With lots of time to cook on weekends, I like to skip the healthy yogurt of my weekday mornings and indulge a little. During summer, my go-to brunch moves from bread pudding to more seasonal fare — roasted tomatoes and asparagus with soft scrambled eggs. No one respects the egg more than a French chef, so I pulled my old, battered copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking from the bookshelf to make sure I’d get them right. Ordinarily, I’d just get to cooking without consulting a cookbook, but if you’ve ever had French-style scrambled eggs, you know how important it is to cook them just so — the end result should be soft, creamy, curds custardy in texture and positively rich with butter.
Turns out, it’s really quite a simple recipe. You start with a cold pan and cook over very low heat while stirring constantly, which is basically the exact opposite of how I usually make scrambled eggs. But the extra effort is definitely worth it.
As Julia would say, “Bon appetit!”
recipe after the jump
Soft Scrambled Eggs with Fresh Herbs
8 eggs, or 7 eggs and 2 yolks
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of pepper
3 1/2 – 4 tablespoons softened butter, divided (I used Plugra) or whipping cream
1 tablespoon minced fresh herbs (I used chives and tarragon), plus extra for garnishing
With a whisk, beat the eggs with herbs, salt, and pepper for 20 to 30 seconds to blend yolks and whites. Smear the bottom and sides of a heavy-bottomed pan with 2 tablespoons of the butter. Pour in the eggs and set over moderately low heat. (Depth of eggs in pan should be 2/3 to 1 inch.) Nothing will seem to happen for 2 to 3 minutes as the eggs gradually heat. Suddenly they will begin to thicken into a custard. Stir rapidly, moving pan on and off heat, until the eggs have almost thickened to the consistency you wish. Then remove from heat, as they will continue to thicken slightly.
Just as soon as they are of the right consistency, stir in the enrichment butter or cream, which will stop the cooking. Season to taste and serve immediately.