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scrambled eggs

  • h

whats the way to make these perfect? i mean, how do certain kitchens get scrambled eggs to have the look of a light golden omelette on the plate, for chrissakes?

i remember nero wolfe saying somewhere that it should take about forty five minutes to an hour to make, so what - or how - did he mean?

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  1. Try stirring the eggs consistently once you put them in the pan; don't stop until you finish cooking them.

    Much better texture that way.

    1. Scramble the eggs energetically for a minute to add as much air as possible. I add a dash of milk to the eggs as I'm scrambling them, and immediately before pouring them into the pan I add a dash of seltzer. As the eggs are cooking I'm stirring them constantly. This takes all of five minutes, so I guess Nero Wolfe's hour weas spent meditating on the task ahead.

      1. Howler, it was more like an hour as I recall. But I don't think you and Wolfe would agree on the desired outcome. He was looking for a very small curd, moist result. Any hint of "light golden omelette" and the eggs would have been tossed.

        Pat g.

        1. constant scrambling and instead of milk add Half&Half

          6 Replies
          1. re: Sweet Willie

            For what its worth, the New York Times website had, earlier this week, an illustrated story about what they termed the best scrambled eggs inthe world. Some chef in Australia. May still be on their site.

            1. re: Dale

              I tried that NYT recipe and I have to tell you, it was every bit as good as the article said - unbelievably fluffy, tender, creamy eggs and very easy too. I can't find the article, but it called for 1/2 cup of cream to two eggs (better if both are at room temperature). Whisk together with a pinch of salt. Heat pan over medium-high heat and use just a touch of butter. The trick was to pour the eggs in and not touch for 20 seconds. Then take a wooden spoon around the edge and fold the eggs into the middle. Wait another 20 seconds and repeat. Remove from heat, let it finish cooking, and then a final stir. I remember the directions because my SO has requested that I make them like this from now on!

                1. re: Rubee

                  I clicked onto the NY Times link. They made me fill out a bunch of forms. Then I found the article, but it was just a teaser, and they wanted $2.50 to part with the whole article.

                  I think I'll go to my local library and find it there.
                  :-(

                  1. re: Sharuf

                    I didn't have a problem bringing up the NYT link. If it didn't work for you, try cutting and pasting this link...
                    http://www.nytimes.com/2002/01/09/din...

                    good luck!

                    1. re: Sharuf

                      Or I can cut and paste and send it to you if you want - let me know

            2. I absolutely love the eggs that my boyfriend makes by strictly following the technique described in the Cook?s Illustrated Best Recipe cookbook. These are not the superfirm eggs you are describing, but are rather soft and creamy and delicate. I used to prefer my egs cooked very well until I tasted these. They taste like they have cheese in them, somehow. The key is to gently pull them away from the sides of the pan as they cook and not to overcook them. You sort of fold the eggs over on themselves and allow them to firm up off the heat. I think for 4 eggs you cook them for about 2 minutes total. The recipe adds milk and uses butter for the frying.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Carrot

                This is exactly how I make scrambled eggs -- and more than one person has told me my scrambled eggs were the best they've had (he says modestly). The only thing I would add is that I use lots of milk and often add cream cheese at the last moment like one of the posters above. I don't know why everyone is so intent on beating and whisking the eggs to death. Gentleness is the key ...

              2. I like to stir the eggs together vigorously, but briefly with a fork (a whisk adds too much air for this) together with a pinch of crushed dried tarragon. Melt unsalted butter in a pan over medium heat until the bubbles subside, add the eggs and stir pretty much constantly, scraping up the bottom and the sides. When the eggs are almost completely set, I stir in some milk or light cream, and cook a little longer. This gives a nice, creamy texture, and the tarragon complements the egg flavour beautifully.

