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Sublime scrambled eggs

  • 20th Sep, 2006 at 10:43 PM

Originally uploaded by sfllaw.

One of the best things about working from home is being able to brunch every day of the week. Granted, not all of my brunches are magnificient affairs. But some of them are.

Today, I sat on my balcony with a proper English breakfast and enjoyed the sharp air. It's almost autumn and the trees are starting to turn. Plus, you get to watch the squirrels jumping from branch to branch. They're so fat that sometimes they almost miss.

I cribbed this recipe for scrambled eggs from Gordon Ramsay. I thought I knew how to make eggs before, but his method is far superior. There are various versions of it over the Internet, likely copied from his cookery book. But this one is far more clear.

Sublime scrambled eggs


  • Four eggs, cold
  • 15mL butter, cold
  • 15mL crème fraîche
  • salt
  • pepper
  • chives, snipped finely


  1. Get a cold saucepan. Do not turn on the heat yet. I know, it sounds crazy, but trust me.
  2. Break the eggs into a the pan and add the butter. Don't whisk or whip it. Trust me.
  3. Now turn on a medium-low heat. Using a heat-proof spatula, stir to combine the ingredients. Keep stirring constantly, scrapping the bottom, sides, and corners. What's we're trying to get here is a very fine curd, so we don't want it to cook too quickly.
  4. The mixture will start turning a pale yellow, sort of like custard. Take the pan off the heat and continue stirring. When it cools down a bit, put it back on the heat. Whenever the eggs start giving off significant steam, take them off. The idea is to cook them in a controlled manner, so they don't clump together in one big mass.
  5. Continue this on-off dance with your pan until the eggs are almost dry. This should take about four minutes. They should be soft and fluffy, slightly lumpy, and not brown at all. Now, take the pan off the heat.
  6. Stir the crème fraîche into the eggs. If you don't have any, a dollop of sour cream will work as well. This cools down the eggs to stop them from overcooking. It also makes them nice and creamy.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste. Then add the chives for colour. Mix well.
  8. Serve immediately. Offer them up with buttered toast, jelly, bacon, sausages, ham, baked beans, fried tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, home fries, and a glass of orange juice. Or simply serve them up, by themselves, with a swirl of sweet chili sauce.

Serves 2.


( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
21st Sep, 2006 03:07 (UTC)
When one means 'crème fraîche', is it what one can buy at any grocery store as a thick 'crème pour la cuisson', or do we actually mean something totally exotic, highly perishable, which can only get from public markets, specialized stores?
21st Sep, 2006 03:20 (UTC)
Crème fraîche is an almost sour cream. I used to have to hunt around a bit, but recently my local Provigo has been stocking it next to the sour cream. Liberty makes a decent one.

If you can't find it, substitute thick sour cream.
21st Sep, 2006 03:37 (UTC)
Unflavoured yogurt usually works, too.

In this recipe, I wouldn't hesitate to substitute, but other cases, the sourness of the yogurt is sometimes less than desirable.

Of course, I don't know about you, but I'm more likely to have sour cream over plain yogurt.
21st Sep, 2006 05:18 (UTC)
Alas, I highly doubt I can get crème fraîche conveniently here in LA- if I were to ever conjure up the ability to dance about with a frying pan. ;)

Looks super nummy!
21st Sep, 2006 15:50 (UTC)
I use a saucepan, which makes dancing a whole lot easier. The sides prevent spillage. :)
21st Sep, 2006 06:54 (UTC)
I should do that more often. Sounds good.
21st Sep, 2006 15:48 (UTC)
Re: nice...
I highly encourage it!
21st Sep, 2006 10:51 (UTC)
The traditional English name for this is "shirred eggs". It's almost like a different dish. I remember reading an English cookbook writer's description of North American style scrambled eggs, something about their being "bullied into hard lumps".
21st Sep, 2006 15:47 (UTC)
Aren't shirred eggs actually oeufs en cocotte? They're not even scrambled at all.
29th Nov, 2007 12:04 (UTC)
i'm english and i've never heard of 'shirred eggs'

scrambles eggs thank you very much :)
21st Sep, 2006 12:16 (UTC)
That picture just makes my tummy grumble... and the eggs thing... one day when I'm not so tired and so darn hungry from skipping dinner, I will try it for sure. Sounds soooooooo good. Thanks for sharing.

