Exploring the technique and tradition of food and wine through storytelling

Custard Eggs

There was one year that I worked breakfast shift at a busy, upscale restaurant attached to a hotel. I worked sauté, which was responsible for cooking all the eggs throughout service. Breakfast ran from 7 AM to 11 AM. During those 4 hours, we would typically serve 300 people.

Cooking eggs to order for 300 people in 240 minutes is pretty fast. The chef stressed that it should never take more than 2 minutes to cook an omelets, or any style egg (with the exception of hard boiled and soft boiled). When things were rolling, I would usually have 3 pans cooking eggs simultaneously, one pan on a flame to getting, and a pot of water boiling for poached eggs. The speed and intensity really made the job fun, and focus was key.

Guests could order eggs made in a variety of ways: scrambled, fried, over easy, over medium, over hard, basted, western omelette, french omelette, poached, basted, sunny side up. With the mentioned “less than two minute cook time,” we could usually have food on the table within seven minutes of the server entering the order into the computer.

A few years later, I worked in a Parisian style café. One of the popular dishes was custard eggs. While all my experience with eggs was fast paced, this dish usually took around 10 minutes to make. The final product held a custard-like consistancy and could be spread onto a baguette or sour dough bread. That is the technique I wish to share with you.

Start with two eggs, cracked directly into a room temperature pan. There is no need to whisk the eggs beforehand. Add a splash of water, a pinch of salt, and a few cubes of butter. Turn the heat on low. Then you may break the yolks with your wooden spoon or spatula. The instant you see the egg whites turning from clear to white, its time for continuous stirring. The goal is smooth eggs without the presence of any major curds.

Garnish the custard with microgreens or fines herbes and enjoy!

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