I am not much for new year’s resolutions, but this year I am going to try and cook a significant amount of French food. Why? I love to make it and I love to eat it. I’m not really sure if it is as much a resolution as it is a whim, but it certainly is a tasty one. Anyway, I hope you enjoy my journey through French cuisine, largely through Julia Child and Jacques Pépin.
To begin, I decided to make “oeufs brouillés,” or scrambled eggs. Scrambled eggs are generally tasty, if not a tad mundane or overcooked. When you cook them in the French manner, very slowly over moderate heat, however, you get eggs that are an indulgence. They are creamy and custardy and, my word, so divine. I don’t know what prompted me to make scrambled eggs as my first recipe from Julia Child’s famous cookbook duet, but I’m certainly glad I did.
I only wish I’d done it sooner.
The technique is simple and precise. The seasonings are simple and precise. The outcome is simple and precise.
A recipe minutely adapted from the charming Julia Child. Out of her book Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume One.
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon whole milk
- a pinch of kosher salt
- a pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon half and half or heavy whipping cream
Beat the eggs with the seasonings and milk for 20 to 30 seconds, just to blend the yolks and whites.
Smear the bottom and sides of a heavy-weight saucepan or skillet with butter. Pour in the eggs and set the pan over moderately low heat. The eggs should be about 2/3 to 1 inch deep in the saucepan. Stir the eggs with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, being sure to reach the bottom of the pan. Nothing will seem to happen for 2 to 3 minutes, but then the eggs will quickly start forming a custard-like consistency. Stir rapidly, removing the pan off of the heat as necessary, until the eggs have almost thickened to the consistence you wish. Then remove entirely from heat as they continue to thicken slightly.
Just as soon as the eggs are the right consistency, stir in the half and half to stop the cooking. Taste and add a bit more seasoning if necessary. Turn over onto a plate and serve with a toasted English muffin and some Earl Grey.