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Eggs by Julia



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"The egg, that perfect, pristine, primal object – we may not gobble it up
as profusely now as we used to, but every mouthful should be memorable…"

~ Julia Child

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Basket of Brown Eggs
Basket of Brown Eggs
Photographic Print

Melford, Michael
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Fresh Eggs, 1874
Fresh Eggs, 1874
Winslow Homer
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Bon Appetit
Bon Appetit
Carol Robinson
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Fresh Eggs
Fresh Eggs
Dan Dipaolo
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Mixed Herbs
Mixed Herbs (Les Fines Herbes)
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Eggs in a Row
Eggs in a Row
Dan Dipaolo
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La Belle Cuisine


Eggs by Julia

The Way to Cook

by Julia Child, 1994, Alfred A. Knopf

“The egg, that perfect, pristine, primal object – we may not gobble it up as
profusely now as we used to, but every mouthful should be memorable…
WARNING. Be sure that your eggs come from a certified and carefully
inspected source – and make every effort to see that poultry inspection and
sanitary regulations are strictly enforced in your area. If we, the public, are
alert and demanding, our elected officials have no choice but to follow.
Use Grade AA or Grade A eggs, and never buy or use cracked or dirty eggs
since broken or contaminated shells may have allowed harmful bacteria to
Keep raw eggs and egg dishes refrigerated, serve cooked egg dishes as soon
as they are done; wash hands, utensils, and work surfaces in hot soapy
water whenever raw eggs are involved in a recipe."

"Eggs – about 1 in every 10,000 at this writing [1994] - may contain salmonella bacteria. The bacteria multiplies at room temperature, but it is quiescent when chilled. It is killed when the egg is heated over 140 degrees F, or is hard boiled,
and it is also killed by a fairly strong dose of acid – lemon juice or vinegar.
A healthy immune system is built to handle a certain amount of harmful bac-
teria, but infants, the ill, and the elderly should beware of raw and under-
cooked eggs.
As for me, I love eggs in any form, and I happily eat boiled, scrambled, soft-
boiled, and poached eggs as well as soufflés and mayonnaise at home because
I know my eggs have been handled in the USDA-approved manner, and that
they have been under refrigeration practically from hen to table. Away from
home, I am wary and usually abstemious."

Some Egg Rules

  • Know your egg sources.

  • Never buy unrefrigerated eggs.

  • Never buy cracked eggs.

  • Never leave eggs sitting about in the kitchen – warmth allows bacteria
    to multiply – keep them always in the refrigerator. If they need to be at
    room temperature, place them in a bowl of hot water for several minutes,
    then use at once.

  • Always wash all bowls, utensils, work surfaces, and hand in hot soapy
    water after handling raw eggs.

  • [See also Egg Safety Information]

Master Recipe

To Scramble Eggs

For 8 eggs, serving 4 to 6

8 eggs
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon or more butter
1 tablespoon or more heavy cream, optional
Optional minced fresh herbs:
3 or 4 tablespoons minced fresh parsley,
or parsley and chives, chervil, tarragon, or dill

Special Equipment Suggested: a mixing bowl and fork; a 10-inch
no-stick frying pan, and a straight-edged wooden or plastic spatula;
warm plates

Cooking the eggs. Break the eggs into the bowl, adding salt and pepper
to taste, and beat just to blend yolks and whites. Set the frying pan over moderately low heat and add enough butter to film the bottom and sides;
pour in all but 2 tablespoons of the beaten eggs. Slowly scrape the bottom
of the pan from the edges toward the center with the spatula, continuing slowly as the eggs gradually coagulate – it will take them a minute or so to start thickening – don’t rush them. In 2 to 3 minutes or so the eggs will
have thickened into a softly lumpy custard – cook them a few seconds
longer if they are too soft for your taste. Fold in the 2 tablespoons of
beaten egg to cream the scramble. Carefully correct seasoning and, if
you wish, fold in a tablespoon or so additional butter and/or cream, and
the optional herbs.
Serve at once on warm (not hot) plates. Accompany with, for instance, bacon or sausage or ham, broiled tomatoes, and buttered toast wedges.

Dilled Scrambled Eggs: A Cold Suggestion

"I first had these in Norway, with my first dilled salmon, gravlaks. Season the scrambled eggs with chopped fresh dill, and serve them forth with the salmon –
a happy accompaniment. The Norwegians also include potatoes creamed in a
dill-flavored sauce, and the combination of salmon, potatoes, and eggs is a
winning luncheon or supper dish."



“Omelettes are such fun to make when you toss them off, as shown here [photographs included in cookbook]. A fresh green salad, a glass of white
wine, and an omelette make a lunch worth waiting the 30 seconds it takes
to make one, and I say fie to those oenophilic spoilsports who insist that
wine goes with neither eggs nor salads. Wine is essential with anything!
Particularly omelettes for lunch.”

Manufacturing Notes:

"The omelette pan. In the days before no-stick pans, to find the right omelette pan was a real problem. Fabled Dione Lucas, one of the great early cooking teachers
and omelette practitioners, had a special heavy aluminum pan that no one was
ever allowed to touch. And there were the black French steel pans 1/16 inch
thick that needed special curing and very special care. Some cooks insist to this
day that only the French iron pan gives the right color and consistency to an
omelette. Wonderful pans they are, but try to find one for sale in this country.
The pan to look for is the Wearever professional pan made of professional-
quality aluminum, with heavy-duty, no-stick interior.
It has a 10-inch top diameter, a 7 1/2-inch bottom diameter, and the sides, with
the slightest curve, are 2 inches high. It is not only an omelette pan, but the pan
you will use most – of all your frying pans – for general cooking. Don’t bother
with the rubber sleeves sold with some of these pans – they’re almost impossible
to get off when you want to put the pan in the oven for one reason or another.
Get used to wearing a towel hung at your waist, as chefs do, and grab the
handle with that."

