OK, so ever since the poached scrambled eggs thing, I've been a little obsessed... but eggs without butter just didn't seem right to me. I honestly don't have a lot of experience with scrambled eggs because I was such a picky eater as a child. I didn't... or at least thought I didn't... like eggs at all, so it wasn't until my mid to late twenties that I started to realize that they are in fact awesome. So hopefully that gives a little perspective as to why I have been messing around so much lately with what, to many of you, seems like old hat. I really just don't have a "go to" scrambled eggs recipe, so I've needed to do a little bit of experimentation.
So here we come to what you would call "soft" scrambled eggs... which I imagine to many would be equivalent to "not done" scrambled eggs. This was not something I had ever had before, as it is certainly not how they serve them at a local diner. It is however, how the fancy chef people seem to like them (Beard/Vongerichten, Ramsay, etc) so why not give it a shot?
There are an infinite number of variations to make them as you can see from the links, but the general concept is low heat and lots of stirring for a fairly long period of time... the James Beard eggs, for example, take 40 minutes. 40 minutes!? That's a long time for some scrambled eggs! Yes, yes it is. You can speed it up by using higher heat, but then you really have to know what you are doing because you'll need to take it off the heat periodically to make sure you don't overcook or get any browning (see the Ramsay video). Ruhlman's method is quicker than 40 minutes, though it still takes 15-20 minutes maybe? But it's significantly easier than working over high heat as a novice. You need to use a double boiler to do it, which most cooks probably don't have... but you can improvise one if necessary. The one we have... which Anna got for tempering chocolate... is nonstick and only $12, so it might be worth your consideration.
Since I had never done eggs like this before I really needed a practice run before I understood what exactly I was looking for. If you are in a similar boat I would do this with just the eggs, butter, salt, and pepper before I tried to make a big romantic breakfast or whatever. In my brief experience I've found that it's not "constant" stirring that you really want... you need some curds to form, you just need to keep breaking them up, and constant stirring prevents curds. A lot of this might be that the double boiler I was using is conical, not simply a pan on top of another pan, so the eggs' exposure to heat was different than the typical setup. You really just need to get a feel for what your double boiler set up does... so once again I recommend a test run, but it seemed to me in the beginning that I needed to wait maybe 5-10 seconds between stirs, but as they got closer to done it became more constant. YMMV.
This has definitely become my favorite way to have scrambled eggs. They are creamy, luscious, and delicious... but they are not fast. If you want scrambled eggs every morning before you go to work, then this is not your method: see the poached scrambled eggs recipe. If, on the other hand, you are looking for the "best" scrambled eggs you can make then try a soft scramble and see what you think.
Ingredients Per Serving:
adapted from Ruhlman's Twenty
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons butter
- 1 teaspoon goat cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped chives
- In a bowl, whisk the eggs until there are no pockets of egg white. This will take about a minute.
- In the bottom of a double boiler bring water to a simmer over medium heat (Note: the water should not touch the bottom of the top pan). Put the double boiler on top and let it heat up for a minute. Add the butter to fully melt.
- Pour the eggs into the top pan and stir/fold regularly with a silicone spatula. When nearly done (they will still be very moist, but curds will begin to form) sprinkle in the goat cheese and season with the salt. Stir gently and serve. Season with pepper and top with the chives.