Use the Good China Eggs, Homage to Richard Olney

By • May 15, 2011 • 41 Comments


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Author Notes: One of my favorite dinners is breakfast. The first few months after my son left for college, my daughter and I played with many variations on the theme. There is a comfort factor to breakfast outside its usual context that I suspect we truly needed because we were so far outside our usual context.

This is a variation I come back to often. For one thing, it comprises staples always on hand. It can be changed up and never suffer: no tomatoes, use mushrooms, or peppers; no basil, use parsley, rosemary, whatever. Not only is it an economy of ingredients, but also of preparation and of washing up. At the end of a complicated day, the last may be its greatest blessing.

And it's easy to eat. You can go outside, balance the plate in your lap, and hold a book. And it goes with whatever wine you have to hand.

Richard Olney. I'm not going to go all Julie and Julia here, but his dictum of simple, magnificent, pleasurable is nowhere more perfect than in his description of how to scramble an egg. If you've not read it, it's well worth hunting down. Brace yourself; it is one of the most sensuous pieces of writing ever. - boulangere

boulangere

Food52 Review: I dusted off a china plate and got out one of my silver forks in preparation for these eggs. Boulangere's recipe is so easy to follow; she explains everything step by step, it's like having a private tutor. I had some beautiful heirloom cherry tomatoes and used herbs from my garden, basil, parsley and chives. After cooking the tomatoes and herbs, I fried some bread which soaked up the juices in the pan—so delicious! Then I started the eggs. I moved them around the pan, oh so gently, with a wooden spoon as Boulangere, who had to have channeled Olney, described. I have to admit I have been guilty of overcooking my scrambled eggs and promise I will never do it again. I poured a glass of whatever I had laying around and sat down to enjoy this delicious and satisfying meal that cost next to nothing. These eggs were downright sexy.sdebrango

Serves as many as you need to serve, but i've scaled it to one

  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 2 tomatoes
  • Fresh herbs, chopped
  • Sea or kosher salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Heavy cream
  • A couple of slices of baguette
  1. Heat your favorite skillet over medium-high heat with a generous splash of olive oil. Add the tomatoes, herb(s) of choice, and a dash of salt. Sauté, stirring minimally, until tomatoes soften and even caramelize a bit. Scoop them out of the pan; don't pour them out because now you'll drop your slices of baguette into the pan and grill them in those lovely juices and olive oil. Sprinkle them with a bit of salt and brown nicely on both sides.
  2. Turn the heat way down. Wait a minute or two. Add a bit more olive oil if need be. Now add your eggs. Season with some salt and pepper. With a wooden (Richard insists) spoon, move the eggs around gently and minimally. They are done when still soft and shiny. Now add your splash of cream. This will (a) stop them from (over)cooking, and (b) gild the lily. Pour onto a pretty plate.
  3. Take a glass of whatever is open, sit in your favorite spot, and take a book along. I find that when I read while I eat, I eat much more slowly. Otherwise I tend to go at it like it's a job. Save a couple of bites of that wonderful bread to mop the plate when you're finished. Let the day's jangles go quiet.

Tags: brunch, Easy, eggs, herbs, tomatoes

Comments (41) Questions (0)

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Summer_2010_1048

almost 2 years ago Midge

Revisited this tonight. SO yum.

Dscn2212

almost 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Quelle coincidence! I had them just a couple of nights ago, too. So glad you like it.

021

about 2 years ago krusher

Brilliant. Simply elegantly channelled Olney. Thanks.

Dscn2212

about 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you very much ;0))

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

sdebrango, you are something else! Thank you profoundly. Glad you dusted off the good china.

3-bizcard

almost 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Well its back collecting dust until the next time i make those wonderful eggs.

Lorigoldsby

almost 3 years ago lorigoldsby

Congrats on your EP candidancy...had this for breakfast...totally worth hand washing the good china, in fact, since I've not put them away yet, I may have this for dinner as well.

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

The good china never sees the light of day often enough.

3-bizcard

almost 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Looking at your gorgeous pictues and came upon number 3, what is it?

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

LOL! Great question. It's right after I added the cream and steam fogged the lens. I included it just as a laugh.

3-bizcard

almost 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

It worked I'm laughing, LOL

Summer_2010_1048

almost 3 years ago Midge

This was dinner last night, even used the china (and a silver fork!). A total treat!

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh, good, good, good!

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

You know, I was so caught up wondering if I should include a silver fork in the list of ingredients that I overlooked the baguette slices. Fortunately, Burnt Offerings reads much more closely than I do.

Sunflower_profile

almost 3 years ago Burnt Offerings

Pssst - you left the baguette out of the recipe!

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Yikes! Thank you!

Fb

almost 3 years ago BlueKaleRoad

Breakfast for dinner is the best...I'll try this tonight. Love your title, too!

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you, and do enjoy!

Fb

almost 3 years ago BlueKaleRoad

It was a hit! Thank you for sharing. :)

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh, so glad you liked it!

Me

almost 3 years ago wssmom

Love the title. Love the head note. LOVE the recipe!

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you, thank you!

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almost 3 years ago LydiaPW

deeeelicious.

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Do you remember that summer as clearly as I do?

52

almost 3 years ago pauljoseph

will try this recipe any suggestion for fresh herb Is curry leaves OK?

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Fantastic, pauljoseph.

Sausage2

almost 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Love, love, love breakfast for dinner and this preparation for eggs. Plus, I'm always looking for an excuse to break our the good china!

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh yes, the good china never sees enough daylight.

Img_1958

almost 3 years ago gingerroot

My two children request breakfast for dinner at least once a week. Comforting and easy, it is always a dinnertime favorite. Your version looks delicious (beautiful photo!).

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you so much.

Cimg0737

almost 3 years ago cookinginvictoria

This looks delicious and oh so comforting. I really like Richard Olney's writing, and your homage to him is lovely. I am a big fan of breakfast for dinner too, especially eggs. In fact I prefer eating eggs in the afternoon or evening when my senses are on full alert, rather than in the morning hours when I often find that my mind and body are still not quite awake yet.

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh, love the *full alert* with regard to senses and eggs.

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Always happy to meet another Richard Olney fan.

Dsc_0675-x2a

almost 3 years ago Sagegreen

Love the photo as much as the comfort of the recipe!

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Seriously, the mop-up at the end may be my favorite part.

Summer_2010_1048

almost 3 years ago Midge

You're so right; there's something about breakfast-for-dinner that's comforting. I used to think of it as such a big treat when I was a kid.

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh, me too. Still do.

Summer_2010_1048

almost 3 years ago Midge

plus wine goes so much better with eggs than coffee ;) I will try your lovely method soon!

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh, most definitely.

Dscn3274

almost 3 years ago inpatskitchen

Yum! Love breakfast for dinner!!

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I still get a glow when son or daughter call and mention that they made waffles for dinner the night before.