21st Sep, 2006 15:47 (UTC)
This is pretty easy to make, it only takes about five minutes. Five minutes between a meal and me is a pretty good proposition.
21st Sep, 2006 18:36 (UTC)
Lol definately... but muffins out of the fridge takes about 2 seconds... tomorrow perhaps I will have better luck! :) *hugs*

21st Sep, 2006 18:47 (UTC)
You keep muffins in the refrigerator? Don't they get cold?
21st Sep, 2006 19:45 (UTC)
Ummm yeah... lol... that's what happens when you put them in the fridge... only 20 seconds of warming up and they're warm... I know... shame shame shame Christine... why would you put muffins in the fridge? Well Dr.Simon, I make 24 at a time... I am one person... sometimes two living here lol... ok... I ramble! *grins and waves*

21st Sep, 2006 20:00 (UTC)
Ah. I just leave my muffins out on the counter. They seem to disappear pretty quickly anyway.

A good way of keeping them is making your muffin batter ahead of time, storing that in the fridge, and then baking it in the toaster oven. Of course, I suppose that means waiting for than twenty seconds.
22nd Sep, 2006 05:12 (UTC)
That sounds really good. I eat eggs every morning. I usually make mine with sautéed shallot, tomato and capers, then add the egg, scramble it all together, then put arugula, goat cheese and pine nuts on top. I call it "basque scrambled eggs" - try it! I'll give your recipe a shot, sounds good!
22nd Sep, 2006 06:38 (UTC)
That sounds like a good idea. Do you prepare the tomato in any particular way?
22nd Sep, 2006 13:24 (UTC)
Not really - I just cut it into cubes. I also add a bit of hot pepper flakes into the sauté before adding the eggs to give it a little kick. Speaking of which, it's breakfast! Hmmmm what to make ... (I work at home too so everyday is brunch for me as well) ;-)
22nd Sep, 2006 17:01 (UTC)
No way! You work from home too? What do you do?
22nd Sep, 2006 17:30 (UTC)
I'm an internet consultant. These days I do a lot of QA management and Bugzilla is my right-hand er, monster?! ;-)

Do you code? What do you do?

And I see you know Jake Applebaum! What a small world!!!
22nd Sep, 2006 18:32 (UTC)
How amusing! I work on Ubuntu's QA.

I used to sling code, but I only do that on my spare time now. Which isn't very much these days.

Lots of interesting people seem to know Jake. We should get together some time.
25th Sep, 2006 19:45 (UTC)
Definitely - I was thinking the same thing. Do you take coffee breaks during the day? BTW I'm throwing a huge birthday bash on Saturday and you're invited. I'm sure you'll know some people there, including Glenn - will be sending evite out soon, mind giving me your email addy?
26th Sep, 2006 04:06 (UTC)
You can find it on my profile. But for your convenience, it's sfllaw@law.yi.org.
26th Sep, 2006 05:30 (UTC)
done! thx
28th Sep, 2006 07:51 (UTC)
Did'ya get the e-vite? Check your junk mail just in case ...
22nd Sep, 2006 07:35 (UTC)
After looking back at your recipes, I've been wondering...
All of them are so good.
Are you sure you aren't just in the closet?

Likewise, I develop Gentoo, and cook as well, but nothing near as amazing as yours - I just throw stuff together more often, and it comes out good, with the exception of rice - which very seldom comes out out :-(. My wife also thinks I'm in the closet sometimes however...
22nd Sep, 2006 16:54 (UTC)
Thanks for the complements.

But I'm pretty sure there's no positive correlation between cooking skill and sexual preference.
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )