Espresso Machine Scrambled Eggs

espresso machine scrambled eggs

I’ve posted this everywhere else in the world so far, so I figured I may as well make an
actual post about it on my blog, for the future generations to marvel at. I’ve had some interesting reactions so far, ranging from “that’s amazing, I might try it” to “I just threw up in my mouth”. Feel free to take whatever side you’d like, I won’t be offended… much.

So the story goes like this:

I scrambled these eggs using my espresso machines steamwand.

I cracked three eggs into a milk jug, added a few splashes of milk and about 50 grams of melted butter, added some salt and pepper, and stirred it all through.

Then I went and put it under the steam wand of my Isomac Mondiale, prayed that the coffee Gods would not strike me down, and turned on the steam… Using roughly the same technique as I would for steaming milk for cappuccinos, but leaving the tip immersed lower down in the eggs, rather than at the top, for around about 30 seconds.

For about 20 seconds it all looked very strange, like a creamy yellow vortex of uncertainty. The steam wand was also making the kind of noises that tend to indicate it’s not happy, roughly akin to the noise a cat might make while you’re repeatedly stepping on it’s tail. Then suddenly the eggs began to set it all came together in one thick solid gooey mess of bouncy eggishness.

At that point i turned off the steam, using a large spatula to stir the eggs through, as there was some parts more runny than others, and stirring it they seemed to combine nicely and the residual heat of the milk jug brought it all together some more.

Then I poured it out onto some toast, and served the eggs with bacon and fresh cracked pepper.

It took me about 10 minutes to clean the steam wand back to a point where i’d want to use it for milk again… The egg cooks and cakes on to the metal in ways that milk can only dream of.

In the end though, it was a perfectly tasty rendition of scrambled eggs, with a lovely airy consistency.

Thanks to Adam from Amateur Gourmet for the inspiration:

I tried to take a video of the whole process but failed miserably. Think blair witch project if they were trapped in the forest with only an espresso machine, a chicken, and a really long extension cord to fend for themselves. But because I’m such a nice guy who can handle the embarrassment, here it all is in all it’s horrible grainy video glory.

2010 W.A Barista Competition – Day 1

2010 WA Barista Competition

It’s been a huge day today as day one of the Detpak W.A Barista Championships got underway. This year W.A has 16 awesome baristas vying for the title of the states best, and a chance to be flown to the Gold Coast to represent W.A in the national finals early next year.

The first day of competition today at the Mount Hawthorn Community Hall had 11 competitors all strutting their stuff. Everyone competing admirably and doing their bit to further the appreciation of good coffee in W.A.

Tomorrow sees a further 5 competitors round out the barista competition, and the the states best latte artists will take to the stage
to see who can take away the Pura Milk Latte Art championship.

Finally, the who’s who of Perth’s coffee palates will compete in the Fairtrade Cup Tasting competition, a fast paced race to pick the odd coffee out of 8 sets of 3 cups. The winner is whoever gets the most right in the fastest time.

The event is open to the public and everyone who is into coffee at all is encouraged to come down. We have a coffee cart selling $2 coffees made by our competitors, and coffee roasting demonstrations run by local home roaster Trevor Green.

Tomorrow’s action will get underway at 9am and run through til the afternoon, so there’s plenty of time to come along and see what the best baristas in the state have to offer.

Here’s a few shots from todays action taken by Jon Wilson:

2010 WA Barista Competition2010 WA Barista Competition2010 WA Barista Competition2010 WA Barista Competition2010 WA Barista Competition2010 WA Barista Competition2010 WA Barista Competition2010 WA Barista Competition2010 WA Barista Competition2010 WA Barista Competition2010 WA Barista Competition2010 WA Barista Competition2010 WA Barista Competition2010 WA Barista Competition2010 WA Barista Competition

Directions to Mount Hawthorn Community Hall

Risotto alla Milanese

Risotto Milanese

Whenever I want to rediscover my love of cooking, I go back to the classics. The dishes that I learnt to cook years ago and which have brought me many moments of good eating. For me, that dish is risotto.

In the fanciful youth of this blog I cooked risotto all the time. I was mad for it. I’d toil away with ladle after ladle of stocks (chicken, lamb, duck, mushroom), experimenting with types of rice (Arborio, Carnaroli, Vialone Nano), and generally throwing anything into them that I thought might work. Cream, cheese, wine, champagne, fistfuls of parmesan and knobs of butter, all absorbed into the mess that were my creations.

I used to be under the impression that you could make anything into a risotto… and in following that theory I came up with a Chinese risotto, a Japanese Risotto with wasabi, a beef and red wine risotto, and curried chicken risotto. All of which seemed like a good idea at the time, but now haunt my blog like the ghost of bad cooking past, only to appear when a lonely web searcher puts a few fatefully wrong keywords into their search engine.

These days I’ve gone a little more classical with my eating and cooking. I lean towards clean flavours, simple combinations of a few main elements with as little bastardisation of styles as possible. There’s nothing wrong with experimenting of course, but I think you need to know the basics before you can really appreciate anything expanding on it.

So the risotto milanese is one of the most classic forms around. It’s essentially a plain risotto flavoured with saffron and parmesan (and traditionally bone marrow). It’s often paired with Osso Buco for a power packed duo of formidable comfort food.

Saffron risotto & Snapper [ redux ] King Snapper

My risotto starts out with finely chopped onion, sautéed in olive oil and a little butter til it’s soft and translucent. At this point I add in a cup or two of rice, tending to favour carnaroli for it’s high level of starch which results in a particularly creamy consistency. The rice gets tossed through the oil and onion mixture until it’s well coated, at which point I turn up the heat just slightly and add a cup of dry white wine (It doesn’t have to be great wine, but generally something you’d drink).

From there the magic of the risotto begins. A pot of chicken stock sits side by side the risotto pan, and I take a ladleful at a time pouring it into the risotto and stirring gently til it absorbs into the rice. You don’t want to rush this process, but people who think it takes hours to make a risotto should not be put off.

The absorption process takes a little time, but the rest of the bottle of wine sitting next to you (this is why it’s important to use something you’d drink) makes it a leisurely affair of stirring and swirling and tasting that I often get lost in the simplicity of (read: I get drunk while cooking).

There are a couple of different ways to add the saffron to the dish. One being to add it to the stock, and the other being to infuse it in some warm water to draw out the colour, and then add the liquid and strands to the risotto towards the end. I normally use a hybrid approach, and have adopted a little trick I saw on a cooking show, whereby the chef crushed some saffron threads in a mortar and pestle with some salt. Creating a rich yellow saffron salt that both seasons the dish and imbues it with saffron flavour. Stingy cooks beware though…a generous dose of saffron is necessary for the richness of flavour this dish deserves.

Then as the rice is becoming softer and closer to that elusive “al dente” we hear so much about, I add a final addition of a large knob of butter and a good handful or two of parmesan cheese (freshly grated is always best, generally a nice Reggiano). This gives the risotto it’s final glossy appearance and creamy texture (without adding any cream).

A quick season with salt and pepper at the finish and this dish is complete. I quite enjoy it on it’s own, or as the base to a host of other options. In the photos above you’ll see I served the risotto under some pan fried fish (Pearl Snapper), that was fried in butter. A combination that I think worked quite nicely, but not one you need to follow.

Because If you’re anything like me, you don’t follow recipes prescriptively, you take a bunch of starting points and references and then head off on your own merry dance… often at your own peril. But when it all comes together and you put that first spoonful into your mouth and it tastes like liquid gold dripped from the wings of angels… It makes all your efforts that little bit more worthwhile.