“Winter is coming,” as they say in that HBO documentary about medieval incest. And yet, what’s not coming is a brunch establishment in the confines of your apartment, which is really kind of rude when you think about it. That means, as winter’s grim determination to sap our will to live slowly envelops us, you’ll still have to venture out for brunch. Fuck that noise; there are bears outside. Let’s stay in and scramble eggs instead. We’re going to eschew dumbfuck methods like stirring them over a double boiler for a century and cook them both faster and better than you’ve ever had. You will need:
- Three large eggs per person
- Sour cream (or “creme fraiche” if you just can’t get over your study abroad semester in Paris from seven fucking years ago)
- Chives (optional, but not really)
- Salt and pepper
A word on eggs – if you have to buy them, beware: You’ll notice that the store will sell both brown and white eggs, but the brown ones might be more expensive. This is because the store assumes your approach to eggs is basically the polar opposite of the NYPD’s approach to people – “most of these are white, but these ones are brown, so they must be better.” They aren’t, from neither a flavor nor nutritional standpoint. If you want to spring for “free range” or “cage free” eggs or whatever that’s up to you, but I’ve been using the generic ones my whole life and only have the vestiges of a third eyeball to show for it.
As for hardware you will need a spoon, a silicon spatula and a saucepan (3 quart capacity is more than enough). The thing with the saucepan is that it can’t be stainless steel. Eggs stick like hell to bare metal. As long as it’s black or grey on the inside and not shiny, polished steel or aluminum, you should be fine.
Let’s get cooking. Pop two tablespoons of butter into that saucepan, and set it over a burner turned between medium and medium-high heat. Err on the side of caution. While that heats up, have the sour cream ready and dice up the chives if you’re using them (use them). Then, crack three eggs for each person into a bowl, a mug or the plastic novelty heels you wore on Halloween. And then… do nothing.
That’s right! We’re not going to add salt or pepper (salt fucks with the structure of the eggs), and we’re not gonna beat these eggs in a bowl like you probably resigned yourself to doing. People do this for two reasons, mostly stemming from the restaurant industry. Not only are pre-beaten eggs kind of the only way to scramble them on a flattop grill, the homogenous yellow color disguises the possibility that they’re serving you pre-packaged “eggz” and calling it food. Keep an eye on your butter, and once it’s melted, get those eggs into the pan.
Now: Things are going to move pretty fast from here. Using your spatula, begin to stir and break up the eggs over the heat. Do not stop stirring. As soon as you see cooked egg beginning to form on the bottom of the pot, move the pan off the burner, use your spatula to scrape everything up, and keep stirring. When things stop cooking on the bottom, move the pan back on the heat and continue stirring until they do again. You’ll repeat this process, oh, three or four times before you’re finished.
Rotator cuff almost certainly torn beyond repair? Good, we’re nearly done! This can be tricky, but basically you’re looking for the absence of any runny, watery liquid but eggs that are still a little gooey. When you reach this state, immediately get the pan off the heat and chuck in another tablespoon of butter and a spoonful (call it a tablespoon) of sour cream/cream cheese. The idea here is that the cold dairy will halt the eggs from cooking any further, as they tend to do with their own residual heat. Now, taste – it definitely needs salt. Crack in a whole bunch of pepper, because eggs and pepper go together better than Taylor Swift and a picture of herself she taped to one of her stuffed animals. Once it’s right, stir in your chives and get it out of the pan.
There’s basically no wrong way to serve these. Breakfast stalwarts like bacon and hashbrowns are always welcome. Putting them atop buttered and toasted crusty bread which you’ve ALSO topped with sauteed mushrooms is so good it will likely necessitate a change of undergarments. If you’re making these at 3 PM because you’ve realized you’re sad and alone and no one even cares enough to wake you at a reasonable hour, they’ll go just fine with a simple salad and a glass of white wine.
Invite some friends over. Have some eggs. Mix up some Andre and Tropicana and tell Old Man Winter to stay the fuck home.