Oeufs brouillés à la truffe

Scrambled eggs with truffles

This recipe for an ultra elegant brunch dish is remarkably easy once you manage to get hold of a truffle. Even in France they can be hard to come by, and fresh ones cannot be found at all at certain times of year. But you can buy them online, vacuum-packed in a jar, as I did when making this recipe. They’re not cheap, but you don’t need a lot. With one truffle, the cost of this dish for two came to about $10 — not bad for an elegant brunch.

Needless to say, the other key ingredient is high-quality eggs, free range or organic. The fresher the eggs, the better the result.

As for the cooking method, the French make scrambled eggs au bain marie (in the top of a double boiler). This is thought to produce a creamier result. I’m not sure I view this as an absolute necessity, but it works fine if you want to take the trouble. Otherwise, you can scramble them in a pan with butter, as usual.

The quantities below will serve two people.

1 walnut-sized truffle
4 large eggs
1 generous tbsp. crème fraîche or sour cream
1/4 tsp. salt, or more to taste
freshly ground black pepper
1 small pat of butter (optional)

The night before making the dish, clean the truffle. If it’s fresh, brush off the dirt, rinse well and dry it. If it’s from a jar, simply rinse and dry. Place the truffle and the whole eggs in an air-tight container. The aroma of the truffle will penetrate the eggshells, adding depth of flavor.

When ready to make the dish, cut the truffle into thin slices. Then cut about a quarter of the slices into tiny julienne strips for the garnish. Set aside.

Crack the eggs into a bowl. Whisk until frothy. Add the cream, salt, pepper and truffle slices (but not the juilienne strips). Set aside.

To cook using the French method: Bring a half-filled pot of water to a boil. Turn down the heat so that the water is just simmering. Transfer the egg mixture to a slightly smaller pot or pan, preferable nonstick. Place the small pot over the water, making sure that no water slips over the edge. Using a wooden spatula, stir continuously until the eggs have set.

To cook using the standard method: Place the butter in a skillet. Melt over medium-high heat. Add the eggs. Using a wooden spatula, stir continuously until the eggs have set.

Transfer to individual plates or small bowls. Top with the julienne truffle strips. Serve piping hot with toast. Serves 2.

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