                1. c
                  Caitlin Wheeler

                  I mix them in a bowl with a little milk, salt, pepper and chives or thyme. Then I scramble them (stirring a lot, but not constantly) over very low heat (a double boiler is ideal, but low heat is fine) Just before they are cooked, I add cream cheese, and let it melt into the eggs. Heaven in a spoon.

                  1. Scrambled eggs are not the same as an omelet. I like large, fairly firm curds and I don't add any liquid to the eggs, only seasonings, and I tend to cook it on high heat. If I am going for an omelet I add scallions, cheese, peppers, whatever, get lots more air into the mixture and cook it a lot slower.

                    I had a friend who had been a short order cook in a previous incarnation and he told me he added flour to the eggs, whipped a LOT of air into it, and cooked it very slowly and got a 3" high omelet. I told him he was actually making a stovetop souffle, and he agreed.

                    1. The best scrambled eggs that I ever had were ones I made from a Daniel Boulud recipe that appeared in the New York Times Magazine in a special edition titled "How To..." 4/8/01. This article was "How to Cook the Basics Like Daniel Boulud.
                      You crack the eggs, through a fine sieve, into the top of a double boiler, stirring the eggs the entire time. Add pepper and good French salt. After about 5 minutes, when small curds appear, you begin to whisk, until it is a pudding texture. You then whisk in butter and I used skim milk. (He calls for heavy cream)
                      They were delicious! I admit that it was quite a production. I have never made them this way again, but I am just waiting for the perfect Sunday morning to pull out my double boiler again!

                      1. i make the very best scrambled eggs on earth. they are the moist, creamy type and they are very simple. the trick is keeping the heat moderate so the eggs don't overcook and dry out. the best way to do this is to cook them over moderately low heat, with a little butter (beat them just enough that the yolks and whites are homogenous). When the eggs thicken enough that you can't see through them, begin beating in cold butter, a tablespoon at a time. You can add as much as your conscience allows. The biggest trick is knowing when to take them from the heat. When they are still a little shiny-wet, remove them and keep stirring. in 5 to 10 seconds, they'll be dry. Sprinkle with salt and grind over some pepper. Serve them immediately on warm toast--that will keep them warm without cooking any further.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: russ parsons

                          Sounds luscious, can I refer you to my cardiologist?

                          1. re: russ parsons
                            j
                            Janet A. Zimmerman

                            Russ, how do you handle the eggs once they're in the pan, but before you start adding the butter? Do you leave then alone, or stir constantly, or fold gently?

                          2. If you make them in a double boiler and don't stop stirring with a wooden spoon you'll find you get much more curdeliciousness out of your eggs. I add 1% milk to mine as well as seasonings. An hour? Nero fiddled while eggs burned.

                            As far as OMELETTES go, though, yes, it might take you that long. We were in a restaurant in Auvenchy-sur-Saone where they made the omelettes right in front of you. In a CLEAN copper bowl (and preferably with a copper whisk, though that's a little too Foodie for me), whisk the eggs and one tablespoon room-temperature water per egg, plus salt and pepper. Beat it until your arm is about to fall off and then switch arms. I cheat - I use a KitchenAid - but the idea is that they should be mostly foamy, not mostly liquidy. Then you put them in a buttered pan (not non-stick, and not hot!) and put it over the fire for thirty seconds. Remove for thirty seconds. On for 30, off for 30, until the top is set. Add your ingredients and then put in a broiler just long enough for the eggs to set a little further - a minute, tops.

                            Absolutely delicious and a total pain in the yin-yang to make.

                            1. Interesting, I take an opposite approach to most everyone else that has commented.

                              I whisk the eggs with a little water until my arm feels like it is going to fall off. Then I set a large, teflon coated, fry pan on high heat and throw in a ton of butter. Once the butter melts, and before it starts to burn, I pour in the eggs. I then work the eggs constantly, scraping them off the sides and turning them over from the bottom, keeping the flame at its maximum. I pull the eggs I am going to eat out before they dry out, while they are still glistening. I like my eggs, as a waitress once yelled to a short order cook many years ago "loose". The remaining eggs stay in the pan for maybe 30 seconds more because the rest of the family like their eggs "hard" (and dry).

