Eggs a la Escoffier

I haven’t had much time to read lately, but the time I have had has been spent reading Gina Mallet’s superb book Last Chance to Eat: The Fate of Taste in a Fast Food World. I hope to have a full review done next week, but for now I’ll just tantalize you with my interpretation of a recipe that she mentions in passing, one of Escoffier’s innumerable versions of scrambled eggs. I’ve made it several times now. I think I’m addicted.

This is funny, because I have always despised scrambled eggs. I’ve always considered them the worst item on the American breakfast table, barely fit for consumption. Apparently, this is because everyone makes them wrong. I might dislike steak, too, if everyone always burnt it to a crisp. Start with 6 eggs. As with most egg dishes, you’ll have better results if the eggs are near room temperature. Crack the eggs in to a bowl, and add salt and finely ground pepper. Combine gently.

Put a heavy bottomed pan (I use a square-shouldered stainless steel skillet) onto medium heat. When it’s up to temperature, add the eggs (no butter or fat…yet) and begin immediately stirring gently and constantly. The goal is to have them smooth, not lumpy. Don’t cook them too fast.

When they’re starting to firm up (but are still nice and runny) remove them from the heat and add an ounce and a half of butter, and three tablespoons of cream. Combine until incorporated.

I eat them with a spoon. They’re very rich, and are a satisfying meal any time of day or night. Invite me over if you make extra.