Ask Peter: Green eggs
Any ideas why my scrambled eggs sometimes go a grey-greenish colour? Jane
The only reason I can think would be that you are cooking them in an aluminium pan and mixing them as they cook using a metal fork or spoon. The reaction of the metal stirrer (likely stainless steel) against the aluminium will discolour the mixture. If you are using a different sort of pan and mixing utensil to what I’ve assumed, then perhaps you need to find a better egg, as there’s no other explanation I can think of.
When I make scrambled eggs at home I tend to make them in a non-stick pan and use a silicon spatula to stir them or a wooden spoon. At the restaurant, we make them in well-seasoned stainless steel pans and stir them with a silicon spatula, and I can say I have never had grey-green eggs. Unless I wanted them that colour.
My preferred way of making a scrambled egg mixture is to whisk 2 parts egg with 1 part double cream and 0.4 parts full fat milk, then pass the mixture through a fine sieve. So, if you had 300ml eggs you’d whisk it with 150ml double cream and 60ml full fat milk.
If you can’t get double cream, skip the milk and add extra cream. This would make enough scrambled eggs for around 4 people and the number of eggs needed to give you that volume would depend on whether you’re using small, medium or large eggs.
As a general rule a standard egg is around 50g and a jumbo egg closer to 70g. So, allowing for the weight of the shell, you’d need about 7 standard eggs or 5 ½ jumbo ones to make this volume of scrambled egg mixture.
Next step, for me anyway, is to heat a fry-pan over medium heat and when nice and hot, add 50g butter and cook until it begins to just turn nut brown in colour, either shaking the pan from side to side or stirring it with a wooden spoon or heat-proof-silicon spatula.
Once it’s golden and sizzling, add a tablespoon or 2 of extra virgin olive oil (yes, extra virgin, just don’t overheat it) and pour in the egg mixture. Count to 10, then give it a gentle stir and sprinkle on some flaky sea salt and grind some fresh black pepper over the mixture. Cook over medium to gentle heat and keep gently stirring every 5-10 seconds until the mixture is 75 percent cooked/set. Turn the heat off and in 20 seconds it’ll be ready to serve.
If I wanted a green egg mixture, for example adding lots of spinach or parsley, I’d add blanched, refreshed, drained and chopped spinach or lots of flat parsley leaves to the pan as I add the oil and let it sizzle briefly. If the spinach is too wet it will make the eggs soggy and dull.
I also like to add chilli flakes, rather than fresh chopped chilli, to the butter and it gives the eggs a nice pink hue. Smoked paprika added as the oil goes in also adds a delicious “smoked bacon” flavour and is good to serve veggies recently converted from the Dark Side. Adding crumbled feta to the eggs just before they’re fully cooked gives a lovely salted chewiness. And adding sauteed bacon lardons or fried diced chorizo is always a good idea.
In our Ask Peter series, executive chef Peter Gordon answers your curly culinary questions. If you're stumped over something food-related, send your question to firstname.lastname@example.org and keep checking in for answers. You can read more on Peter on his website, have a read of his Ask Peter articles or check out his recipes on our site.