                              I have tried the double boiler method once, because I truly like creamy eggs, and I stood there stirring interminably for what seemed like a lifetime. But the results were not what I expected or like I have experienced when eating out. I think I just need to practice my technique for the double boiler eggs, but my hot and fast method turns out some pretty tasty eggs.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Chino Wayne

                                It all depends how you like your eggs, doesn't it? I've always liked the hot & fast method -- once you pour in the eggs it takes all of 20 seconds, and since the butter has started to brown by then, you get that extra bit of flavor. But lately I've grown to appreciate slow, soft and creamy as well. One of these days I'll set aside the time to fuss with the double boiler, but in the meantime I've been getting very good results in a nonstick skillet, by keeping the heat low, paying close attention at all times, and taking the pan off the heat before the eggs are *quite* done.

                                1. re: C. Fox

                                  You are right, everyone probably has their own idea of the ultimate taste sensation of any dish. And it can vary. Some of the best eggs I have had were cooked fast and "loose" by a short order cook, and some of the best eggs I have had on another ocassion were the soft and very creamy kind.

                                  But the very best memory is of the bacon and eggs my grandmother used to make for me about 50 years ago after I would spend the night with my grandparents. Those were the best eggs ever. Soft, glistening, a yellow brighter than any other yellow, accompanied by perfectly cooked bacon, not under done, not too crisp, chewy and flavorful, the eggs and the bacon an amalgum of aroma and flavor that my mind can still conjure up after all these years. So in my opinion the ultimate, best ANYTHING that any of us have ever had, or ever will have, is the simple, every day, comfort food of our memories, whether prepared by a mother, father, grandmother, friend, or who ever.

                              2. Cottage cheese! That's my secret ingredient. It makes the eggs so sweet, fluffy and modestly cheesy.

                                1. s
                                  sylvesterrussell

                                  I do them under the lowest possible heat in my regular old Revere pan. No salt anymore, but pepper and sometimes a tiny bit of dill. Generous with the butter, but no milk, cream or water. Stir and fold with one of those non-melting spatulas. Takes about ten minutes or so. The French add little bits of butter to finish, but that is really gilding the lily! The best scrambled eggs I ever had was room service at the Prince de Galles Hotel in Paris, where the floor butler prepared them in the suite in a silver chafing dish. A good way to do it, much like the double boiler method. The second best (because it wasn't in Paris probably) were made with a farmer friends free-range chickens' eggs. They were the richest and most delicious eggs I have ever had, could never find such things in a store. Wish I could get more.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: sylvesterrussell

                                    I have to second this - saucepan, butter, no milk, water etc. The key is to avoid overcooking the eggs. They should not be dried out. A frying pan or restaurant grill just can't do a great order of scrambled eggs.

                                    1. re: fladd

                                      the pain of slaving over a double boiler actually DETRACTS from the overall taste of the finished eggs. my compromise is to cook them over med-med-low heat in a frying pan. tastes good enough.

                                  2. Very very very low heat, and stir with polentaesque patient constancy. As for cream...yup. You're gonna take this much trouble, you might as well go all the way.

                                    Anybody ever try making matzoh brei via this model? : )

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: Jim Leff

                                      Wouldn't that result in Mush-Brei?

                                      1. re: Jim Leff

                                        I've heard that the temperature used to scramble eggs should be no hotter than the breath of an ardent suitor.

                                        1. re: pat hammond

                                          laughing - you'd be more familiar with ardent suiters than me, Pat, but I don't think you were talking about the same type of eggs...

