We don't fight about much in the Thompson household...except scrambled eggs. I know, right!?! A scrambled egg is a scrambled egg is a scrambled egg. How could there be room for disagreement?
Oh, but there is, Dear Friend. There is!
The Year: 1949
The Place: Paris, France. Specifically, Le Cordons Bleu.
On this particular morning, Chef Max Bugnard asked for a volunteer from his class of American GIs...and Julia Child who towered above her GI classmates standing tall at 6' 2". Who would cook simple, homey oeufs brouillés (tr: scrambled eggs pronounced something like /euh broo-yay/) for Chef Bugnard?
There was silence. No one volunteered.
So Julia Child stepped forward and with some confidence. She might be newly married and new to cooking but...how hard could it be!?
While whipping together eggs and cream, Julia heated a pan very hot and melted a pat of butter to a nice, golden brown.
"Non!" Chef Bugnard barked. Julia gasped. What could she have possibly done wrong!?!
Absolutely everything. It was a day Julia Child never forgot. The day she learned how to make oeufs brouillés the right way. The French way.
That story was as much of an eye-opener for me when I read it as it was for Julia Child when she lived it in 1949. Instantly, I put down her autobiography, My Life In France, and hastened to my kitchen determined to not make scrambled eggs, but to make oeufs brouillés.
Like all of French cooking, the goal is to make the ingredient-of-the-moment taste more like itself. A chicken (m: poulet: /poo-lay/) cooked the French way will taste more chickeny than any chicken you've ever tasted.
So with eggs. Chef Bugnard's method of cooking eggs will deliver the eggiest flavor of scrambled eggs you've ever egged out of eggs in your life! Simplicity is the key. And lots and lots of patience.
We begin with a cold pan rubbed with butter.
Crack your eggs and gently fold the whites and yolks together with salt and pepper (if desired). There's no need to beat them to a pulp.
Now, over the lowest possible flame, stir the eggs in the pan. At first, it will seem as though nothing is happening. Then slowly, very slowly, the eggs will form a thick custardy slurry. That's exactly what you want.
Slide the pan off and on the flame to keep the heat low, gently stirring the eggs until they reach your desired texture. Stop the cooking process by mixing in cream.
The result will be the creamiest, most delicious, most eggy tasting scrambled eggs you've ever tasted in your life. In my opinion, they're so delicious that calling them "scrambled eggs" is an insult. That conjures images of dry hotel Continental Breakfast scrambled eggs with a green bottom and styrofoamy texture. No! These are truly oeufs brouillés.
Michael, however, does not agree! Never a fan of eggs, scrambled or otherwise, at the best of times, he heartily agrees with Jack Ramsay who complained to his father, Chef Gordon Ramsay, that he didn't like "French creamy [eggs] that I've to eat with a spoon..I like to stab my eggs and pick 'em up."
The problem is that having learned the snobbish "right," the French way to make scrambled eggs, I find it impossible to make them "wrong" anymore. Right or wrong, creamy or stabby, Michael's going to drown them in Tobasco Sauce anyways. Oh yes, the military taught him well.
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I dislike cooking but since I'm obliged do it, the result must be spectacular or it's a waste of time and effort. That's why I seek out the best dishes and culinary techniques to test and perfect before sharing them with you!