The perfect scramble is a thing of beauty. Soft and hot, golden-hued, composed of extraordinarily creamy curds so rich and well-seasoned they verge on cheesy.
But of course, there's no need for cheese--not when you've got the pure, intense flavors of eggs and butter. The technique isn't complicated. But to master it, you must be willing to give these eggs your undivided attention, doting on them for about fifteen minutes as you move them over the heat with butter and salt, watching for that crucial moment when they transform from custard into gorgeous, tiny curds. If you're not familiar with a perfect scramble, worlds away from dry diner-style scrambles, your life is about to change. Ready? Grab a spatula and get to work.
1. The heatproof rubber spatula is your best friend. Use it to keep the sides of the pan impeccably clean and to keep the eggs at the bottom of the pan moving constantly, which is essential for an evenly cooked scramble.
2. A great scramble requires butter with flavor. We love unsalted Kerrygold and Plugrás.
3. You're going to be beating the hell out of these eggs, so saucepan choice matters. Avoid a wide sauté pan: The eggs will be spread too thinly and cook too quickly. A narrower pan with tall sides will allow you to thrash the eggs without splashing and gives the mixture more depth, so it cooks slowly.
4. Underseasoned eggs are a tragedy. Use kosher salt to season, then sprinkle some delicately crunchy fleur de sel or sea salt, such as Maldon, to finish.
5. Use fresh eggs and take them out of the fridge about 15 minutes before you start.
6. Fines herbes, the classic herb mix of parsley, chives, tarragon and chervil, won't overpower a simple plate of eggs. Use young, tender leaves, chopped finely so they don't bring too much texture, either.
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time:N/A Cook Time:15 minutes Total Time:15 minutes
6 large eggs
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
Fines herbes (parsley, chives, tarragon and chervil), finely chopped
1. Crack the eggs into a cold 3-quart saucepan. Cut 2 tablespoons of the butter into small pieces and add to the pan. Set the pan over medium-high heat and, using a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula, mix the eggs to break them up.
2. Stir constantly, moving the pan off and on the heat so you can catch up with stirring the eggs if they are cooking too quickly in one spot. If you're doing this right, your arm will ache, but power through--it's going to be worth it.
3. Small curds with a pudding-like texture will begin to form after about 10 minutes. The eggs own you now. Pay attention to the pan, keep the curds moving and don't look away for a second. Once you've got a saucepan full of small, even but still-wet curds quickly remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the salt and remaining butter and mix well.
4. Give the eggs a quick taste and season with more salt if needed. Top with some chopped herbs and a few grinds of black pepper, if you like, and serve with slices of crunchy, lightly buttered toast.
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Clockwise from top left: Start with cold eggs, cold butter and a cold pan. Beat the eggs over the heat so they break down smoothly. The eggs will thicken into a custard--time to pay attention. Finally, the curds start to form. Keep your pan moving, you're nearly there!
Jody Williams rigs the steam wand from an espresso machine to simultaneously cook and froth the eggs at New York's Buvette. So frothing good.
Q: Why does Daniel Boulud make supple scrambled eggs and then tuck them inside a perfect French omelet? A: Because he's Daniel Boulud.
Courtesy of Colin Lane
It doesn't make sense that scrambled eggs, poached in water, would be so luxurious and creamy, but Daniel Patterson's logic-defying technique is splendid.
One of the most luxurious scrambled eggs we know: Jean-Georges Vongerichten's buttery scramble piled back into an egg shell and topped with caviar.