                                      2. Actually, my husband made eggs the Nero Wolfe style on Christmas. Melt 1T or so butter on top of double boiler over lightly simmering water.Break the eggs into the top of a double boiler, stir with milk or cream and salt & pepper. then keep the water in the bottom pot at a low simmer. Stir the eggs gently and regularly as they slowy, slowly cook for about 40 minutes. Have toast, plates at hand and serve immediately--they're incredibly creamy, light and delicious. Worth the extra time.

                                        1. Here's what I did this AM:

                                          I beat four eggs separately, with zero, 1, 2, and four tablespoons of water, and some salt.

                                          The pan was buttered, and I sauteed each egg on medium heat and slipped it onto a heated plate.

                                          When the last was cooked, I tasted them. (and ate them)

                                          The egg without water was tough.

                                          The 1 tablespoon egg was good, as I usually cook it.

                                          The 2 tablespoon egg was fluffy. Different from what I'm used to, but still quite good.

                                          The 4 tablespoon egg was fluffier still, but broke down and got watery, leaving a pool of water on the plate, even though it was not overcooked.

                                          If I can stand to eat eggs tomorrow again, I'll continue the experiment with cream.

                                          10 Replies
                                          1. re: ironmom

                                            Go, girl! We eagerly await the results of your researches (though we'll understand if you need to give your arteries a rest...)

                                            1. re: C. Fox

                                              I have inherited an extraordinarily low cholesterol level, so that will not be the limiting factor here.

                                              I also inherited a semi-functional gall bladder, so some higher fat test samples I perhaps should not eat in there entirety, but for research purposes, I may make that sacrifice...

                                            2. re: ironmom

                                              Way to go Iron Mom. You are a true Chowhound, putting yourself on the line and making the ultimate sacrifice in the noble and rationally questionable quest for the the answer to the proverbial question: "what makes the perfect scrambled eggs". What, however, were your butter calibrations? And don't you think you should have had a accomplice to insure that it was a blind tasting? And do you realize that had you invited the rest of us Chowhounds over for your taste test, that your selection of the perfect eggs would ultimately be wrong because every other Chowhound's taste buds are different?

                                              Your commitment, hard work and dedication to this ultimately futile enterprise can only be appreciated by other Chowhounds. I salute you.

                                              However, I gotta tell you, the best srambled eggs are with lox and onions.

                                              1. re: Chino Wayne

                                                This is basic research I'm doing here.

                                                It is not the "perfect scrambled egg" I am seeking. Rather, I am attempting to produce flights of eggs, and comparative descriptions thereof, so that any reader can see at a glance what the proper proportions would be for their starting point, and the likely direction for further research.

                                                Reproducibility is of the utmost importance here. If I did not put accurate proportions in my descriptions, others would be unable to determine if by following my instructions they were getting the same results I describe. In this context, phrases like "add some milk or cream" are meaningless.

                                                Butter will only be considered as a later phase of this experiment. It is necessary to control your variables in order to get interpretable data. At this point I am merely brushing the (nonstick) pan with sufficient butter to prevent sticking.

                                                Ultimately, I will probably come up with a formulation that is my favorite for everyday use, but there may be other formulations which are best for different circumstances. There's a lot of personal preference involved here, and I'm not going to attempt to make that decision for other egg lovers out there.

                                                I agree, smoked salmon and scrambled eggs are the best, although until this project is over, I may not have enough appetite to add salmon to my breakfasts.

                                                As far as "blind tastings" go, the cat liked them all equally.

                                                1. re: ironmom

                                                  Keep up the good and noble work, sooner than you think you will be able to publish "Iron Mom's Field Guide To North American Indiginous Scrambled Eggs" and all of Chowdom will be the better for it.

                                              2. re: ironmom

                                                Heavy cream day!

                                                This morning I beat three eggs separately with 1, 2, and four tablespoons of cream. I strained them prior to sautéing.

                                                At this point I was predicting that the egg with 4 tablespoons of heavy cream in it would break and weep, as did the egg with 4 tablespoons of water yesterday. Also, I was guessing that one or more samples might be too rich to eat, and that I might find the whole batch indigestible, due to the high fat content.

