Scallion Cream Cheese Eggs (SCC)
Two posts ago, Paula wrote about how she is the undisputed and default Breakfast Maker around here. Until it comes to scrambled eggs, that is…
That’s been the one breakfast dish where I refuse to surrender my spatula.
I typically don’t get as excited about scrambled eggs as I do about fried eggs (or anything with a runny yolk), but these are the exception.
The cream cheese — especially when added at just the right moment — blends beautifully into the eggs, making them creamy and rich, with a few little pockets of pure melty creaminess hidden throughout. The scallions add the perfect combination of green pops of color, herby freshness, and oniony flavor (without the oniony texture — key to Paula’s willingness to eat this!).
The “SCC” name and idea come directly from one of my favorite breakfast places in Madison, WI, called Lazy Jane’s Cafe. I try to go there nearly every time I’m in Madison, mostly for their Morning Buns, but the SCC is also something worth visiting for (even though it’s infinitely more make-at-home-able than Morning Buns are…).
I like making SCC scrambled eggs on weekend mornings — topped with a grind of black pepper — and going all out with buttered toast, sliced avocado, and sliced tomatoes or cherry tomatoes on the side (not that you really need the avocado, since the eggs are so rich already…).
Plain scrambled eggs now seem boring and less appealing to me, although they’ll still do in a (scallion-less) pinch. But the thing about scrambled eggs is that I’m very particular about how they get that way.
Even during the WORST weeks of my tendinitis this summer, when Paula did 99.99% of the cooking, dish-washing, water-pouring, tv remote button-pushing, and heavy lifting, there was one little 0.01% of effort made by me: Paula would beat some eggs, I would cook them with a slightly pained grip on the spatula, and Paula would then plate the scramble (and wash the dishes).
Paula, like many people I think, still subscribes to the strategy of actively scrambling the eggs in the pan, whereas I try to nudge them around as little as possible, since after all, the eggs still get “scrambled” when they’re initially whisked in the bowl.
Since I learned this relatively hands-off approach to making light, fluffy, and never-browned scrambled eggs, I’ve become very picky about whose/which scrambled eggs I enjoy; anything stirred too often, so that it toughens up into many little egg “crumbs,” is not my texture of choice. Do the opposite — with no stirring at all — and you’ll end up with an omelette, so the key, of course, is something in the middle.
Here is the technique I use for fluffy scrambled eggs:
- Pre-heat the pan, with a little olive oil in it, on low heat (lower than you think) for longer than you think (5-10 minutes). This will ensure that the pan is evenly heated, so you’ll avoid any browning.
- A minute or so before you add the beaten egg mixture, raise the heat a little (to medium-low or medium). Then pour in the eggs and don’t touch them for at least 30 seconds or maybe even a minute.
- Don’t stir the eggs around in the pan. Do gently nudge the cooked parts of the eggs away from the edges of the pan and toward a pile in the center. Once you have a fluffy pile of only partially cooked egg you can flip it over if you want, but your main job is just to scrape the (cooked) layers of egg that form along the bottom of the frying pan and nudge them out of the way of the still-runny egg that needs a turn along the bottom, too, in order to get cooked.
- Once your layered, fluffy clumps of egg have all formed, you can flip them to make sure they’re fully cooked on all sides, and finally, use your spatula to break up the very large pieces into smaller ones if you like.
Add in extra complications, like cream cheese and scallions, and you won’t get such perfect pillows of eggs, but I still essentially follow this basic technique. I like adding other ingredients to scrambled eggs sometimes, too — spinach or cilantro, grated pepperjack or goat cheese, and Paula likes soy-rizo — but tomatoes are strictly on the side, since they’re nearly impossible to add to either scrambles or omelettes without the undesired accompanying wateriness.
Maybe, just maybe, after Paula reads this blog post, I will loan her my scrambled egg spatula, but then again, it’s always nice to be able to make one delicious breakfast dish for someone who makes you 99.99% of your other breakfasts.
Print this recipe. (PDF)
Scallion Cream Cheese Eggs (SCC)
(Inspired by the SCC at Lazy Jane’s Cafe in Madison, WI)
Active and Total time: 15 minutes.
~ 4 eggs, beaten
~ splash of milk or nondairy milk (optional)
~ 1 Tbsp. olive oil
~ 2-5 scallions, diced (optionally reserve some to garnish)
~ 1½ – 2 oz. cream cheese, cut into cubes while cold
~ freshly ground black pepper, for serving
How to make it:
1. Beat the eggs in a bowl, optionally adding a small splash of milk, and set aside.
2. Add the olive oil to a non-stick frying pan and warm over medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes, then add the diced scallions and let sizzle, stirring occasionally for at least another 3-5 minutes. (The goal is to heat the pan slowly, so that it’s evenly heated, while cooking the scallions as much as desired.)
3. Once the scallions are cooked as desired, and the pan is heated, pour in the beaten eggs over the scallions, but don’t touch them for the first 30 seconds. Then start to gently nudge the cooked parts of the eggs away from the edges of the pan and toward a pile in the center. Continue scraping the (cooked) layers of egg that form along the bottom of the frying pan and nudging them out of the way of the still-runny egg that needs a little time along the bottom, too.
4. As soon as your spatula starts to leave some clear paths along the bottom of the frying pan (but while most of the eggs are still runny and uncooked), add the cubes of cream cheese. Gently fold the cream cheese into the eggs by flipping somewhat-cooked clumps of egg upside down onto the cream cheese, but try not to stir or break up the eggs too much.
5. The eggs are fully cooked when you can tell that any remaining soft white parts are just melty cream cheese and not uncooked egg whites. Use your spatula to break up large pieces into smaller ones if desired, and transfer to plates so that it doesn’t start to brown.
6. Optionally garnish with a pinch of reserved scallions, and serve warm with a grind of black pepper (and toast!).
Print this recipe! (PDF)
Related recipe posts:
|Cheesy Skillet Potatoes and Eggs||Eggs Benedict with Greek Yogurt Hollandaise Sauce||Huevos Rancheros||Skillet-Baked Eggs with Garlicky Yogurt|