[A personal note: One of the many things I’ve learned through the years from my elder son, Chef Keegan, is just how important the proper omelette pan be can to
the success of the finished product. Preferably one’s “batterie de cuisine” should
include a skillet used exclusively for omelettes. I can still recall a conversation
which must have taken place a good 20 or so years ago, during which he stressed
the importance of good omelette-making because, he insisted, it incorporates aa
number of techniques and disciplines so essential to the art and craft of cookery
in general.
One is patience! Another is perseverance: the willingness to practice, practice, practice. Chef Keegan prefers clarified butter (and insists on it for crepes, of
course!) and approaches the task with great confidence. And I seem to recall
his saying that once you have mastered the technique of omelette preparation,
you will understand a whole lot about food!]

"The 2- to 3-egg omelette. Unless you are a whiz with a restaurant stove and heat source, I don’t recommend more than the 2-egg omelette, 3 at most, since the eggs should be soft and tender inside. Enclosed by a cloak of lightly browned coagulated egg. Too many eggs and you risk a second-class result. Besides, at 20 to 30 seconds per omelette, you can serve a goodly number of people in just a few minutes."

Master Recipe

The Tossed Omelette

“Remember that a tossed omelette goes very fast – really in 20 seconds – far, far
less time than it takes to read all the directions here. Give a dry run or two
before you actually cook your first omelette so that you are fully familiar with
the movements. Plan to make 5 or more omelettes one after another for friends
or family, daring to be fast and rough and confident (whatever happens!). Then
you will quickly master the technique of the jerk, a straight rough pull of the
pan toward you by its handle – not a toss.”

For a 1-serving omelette

2 “large” eggs
1 teaspoon water
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
Optional serving suggestions:
1 teaspoon soft butter, parsley sprigs

[Photographs of the procedure are included in the cookbook.]

The eggs. Break the eggs into a bowl, add the teaspoon of water, and salt
and pepper to taste. Whisk with a fork just to blend yolks and whites.
Heating the pan.
Set the pan over highest heat, add the butter, and as it melts tilt the pan in all directions to film the bottom and sides. Watch the butter carefully – when the foam begins to subside and the butter just
begins to color, pour the eggs into the middle of the pans – they should
hiss gently as they go in, indicating also that the pan is hot enough.
Coagulating the bottom.
At once shake and swirl the pan by its handle
to distribute the eggs over the surface; then hold it still over heat for 2 to
3 seconds, to form a film of coagulated egg on the bottom of the pan.
The omelette forms in the pan.
Now, holding the pan by its handle, start jerking it toward you – thus throwing the egg mass against the far edge of
the pan. Keep jerking roughly, gradually tilting the far edge of the pan over the heat as the omelette begins to roll over on itself. Push any stray egg
into the mass with a spatula, if necessary. When nicely formed at the far
edge, bang on the handle close to the near edge with your left fist and the
omelette will begin to curl at its far edge. It is done.
Omelette onto plate. Turn the pan handle to your right, grab the underside of the handle with your right hand palm up and thumb on top, hold a warm plate in your left hand, and tilt the two toward each other. Then reverse the pan over the plate to dislodge the omelette upon it. If it is not turned out neatly, shore up the edges with a spatula.
Serving. If you wish, rub the butter over the top of the omelette and
decorate with parsley. Serve at once.

Serving a Crowd

Have a big bowl or pitcher for your whisked and seasoned eggs, a whisk to beat them lightly before each omelette, and a long-handled ladle that holds
a scant 1/2 cup – 2 “large” eggs measure 6 to 7 tablespoons, or a little less
than 1/2 cup. Then with your butter measured out, and a stack of warm plates, you are ready to perform with speed and grace.


Fresh Herbs: Omelette aux Fines Herbes
Whisk a tablespoon of fresh minced herbs into the eggs before making
the omelette – parsley alone, or parsley and chives, chervil, or tarragon
Sprinkle a good pinch on top of the omelette before serving.

Cheese Omelette
After the eggs have coagulated on the bottom of the pan and before
jerking the omelette to form it, rapidly spread 2 tablespoons of grated
Swiss cheese over the eggs, then proceed.

Potato Omelette
Follow the preceding cheese omelette, but spread on 1/2 cup or so of
diced potatoes that have been sautéed [either in clarified butter, or half
butter and half olive oil] with herbs and shallots.

Other Fillings: A few more of the many possibilities:

  • Sautéed mushrooms or chicken livers or diced ham, or

  • Piperade – green and red bell peppers sautéed with onions and garlic, or

  • Broccoli florets, cooked chopped spinach, or asparagus tips, warmed first in butter and seasonings, or

  • Lobster, shrimp or crab, warmed fist in butter and seasonings.

Featured Archive Recipes:
The Incredible Edible Egg
Chez Gladine's Basque-Style Scrambled Eggs
Eggs Creole (Commander's Palace)
Eggs Hussarde (Brennan's)
Eggs Louis Armstrong (Commander's Palace)
Favorite Eggs Benedict
Scrambled Eggs with Lox and Cream Cheese

A Tribute to Julia Child
Index - Breakfast Recipe Archives
Yummy Muffin Recipes
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