                                                I brushed the pan with butter, and sautéed them over medium heat, scraping the pan as the egg cooked, so as not to overcook any. (I hate brown section on my scrambled eggs, tastes overcooked/burnt to me). As soon as the egg was solid and there was no more liquid, I slid it onto a warm dish.

                                                I was pleasantly surprised by the results. The 1 tablespoon egg was of the same texture I normally make eggs at, and very tasty, although not noticably rich.

                                                The 2 tablespoon egg was fluffy and creamy, very nice.

                                                The 4 tablespoon egg did not break at all, in fact was quite custardy in taste and texture, very delicate and creamy, while still being scrambled-egg-like as far as appearance and handling are conserned.

                                                1. re: ironmom

                                                  What did the cat think today? The cat's analysis of your experimental results is very important, as any cat "owner" (as much as anyone can own a cat) knows felines know that they are higher beings to humans, so their opinions would be the only ones that matter.

                                                  1. re: Chino Wayne

                                                    I think the cat's getting tired of scrambled eggs.

                                                    1. re: ironmom
                                                      c
                                                      Caitlin McGrath

                                                      What about you?

                                              3. Moisture is the trick. Eggs are largely water. Cooking over high heat evaporates the water before the proteins coagulate properly. Water or milk will do this. Cream is fine if you want to add more fat. Your call there. Cook your eggs over low heat. It is a test of patience for some. The double boiler is good for this. They also do well in a lightly buttered and well seasoned pan right on a super low gas flame (hard to do on most electric). Have warm plates handy. And for eggs that really taste like eggs spend and extra 50 cents and get vegetarian fed. If most people knew what commercial egg laying hens were fed, they would understand why they have no flavor.

                                                13 Replies
                                                1. re: Noble

                                                  "get vegetarian fed. If most people knew what commercial egg laying hens were fed, they would understand why they have no flavor."

                                                  Noble, can you expand on this? I'm curious because I get my eggs from a friend who supplements her commercial chicken feed (corn, I believe) with compost from her kitchen and (in season) weeds from her garden. So yes, her chickens do get an all-vegetarian diet. But I had always supposed that the relative tastelessness of supermarket eggs was due primarily to their age. I've been given to understand that they sit around for weeks before they appear in your supermarket fridge. But it's the chickens' diet? Just what are they eating?

                                                  1. re: C. Fox

                                                    It's not the age...farm fresh eggs I've tried have been nearly as tasteless as store-bought.

                                                    Perhaps feed is a part of it, but my undestanding is that we breed dairy chickens the way we breed tomatoes, apples, and practically everything else: for appearance, hardiness, and consistency. Rather than flavor.

                                                    I've never found a single egg in this country that came even close to the average egg in Spain, in terms of flavor, richness, or deep orange color.

                                                    ciao

                                                    1. re: Jim Leff

                                                      I can't compare them to Spanish eggs, but these eggs I've been getting are delicious, leagues ahead of the supermarket ones, with bright orange yolks. So feed may be a significant factor. Still, I'll have to ask my friend how she selects her hens -- I know she goes to some trouble to get special breeds, but I don't know what qualities she's looking for.

                                                      1. re: Jim Leff

                                                        Are you sure age isn't a factor? I know if I boil "fresh" eggs, when I try to peel them, usually a lot of the white comes off with the shell. When I boil eggs that have been laying around (eating snack foods and watching TV...) in the refrigerator for a while, they peel much easier, with much less of the white coming off with the shell.

                                                        I think it has to be a combination of the feed that goes in to the chickens, the chickens' housing arrangements, maybe the age of the chickens laying the eggs, and the shelf time of the eggs. Then factor in individual cooks' techniques and implements, and ancilliary ingredients.

                                                        The last factor: the perception of the person eating the finished product, based upon the totality of that person's physical being and life experiences.

                                                        1. re: Chino Wayne

                                                          When I was first living on my own and revisited a cousin of my grandfathers that I had known growing up, who had lived all her life on a farm, I was presented with two dozen fresh eggs to take home. I was instructed that I should wait at least 4-5 days, preferably a week, before attempting to hard boil them, or they would be impossible to shell.

                                                          I have until this day and age of free-range eggs that are available in grocery stores, continued to let eggs age for a few days before hard boiling them. When I haven't, I have remembered my cousin Clara and recognized the error of my ways.

                                                          1. re: Chino Wayne

                                                            Chino, Fresh eggs are good for frying and whipping, but older eggs are best for boiling. As an egg ages it slowly dehydrates through the egg shell, which is porous. There is a thin membrane that surrounds the egg just inside the shell. As the egg dries out it pulls away from the shell - easy seperation.

                                                            1. re: Chino Wayne

                                                              Chino--I wasn't suggesting suggesting that age doesn't affect eggs in any way. My point was simply that tasteless eggs caught earlier in the cycle don't usually taste much better. American eggs have very little taste even right out of the chickens.

                                                              ciao

                                                              1. re: Jim Leff

                                                                Whenever i visit The Friend, near Bloomington, IL, we get eggs from Henry Brockman, a local organic farmer. I don't know what he feeds his chix or what kind they are, but the eggs (usually harvested that day) are almost as good as European eggs. Buy local.

                                                                Due, apparently to a quirk in local laws, there are people who still raise chickens here in St.Louis. In the city. Those eggs, sometimes available at the Soulard Market are pretty good.

                                                            2. re: Jim Leff

                                                              I used to regularly get eggs equally as good as those in Spain (where my husband and I keep the cost of eating down by making a racion of tortilla a part of every tapas meal) in the countryside here in the midwest. My success generally came from places that raised several types of poultry, peafowl were a good clue to good eggs. I used to get an especially good deal on eggs near my in-laws in Wisconsin when I would stop at the egg farm and let them know that their peacocks had escaped and gotten down the road.

                                                              I have also sometimes boosted the flavor of just ok eggs by adding a duck egg for every 3-4 other eggs. Of course, you've got to chat up a farm wife for a while to get her to sell you just one duck egg.

                                                              1. re: annieb

                                                                I don't doubt you've found serious eggs out that way (though they couldn't be all that easy to find if you're still forced to dream up clever strategems like duck eggs!).

                                                                But I've tried myriad organic solutions, small farm solutions, free-range solutions in my neck of the country and come up short. Haven't covered the whole country, of course.

                                                                I just wish there were more alternatives. More kinds of chickens. More tasty eggs. Sigh.

                                                                ciao

                                                              2. re: Jim Leff
                                                                w
                                                                Wendy Leonard

                                                                When I lived in Kenya I ate scrambled eggs every day for breakfast. The taste was completely different from that of the American supermarket eggs I grew up with and I always thought it had something to do with Kenyan chickens. Maybe it did, but parenthood brought me to eggs nearly as good here...every year we spend a few days on farms (one in Pennsylvania, one in Vermont)that take in guests. The eggs that the children collect in the henhouses taste very much like those I enjoyed in Kenya--high bright orange yolks and an unbelievable flavor. These eggs still taste wondrous after a couple of weeks so it can't be freshness alone.
                                                                Eggs I buy in the greenmarkets do NOT have the same look or taste. Incidentally, the farms are not allowed by health regulations to serve guests the eggs from the henhouses. We cook them ourselves. (And yes, that's me, sending the kids into the henhouses several times a day, trying to hoard ALL the eggs...)

                                                              3. re: C. Fox

                                                                I did some research on eggs a few months ago and am eating vegetarian eggs as a result. I am unable to find the source, but I did read that commercial egg farms feed the birds by-products from cookie factories, fish processing facilities and even feathers and blood from the floor of chicken processors. These birds also generally never see the light of day and growing conditions are unsanitary at best. What a bird eats does affect the flavor of the eggs. My favorite are farmer's market eggs - fresh and full of flavor.

