Saturday, February 26, 2011

A good read and luxurious eggs

I don't know about you but one of my guilty pleasures is to read, actually read, a cookbook. I read through it, writing down any recipe that catches my eye, and writing notes in the margin of thoughts that catch my attention. I keep the list tucked in the inside cover and work my way through it, writing notes to self for future use on the recipe as I go. It is probably the closest I will ever come to journallng and I love reading through the notes at a later date to remind myself what my  impressions were. If the list is short and the comments few, then the cook book is not a keeper.

Sometime not long after "Julie and Julia" came out The Other Half found a copy of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" by Julia Child, and purchased it for me thinking that this filled a glaring ommission in my ever growing cook book library. As I sat down to read through I was happily suprised at what a little gem it was and started making my list of all the recipes I wanted to try. That is when I came across a recipe for scrambled eggs that may in fact be life changing.Who knew that scrambled eggs were supposed to be so velvety and rich in the most wonderous of ways. Even my oldest pea pod - a child who happily proclaims he only eats five things - started asking for "those eggs" on a regular basis. On a busy day I often serve them for dinner with a green salad, crusty bread, a hunk of cheese and a cool crisp glass of white wine (for the adults - pea pods get milk). They are an equally lovely way to wake up in the morning but I have to say that there is an elegance in their rich simplicity that I find almost better suited for later in the day. The original recipe is for 4-5 servings. If you want to make adjustments up or down there are a lot of great websites for converting yields. I recommend using

The key to this recipe is to constantly stir the egg over gentle heat and to take them off just a bit before they are done to the consistency you enjoy. The eggs will continue to cook for a bit after they are off the heat, and you add the last bit of butter. If you are like me and up until now, overcooked your eggs, you may be surprised by how smooth and satiny the texture is when prepared properly. I know it might seem like a lot of prep and effort just for eggs - perhaps another reason why I tend to make them at night - but it really is worth it. Like so many other of Ms. Child's recipe that I have learned to love - if you take the time and follow the steps - the outcome is well worth the effort. Enjoy!

Fork or small wire whip
Mixing bowl
7-8" pan (non-stick if possible, it really helps with this recipe)
Rubber Spatula

8 eggs (or 2 eggs per person)* - allow them to warm up to room temperature if you have time
Salt and pepper to taste
4 tsp water or milk (the milk makes it just a little creamier)
3 1/2 Tbsp softened butter - I like to use unsalted butter and then season to taste. Leave the butter covered and out for the afternoon to soften it.

*If you are trying to watch your egg content you can substitute one egg per person with egg beaters or egg whites - it will change the consistency some but is still very tasty

Beat eggs in bowl with seasonings and water or milk for 30 seconds, until just combined.

Smear bottom and sides of pan with 2 Tbsp of butter. Heat pan on medium low heat.

Pour in eggs, stirring SLOWLY but continually, moving all over the bottom of the pan. After 2-3 minutes the eggs will gradually heat and start to thicken like a custard. Start to stir rapidly, moving the pan on and off the heat as needed until the eggs have almost thickened, or almost cooked to the consistency you like. Remember that eggs will continue to cook after you have taken them off the burner, so it is good to take them off just a smidge early.

Once the eggs have reached your desired consistency, stir in remaining 1 1/2 Tbsp of softened butter, which will stop the cooking process. Add any additional seasoning you desire and top with chopped parsley.


lyn said...

Even though I'm not a major egg fan they sound good. Love the updated look for your blog!

Jeanne said...

These are amazing. Especially with fresh eggs from the farmers market.