Scrambled eggs: such a simple concept, yet, such a delicacy to master. If you’ve ever read Julia Child’s My Life in France (which I highly recommend, if you haven’t) she details the arduous task of cooking the perfect plate of eggs scrambled with the utmost reverence with a gentle whisk of a fork and patient eye as the yolks cook over low heat as she attended classes at Le Cordon Bleu. I don’t think I ever paid proper respects to eggs until I read Julia’s memoir, which led to her cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking. So this recipe is dedicated to Julia, and subsequently Julie Powell, whose book/movie Julie and Julia inspired this very project (couldn’t you tell?).
Let’s circle back to the reason I’m even detailing the intricacies of mixing eggs, cream and butter to the perfect curd-ish consistency, shall we? Season 2, Episode 1: Sadie, Sadie – Lorelai is engaged to Max! (At least by the end of the episode.) A few of the highlights:
- The town is covered in what I have heard from other GG sources is much more than 1,000 yellow daisies from Max’s proposal (Who took the time to scatter these around the town? How long have they actually been there? Clearly long enough for Patty to fashion a daisy-strung necklace. They absolutely did this on purpose.)
- Oh yeah, and Rory and Dean are back together again, almost nauseatingly so….
- When Lorelai tells Sookie about her engagement she has the sweetest reaction to the point that she cries tears of joy for Lorelai. That’s true friendship right there.
- At this point, Sookie offers her catering services for the wedding mentioning that scrambled eggs make a great appetizer, citing our recipe of the week, “…when you put them in a little quail’s eggshell and you put caviar on top they are quite a crowd pleaser.”
If you follow me on Instagram (@thegourmetgilmore) you have journeyed with me to find the illusive quail’s egg, which I ended up finding for a steal at a local Vietnamese grocery store. $1.99 for ten eggs! That is a fraction of the price of Central Market, the only other place I was able to find them. As emphasized by Julia, it’s not that this recipe is complex as much as it is skillful. I used Julia’s recipe, and have actually been testing it for a few months. Honestly, I haven’t made scrambled eggs the same old way I used to again. It would definitely be a crowd pleaser; however, here are a few field notes from my recipe testing:
- You would need a dedicated team to merely assemble the hollowed out quail eggs and proceed to stuff the hollowed shells with the scrambled eggs (with very tiny, delicate utensils might I add.)
- The most efficient way I found to plate the eggs was in a mound of coarse sea salt. Now, I have no experience in the serving industry, but I was highly skeptical of this being at all a viable option to be passed around on a platter. Turns out, the salt pleasantly stabilizes the eggshells, it just may not be the most efficient use for your sea salt.
- Caviar is an anomaly to me. Maybe it was the $5 price point, but the closest comparison I can offer is like a vaguely fish-tinged saltwater version of that juice boba you get as a topping at frozen yogurt shops. Yeah, exactly. It did, however, blend pretty agreeably with the scrambled eggs. Next time I would just scale back on the salt a bit to account for the saltiness of the fish eggs.
Overall, I was delightfully surprised by the combination of eggs and caviar, and how cute they are when spooned into the tiniest eggshell known to man. I think I could see how these would be a crowd pleaser, at least until you have to peel off the shell to get your single bite of egg.
Scrambled Eggs in a Quail’s Egg with Caviar
(Adapted from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking (Ouefs Brouillés))
5-6 quail eggs (or 8 regular chicken eggs)
4 tsp heavy cream
4 tablespoons butter, divided and softened
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Black Lumpfish caviar to taste
Beat the eggs in a bowl with salt, pepper and heavy cream until the egg whites and yolks are well blended and little to no egg white strings remain. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan over medium low heat. Coat the bottom and sides of the pan with the melted butter. Stir continuously with a rubber spatula until curds begin to form, about 3 minutes. Stir quickly until the eggs reach the desired consistency. They should shine and still look moist. Stir in 2 tablespoons butter. Spoon into hollowed out quail egg shells. Top with small spoonfuls of caviar. Enjoy!