal post-dentist. However, it still tasted good and I ate it carefully. The egg was fabulous. I think it was much better than my usual scrambled egg, partly for following Delia’s instructions but because of the care I took, rather than just throwing the eggs in the pan to do them quickly without much thought. It does prove that food cooked with love is so much nicer. They were so creamy and buttery and the turmeric added a delicious warming spiciness that was perfect both for my delicate mouth and the autumnal rainy day outside. Mmmm. I’m definitely going to be scrambling eggs for lunch more often.