Thursday, February 13, 2014

My Snowed In Valentine...Oeufs Brouilles, Perfect Scrambled Eggs

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Chances are, if you live in the Northeastern part of this country, you will be snowed in for Valentine'sDay.  You lucky dog!

Okay, so your red roses might not get delivered and that reservation he made six months ago might have to be cancelled BUT, you get to stay in, just the two of you, for at least a couple of days.  What could be worse?! I'll take that over a dozen red roses any day of the year.  Okay, okay, you say, but what do we do for dinner?! You keep it simple, but you make it awesome.  Remember the best things in life are simple (or is it free?)

Take scrambled eggs.  In this country, we murder this dish.  Our idea of scrambled eggs is to "scramble" them before they are cooked by beating them, ad infinitum, and then adding them all at once to a hot skillet. In less than ten seconds, they are done...and they are awful.  When I think of those scrambled eggs we had for breakfast at our ski house in Vermont, I want to throw up. They sat in my stomach, most of the morning, like a ton of bricks that would not go away until dinner time.  No wonder I was a bad skier.  Scrambled eggs, the culprit.

On the other hand, one of my fondest memories ever was watching my aunt Julieta making scrambled eggs in a double boiler in her apartment in New York.   In the early 60's she moved to the city and got a job at Hammacher Schlemmer, the old Hammecher Schlemmer, right across the street from her apartment at East 57th Street and a couple of doors down from another icon of the day, the old Abercrombie and Fitch.  For those of you too young to remember, the latter was an  elite outfitter of sporting and excursion goods, particularly noted for its expensive shotguns, fishing rods, and tents. The former, for great kitchen gadgets.  I loved going to A&F with my father and watching the stuffed animals they had throughout the store...and I don't mean teddy bears, but REAL bears.  But I digress...





My aunt's going to work was a joke, more of a diversion than anything else.  We all laughed when we heard she had gone to Saks to outfit herself for the job and came out with six coats, including a mink.  She was a real trip and I adored her.  It was a treat to visit her on weekends while I was away at boarding school.  She didn't cook, but boy, could she make scrambled eggs.  I used to sit mesmerized on a kitchen stool and watch her stir those eggs to perfection on a double boiler. She would add a tad of cream cheese in the final minutes of cooking.  I thought that was brilliant! and have made them like that since that light bulb moment.  You should have seen her cooking gear. Remember the daubiere? That is from those days.   She didn't cook, though, not a thing;  but had I been a man, I would have fallen in love with her, if only for those scrambled eggs.

So you see, you don't need to be able to cook a million fancy things to be remembered.  All you need is one, but make it good, make it awesome and make it unforgettable.





Oeufs Brouilles, Scrambled Eggs

3 eggs per person
unsalted butter
cream cheese (optional)
salt

You can cook these on top of a double broiler or directly on the pan.  I usually add a tad of butter, let it melt and add the eggs, slightly beaten, although you don't have to as you will see from this videoHere's another angle.  I know you might not speak French, but all you need to do is watch. 










Let the water in the bottom of the double boiler come to a boil.  Reduce the heat until the water is a slow simmer.  Alternatively, if you are cooking the eggs in a pan on direct heat, the temperature should be between low and medium low.   Start stirring those babies with a wooden spoon.  Don't let the eggs sit idle, keep stirring them around.  You can go clockwise for a bit and switch to counter when you get bored.    If you see that they are cooking too fast, lower the heat.






Once you see them starting to come together, add either a tad of butter or cream cheese and off the heat.






 The eggs will continue cooking long enough to melt the butter or cheese.  Enjoy!!!









Recipe and all photos Lindaraxa

17 comments:

  1. I never thought of making eggs over a double boiler. I'll have to try this because Taiwan stoves don't have a uniform flame--it is higher and more intense in the center (to accommodate woks) so low heat is very hard to regulate.

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  2. You know, Julia said that great scrambled eggs take 1/2 an hour to cook. I made Eggs Picabia and they took that long with nearly as much butter as egg. They were sublime. Certainly not something you would eat everyday but perfect for a special occasion. Love your eggs and your story about your aunt. It is remarkable how those figures stay beautiful and warm in our young memories. I have some like that too. People like that and our admiration of them help shape who we become, don't they?
    Happy VD, we are so snowed in it's getting to be funny.

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    1. And Julia is right, but I just don't have that much patience. My aunt's took that long or so I thought. All my life I wanted to be just like her, much to Madame Mere's chagrin. She was a big influence and continues to be. Very stylish, very chic, and very cool. As to the snow...ours is just beginning to melt, after two days. This is Georgia. We don't do snow. I've been in pj's for three days now.

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    2. I am another one who thought that good scrambled eggs take half an hour. You indicate that you don't cook them that long, but how long does it take? I too have a bit of a patience deficit!

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    3. I think mine took less than 10 minutes but I made mine on a double boiler. It all depends on the temperature. The real trick here is to keep the eggs moving and away from direct heat at a minimum. Watch that second video and you can gage it better. I don't think anyone in this day and age will spend half an hour!

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    4. Ladies, since I am on a scrambled eggs binge, I timed them today on direct heat. on low most of the time to medium low at the end, 20 minutes!

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  3. I agree scrambled eggs are not difficult to make, but so many make a hash of it. I once volunteered to show the chef at the Okura in Tokyo how to do it, but was otherwise "persuaded" by my better half. I make it the same way, sans the cream cheese. Had it this morning, (without bacon either). Delish!

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    1. Try the cream cheese, if only once. I promise you won't be sorry. The bacon was waiting for me courtesy of my daughter who has no patience and makes a hash of her scrambled eggs. I couldn't possibly say no!

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    2. P.S. I'm having them again today, sans bacon. I can see a scrambled eggs marathon in the works.

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  4. Surely you girls can treat yourself to bacon once in a while! The best scrambled eggs I've ever eaten were at a resort in California called Pelican Hill. It's right outside Newport Beach. The chef told me he adds half and half cream. Yummy!!

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  5. Hi Lindaraxa, I love your blog and heard you speak on entertaining at the Dawsonville Arts Center last year. Could you tell me the name of your other blog? I know you no longer write it, but I'd like to check my files to see if I have the recipes saved. Thanks, Myra Robinson

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    1. Thank you. the name is My Kitchen By The Lake. it's on the side of the blog to the right. you can click on it.

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  6. I have been cooking scrambled eggs this way since seeing a video of Gordon Ramsey who says he will not hire a chef unless he has perfected this method. Unfortunately, my husband believes my eggs are undercooked. I suppose when one is accustomed to eggs having a certain texture most of their lives, it hard to make a change. There is nothing more heavenly than good scrambled eggs and the cream cheese makes all the difference. Glad to know someone else finds PJs to be the attire of bad weather.

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    1. My daughter says the same thing and she won't budge. Glad to know there's at least someone else out there who subscribes to the addition of the cream cheese!

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  7. I learned long ago that the method for making delicious scrambled eggs is "low and slow" with lots of butter. Butter melted before adding the eggs to the pan, and then added along the way as you did with cream cheese. I shall next try it your way, with cream cheese, a superb idea! Reggie

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  8. Have you tried them with smoked salmon?

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