Musing with Max

Musing with Max

December 4, 2011

Mastering the Art of the Scramble

Julia Child is one of my heroes. Boy could she cook, and to think she only started to focus on it well into her 40's, in addition she had that outsized (no pun intended) personality and self effacing non pretentious manner. Gotta love her. What I don't love is reading her cookbooks, especially her cooking bible(s) "Mastering the Art of French Cooking, volumes 1 and 2", otherwise known as the "War and Peace" of cookbooks. Don't get me wrong, these books are fascinating in every way, great dishes, great instructions, great information, great background research and explanations; a real history lesson in addition to a great cooking lesson. But that's just it, every recipe is at least four pages long and those are juts the simple things. Which means that before you throw that steak in the pan you have to plow through pages of things like types of meat, types of pans, types of fires, types of seasoning, types of thongs, types of everything that explains how we arrive at how to cook that particular cut of beef and why we do it that way, etc, etc, etc. I simply don't have the time, or desire, to go through all that since I have the tendency to want to cook something on a whim rather than plan six days ahead which would give me the ample time required to prepare for one of these wonderful recipes. Not so Frank. His cooking repertoire, for the most part, is comprised of two entries: sandwiches (he's really good at these) and Sunday breakfast (lucky me) which pretty much means eggs in many ways, for example:
with assorted additions, such as bacon, ham, bread, English muffins (homemade!)

usually with cheeses,etc.

He has never been much for scrambled eggs though. Whenever we go to breakfast at a diner he cringes when I order scrambled eggs his contention being that they are dry and tasteless, the egg has been destroyed! For shame! Then one day he picked up the copy of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 1" that for some reason I had on the kitchen table and started to read. Three hours later (I jest) he had read Julia's thesis on how to make scrambled eggs the way the French do and had been transformed. Basically, her explanation, and this is the Reader's Digest version, is that the eggs are cooked slowly at a low heat while stirring constantly with a whisk thereby achieving a "custard" like texture. My other French cooking bible, Richard Olney's, Simple French Food, corroborated this theory, in two pages no less.

So, without further ado:

Frank's (Julio's)* French Scrambled Eggs, a la Julia

5 eggs, beaten
2 tsp milk or cream
salt & pepper
2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp goat cheese, crumbled (optional)
Prosciutto or Serrano ham,  shredded (optional)

Heat butter at low heat in non-stick skillet until melted. Add milk or cream to eggs and incorporate well. Pour egg mixture into skillet and stir slowly with whisk or wooden spoon until eggs, start to come together. If using, add crumbled cheese and continue stirring slowly and cooking over low heat until eggs are cooked and resemble a soft custard
The process is hypnotic as Max proves
keep stirring
once the desired consistency has been achieved serve sprinkled with ham, if desired, and these lovely toasted croissants from Eden Gourmet.
Hmmmm, tres manifique!

Too bad Julia didn't write "Mastering the Art of dishwashing"

*ps. he would love being called Julio since it was his beloved grandfather's name.

1 comment:

  1. Just how I like my scrambled eggs...homemade english muffins?

    Your house is a good house.

    xo Jane