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Cooking

Eggs with extras

This Mother’s Day (or any occasion), whip up a scramble that’s truly special.

Smoked salmon, red onion, and capers make this soft scramble special.

Photographs by Jim Scherer / Styling by Catrine Kelty

Smoked salmon, red onion, and capers make this soft scramble special.

SCRAMBLED EGGS WITH SMOKED SALMON, RED ONION, AND CAPERS

Serves 4

The technique of adding an extra yolk to make the scramble more eggy comes from Cook’s Illustrated.

3 tablespoons finely chopped red onion

2 tablespoons capers

9 large eggs, plus 1 yolk

¼ cup half-and-half

Salt and pepper

1½ tablespoons unsalted butter

3 ounces smoked salmon, chopped (about ¾ cup)

3 ounces cream cheese, cut into ½-inch pieces

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

In a small bowl, cover the chopped onion with cold water and let soak for 15 minutes. Stir in the capers, drain the mixture, dry with paper towels, and set aside.

Continue reading below

In a bowl, beat the eggs and yolk, half-and-half, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper with a fork just until blended and uniformly yellow.

In a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat the butter, tilting to coat pan bottom and sides. When bubbling subsides, add the egg mixture and cook, without stirring, for about 20 seconds, then begin to constantly fold the eggs and scrape the bottom of the skillet with a stiff spatula, until eggs are semisolid and spatula leaves a trail in the pan. After 1½ minutes, add the onion-caper mixture, salmon, cream cheese, and most of the parsley. Continue to cook, folding and scraping, until the egg curds are large and firm but still moist, about 1½ to 2 minutes longer. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary, and serve at once on warmed plates, sprinkling with some of the remaining parsley.

 

Variation

SCRAMBLED EGGS WITH ASPARAGUS, PROSCIUTTO, AND SHALLOTS

Follow the directions for Scrambled Eggs With Smoked Salmon, Red Onion, and Capers, making the following changes:

1) Omit the red onion, capers, smoked salmon, cream cheese, and parsley.

2) Cook ½ pound asparagus cut into 1-inch pieces in boiling water (add 1 teaspoon salt) for 2½ minutes. Drain and transfer the asparagus to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain, dry, and set aside.

3) Before adding the eggs to the skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and saute 2 large shallots and about 3 ounces prosciutto, both thinly sliced, until shallots begin to crisp, about 7 minutes. Add the egg mixture to the skillet and proceed with the recipe. About 1½ minutes into the scrambling time, add the blanched asparagus; continue to scramble 1½ to 2 minutes longer. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary, and serve at once on warmed plates.

SCRAMBLED EGGS WITH CHIPOTLES AND TOMATOES

Serves 4

Follow the directions for Scrambled Eggs With Smoked Salmon, Red Onion, and Capers, making the following changes:

1) Omit the red onion, capers, smoked salmon, and parsley.

2) To the beaten egg mixture add 3 tablespoons finely chopped canned chipotle peppers, or more to taste, and increase the quantity of salt to ½ teaspoon.

3) About 1½ minutes into scrambling the eggs, add ¾ cup halved grape tomatoes, 3 ounces cream cheese cut into ½-inch pieces, and most of 6 scallions, thinly sliced; continue to scramble until the egg curds are large and firm but still moist, 1½ to 2 minutes longer. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary, and serve at once on warmed plates, sprinkling with some of the remaining scallions.

TIP: Fold the cooking eggs in large strokes to create billowy curds.

  

HANGTOWN FRY

Serves 4 

For my version, I top the eggs with the fried oysters rather than folding them in. Serve with hot sauce. 

6 slices bacon

9 large eggs, plus 1 yolk

2 tablespoons half-and-half

½ pint freshly shucked oysters, drained, with 2 tablespoons liquor reserved

Salt and black pepper

½ cup cornmeal, preferably stone-ground

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons paprika

¼ teaspoon cayenne

1½ tablespoons unsalted butter

6 scallions, thinly sliced (about 2/3 cup)

With the rack in the center position, heat the oven to 250 degrees. In a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, fry the bacon until crisp, about 9 minutes. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain (leaving the fat in the skillet), cool, then crumble and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, beat the eggs and yolk, half-and-half, reserved oyster liquor, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper with a fork just until blended and uniformly yellow. In another bowl, whisk the cornmeal, flour, paprika, cayenne, and ½ teaspoon each salt and black pepper.

Dry the oysters on paper towels, dip them with a slotted spoon into the egg mixture to coat, then transfer to the cornmeal mixture, tossing to coat the oysters well (gently press the mixture onto the oysters to adhere).

Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat from skillet, set over medium-high heat, and heat until the fat is hot. Add the oysters and cook until crisp, about 5 minutes, turning once. Transfer oysters to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven.

Wipe out the skillet, add the butter, and heat over medium heat, tilting to coat pan bottom and sides. When bubbling subsides, add the egg mixture and cook, without stirring, for about 20 seconds, then begin to constantly fold the eggs and scrape the bottom of the skillet with a stiff spatula, until eggs are semisolid and spatula leaves a trail in the pan. After 1½ minutes, add the crumbled bacon and most of the scallions, then continue to cook, folding and scraping, until the egg curds are large and firm but still moist, about 1½ to 2 minutes longer. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary, and serve at once on warmed plates, topping eggs with the fried oysters and sprinkling with some of the remaining scallions.

Send comments to cooking@globe.com.

 

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