                                                                1. re: C. Fox

                                                                  Joshua is an Egg Freak.

                                                                  It all started when my mom switched to organic, free-ranging, sexually satisfied, happy chicken eggs. He was over one morning & made himself a scrambled egg & was blown over at how great it was.

                                                                  Since, we've taste tested several (dozens of) varieties... Here's a few of the main ones: Trader Joes organic/free range (Og/FR), Safeway Select Og/FR, Rock Island Og/FR (you can get them from Whole Foods), New Zealand Og/FR (Yes, that's right, flown from New Zealand in, no doubt, cute little red & yellow prop planes by free ranging, sexually satisfied pilots; you can also get these at Whole Foods--the eggs, not the pilots--and they cost around $3.75 per 1/2 dozen).

                                                                  The most evident verdict seems to be that brown-shelled eggs are better than white ones (although we haven't seen white Og/FR). And, without question, the extra $1-1.50 spent on the Og/FR is well worth it, no matter where they are from.

                                                                  We compared the New Zealand eggs directly with the standard Trader Joes/Safeway Og/FR eggs. In particular, the New Zealand eggs had more flavorful whites & richer, more brightly colored yolks.

                                                                  This morning, we compared the Rock Island to the Safeway Select. The Rock Island eggs had large, brightly colored yolks and were noticeably better in flavor.

                                                                  Incidently, Joshua's preferred way to scramble the things is:
                                                                  Eggs: no mixing w/milk, cream, beer, etc.
                                                                  med heat
                                                                  butter
                                                                  Carefully crack the eggs into the preheated pan (butter already melted in pan). Since you cracked the eggs carefully, the yolks should not have broken; gently swirl/scramble the white part of the egg without breaking the yolks until the whites are almost cooked through. NOW you get the intensely satisfying part of breaking the yolks; mix them together with the already almost cooked whites until the entire thing is almost cooked (still slightly moist/runny) and serve immediately. (I, actually prefer mine absolutely cooked through so I leave mine in for a few minutes more on low heat to achieve "shoe-leather" status! mmm)

                                                              4. have completely lost track of this thread so will no doubt repeat what everyone else says:

                                                                i) absolutely fresh eggs and butter - prefer unsalted; can always add salt later
                                                                ii) tablespoon of double cream per egg makes all the difference
                                                                iii) low heat; barely cooking. whether you stir lots or not depends on whether you want big pillowy curds or a smoother end product. yes you can take an hour but i normally get a bit impatient and whack the heat up a notch or two
                                                                iv) take off the heat before fully cooked and let residual heat finish the job!!!
                                                                v) salt and pepper before and after. white pepper if you're worried about appearances

                                                                this is for trad french type eggs - runny, almost like a puree. the brits prefer em a little harder - give them french style eggs and they'll think they're half-cooked

                                                                couple of other egg-related things spring to mind:
                                                                omlettes: there appears to be a great divide between those who believe omlettes should be brown or not coloured. also all the faff about mere poulard (see Elizabeth David: an Omlette and a Glass of Wine) - simple is best

                                                                scrambled eggs in london: michel bourdain (who recently retired) had an awesome scrambled eggs with truffle on the menu at the connaught. don't know if its still on - apparently gordon ramsays moving in. it was basically scrambled eggs and, er, black truffle in a puff-pastry case. a fine example of simple ingredients, perfectly cooked.

                                                                also saw an article in the ny times the other week about a sydney chef called Bill Granger who is famous for his scrambled eggs. the articles gone into the pay-section now, but I daresay a google search for "bill granger" will turn up bits and pieces.

                                                                howler, shall have a rummage around the bookcase at home and see what i can dig up. the bill granger piece is also on rbb.

                                                                cheers

                                                                j