Oh joyous, slow mornings! To wake up and roll over and hug someone and sleep for another 20 minutes, then read for another 30 minutes, followed by a cup of tea, a walk to the shop to get your loaf of bread and the GOOD coffee beans. Munching on a pre-breakfast pain au chocolate while decadently cooking your whipped eggs for 30-40 minutes in French butter until they are smooth, eggy velvet, so rich that you have to cut it with the sourness of the best sourdough toast. Once you've eaten your eggs you start thinking about what to make for supper. These weekend mornings are the diamond days in the crown of your month. Too rare, but so precious.
Slow cooked scrambled eggs were a revelation to me when I discovered them. I was always a crispy fried egg child. Scrambled eggs were metallic rubber, and left an unpleasant taste in my mouth that could only be suffered by using copious amounts of ketchup. About 5 years ago, I read about slow cooked scrambled eggs in Cook's Illustrated. I didn't quite understand how scrambled eggs could take the better part of an hour to make, but decided to try. After regular attempts I think I've come to a good technique.
First, use lots of very good quality butter in the pan. Second, use excellent eggs, fresh and free-range. Third, do not add milk or cream. If you need more volume, use another egg. Fourth, start the heat very low, and then turn it up, pushing the eggs around the pan gently, then turn the heat down, to slow the cooking, then up again and so forth. Fifth, turn the heat off entirely, before the eggs look done. They will continue to cook. Paraphrasing the great food writer MFK Fisher, breakfast should be an uncomplicated but wholly generous affair. A few items, lavished with attention, and heaped upon a plate in piles. This is the way to start your weekend.
Slow Scrambled Eggs
- 2-3 eggs per person
- 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- Good pinch of salt and a few grindings of pepper
- Serve with chopped chives, sourdough toast, avocados, smoked salmon or bacon
Crack all your eggs into a bowl and whip a lot of air into them with a large whisk. Slowly melt the butter in the pan. Once the butter has melted, pour in the eggs, and lightly turn up the heat.
Push the eggs around the pan as they begin to cook. Turn the heat down to the lowest setting and let eggs rest for a few minutes. Gently push them around the pan. Turn the heat up to medium for 10-20 seconds. Push the eggs around the pan, and then turn the heat down. If the eggs start cooking too quickly, turn the heat off altogether, Keep going with this until the eggs are mostly firmed up, but still quite soft.
Turn off the heat and let the eggs sit in the pan while you make your toast and slice the avocado. Layer on the toast and top with avocado or salmon.