I had the idea that last weekend’s cooking challenge was going to be an easy one. It was for a Country Scramble, a scrambled egg dish that contains a lot of other good stuff besides, most importantly, pan-fried potatoes. I make scrambled eggs with stuff almost every weekend, so I thought this one would be a breeze. I even planned to make biscuits to go with it.
What I ended up with was a “plate of fail.” That’s what I call the plate where food goes before burial in the trash can. In this case, it was 3 pieces of charred bacon — I’m blaming their demise on my toddler, who distracted me during the frying process — and an entire batch of biscuits. More on that later.
The eggs themselves didn’t go on the plate of fail, and my husband said he really enjoyed them, but they were not my favorite dish. I think there was too much stuff in them. When I researched Country Scramble recipes online, most of them contained similar ingredients: diced potatoes (cooked like hash browns), bell pepper, onion, cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon. I planned to add all of these, plus some scallions for freshness and color. I diced the potatoes, onion and pepper pretty small and added them to a hot pan with some of the liquid bacon grease. (By the way, 2 slices of bacon were rescued and made it into the final dish.) I mostly let them alone, turning them with a big spatula now and again until they were browned on all sides and the potatoes were tender. If I had stopped at this point, I would have had some pretty darn good hash browns.
I pressed the hash browns into a flat layer and poured over 5 eggs beaten with some salt and pepper. I sprinkled over some grated cheddar, the 2 crumbled rashers of bacon and some sliced scallions. After letting it set for a few minutes, I began to scramble. Well, the finished result tasted good, but it wasn’t really eggy enough for me. I think I could have doubled the number of eggs used and it would have been much better, but I already had made way too much for the two of us to eat.
I think I prefer my normal Sunday morning scramble, which has more egg and less stuff. I’ll put the recipe — such as it is — at the bottom of this post. By the way, my husband did take pictures, but I’m not going to post any of them, as this was not the most appetizing-looking of dishes. Judging on looks alone, the picture probably better belongs here.
As for those biscuits… I have made a lot of biscuits, from a lot of different recipes, and they usually turn out great. Biscuits are the easiest and tastiest breads you can make, after all. But I tried a new recipe called, ironically enough, “The Best Biscuits Ever.” These biscuits were a lot of work, and I think that was their downfall. I’ve never made a biscuit where the dough was worked so much. The first batch came out looking very much like hockey pucks: hard and flat and black on the bottom. To rescue the second batch, I had to pile three biscuits on top of each other for a layered effect. They were certainly flakey, but they did not rise at all. Lesson learned. I will return to my tried-and-true buttermilk biscuit recipe next time.
Here is how I usually make Sunday-morning eggs. This recipe is designed to use up little bits of leftover food before going grocery shopping on Sunday afternoon.
Sunday-Morning Scrambled Eggs
1. Go through the refrigerator and find 1, 2 or 3 things to put in the eggs. Leftover cooked veggies or potatoes are good, or a stray tomato. Onions, mushrooms or peppers will all work. Also, that last bit of cheese. If you have a little smoked salmon, prosciutto or bacon, even better. Cut up everything into bite-sized bits.
2. Beat together 2 eggs per diner, plus 1 egg for the bowl, until just combined. Stir in a dollop of cream (or half-and-half) and some salt and pepper.
3. Heat some butter in a nonstick pan over medium. Heat through or cook, if necessary, the filling ingredients you chose (except for the cheese).
4. When the filling is ready, spread it out in a single layer and pour the eggs over. Sprinkle with crumbled or grated cheese and some herbs, if you have any. Let the eggs sit for a minute or two, until they start to set.
5. Using a rubber spatula, scoop and fold the eggs to create big, fluffy curds. Keep scooping until the eggs are cooked the way you like them. I like mine a little wet, but some people prefer them to be entirely dry. Serve immediately with toast of some sort or biscuits.