Scrambled eggs are what you make of them. Relying on high heat for the sake of hasty cooking produces a dry, browned dish; using the steam wand of an espresso machine yields delicate, airy eggs. Some splash in some milk, others white wine or champagne. But it’s technique and late additions that most greatly impact a plate of eggs — a fact few know better than Nick Korbee, chef of all-day Manhattan eatery Egg Shop, whose menu celebrates the myriad possible preparations of the egg. As outlined in his new collection of recipes, Egg Shop: The Cookbook, Korbee adheres to two rules when cooking eggs: “Let the garnish suit the egg-cooking technique and add the garnish at the end, not during the cooking process.”
Case in point: Eggs Caviar. A scramble flavored with Cognac, finished with sour cream, topped with roe and served with buttered toast. Rich and creamy, it’s grounded in the soft scramble technique, yet elevated by complementary textures and flavors. “Caviar is like next-level sea salt,” Korbee explains. “When used as a garnish for soft scrambled eggs, caviar provides a deep umami component to balance the unctuous nature of all that yolky goodness.” And that reveals just how good eggs can really be.
“My favorite kind of caviar for this recipe is the highest quality I can best afford,” says Korbee. “This usually means the beluga and sevruga world is off limits. In this case I prefer American paddlefish, golden trout or salmon roe. If I’m really pinching pennies or showing off, I like wasabi tobiko (flying fish roe) from the local sushi spot.
Makes 1 Serving
1 teaspoon Cognac (like Pierre Ferrand 1840)
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons sour cream or labneh
2 grams of your favorite caviar or roe
1 slice sourdough or pumpernickel rye bread, toasted and buttered
1. Gently whip the eggs with a fork.
2. Heat a saucepan over medium heat, then add the Cognac and butter (they should sizzle/simmer immediately). Add the eggs and whisk constantly — working on and off the heat in order to develop the curds little by little and prevent the eggs from sticking or otherwise overcooking at the base of the pan — until the eggs begin to resemble [soft scrambled eggs]. Add 1 tablespoon of the sour cream and stir to incorporate, letting the eggs sputter and pop a few times on the heat. Barely fold in the remaining sour cream (some streaks should still be visible).
3. Top the buttered toast with plenty of soft scrambled eggs and a heaping spoon of the caviar. Or pour eggs in a bowl and top the whole thing with the caviar, use the toast as a spoon, and knock yourself out.
The recipe above appears in Egg Shop: The Cookbook, by Nick Korbee, published by William Morrow Cookbooks. Buy Now: $17