How To Make Delicious Eggs

Wylie Dufresne is the mad genius behind the famed New York restaurant wd-50, and the kind of chef who remind you why the guys in the kitchen wear white coats.

Whether you take your eggs scrambled, in an omelet, or over-easy, he'll outline the proper way to get it done.

SCRAMBLED


For years I scrambled eggs the traditional French way: low and slow. Stir, stir, stir. The result was loose, almost runny scrambled eggs with tiny curds (1). Over time I realized I liked a less runny but still creamy scramble—I wanted to cook the eggs longer but end up with the same texture. The solution was to add cheese at the end. I usually use Land O'Lakes American (it melts perfectly) (2), but any cheese will work. Then cream cheese is the final touch. It's the perfect smoother-outer because it's engineered to do that. It's not like it's aged in a cave in Philadelphia (3).

This process moves quickly, so get your ingredients lined up and your equipment ready:

• Deep saucepan with rounded sides

• Sauce whisk (not a big balloon whisk) (4)

• 2 or 3 eggs per person

• Salt and cayenne or white pepper (black pepper is too strong)

• 1 to 2 tsp unsalted butter per person

• Half a slice of cheese (preferably American) per person, torn into small pieces

• 1 Tbsp cream cheese per person

Crack the eggs into a bowl, season with the salt and cayenne, and whisk vigorously. Heat the saucepan over medium-high heat, add the butter, and, once it foams (5), add the eggs. Whisk in a circular motion—the eggs should never stop moving. When the curds look almost dry (for 6 eggs or fewer, this will happen in less than a minute), remove the pan from the heat and add the cheeses, whisking constantly until they disappear into the eggs. That's it. Taste for seasoning, then serve, ideally with something crunchy. Sometimes I crush potato chips on top.

OMELETS


Even the most traditional chefs will tell you to use a nonstick pan for an omelet, because when you do it right, the eggs shouldn't stick or brown at all (6). I like a 10-inch pan for a three-egg omelet. Nonstick technology has come a long way, so if you're using the same pan you've had since college, get a new one. I'm impressed with the ones I've tried from Swiss Diamond.

Crack three eggs into a bowl and use a fork to whisk them well, then season with a little salt and cayenne. Over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of butter to the pan and wait for it to foam. Pour in the eggs. They will start scrambling, so you have to work fast—you're chasing fine curds here. With the fork, whisk using a vigorous flat, circular motion while shaking the pan back and forth. After the curds start forming, remove the pan from the heat, continue whisking and shaking for 10 seconds, then put the pan back on the stove for 10 more seconds. A fine, thin egg crepe is already forming on the bottom of the pan.

Remove the pan from the heat, angle the handle up toward your face, rest the far side of the pan on the stove, and tap the butt of the handle with your fist. The idea is to move most of the eggs to the front of the pan—you just want a thin layer up near you. Lay a slice of American cheese over that puddle of loose egg curds in the far side of the pan, then use your fork to gently fold the thin end of the egg over the thick, cheese-filled end, tapping the pan on the counter to loosen the eggs. Invert the omelet seam-side down onto a plate. Ideally you have a pale yellow torpedo filled with runnyish eggs and American cheese. If not, practice: After a few hundred of them, you'll be ushering perfect omelets into the world.


OVER-EASY


Making an over-easy egg is actually not easy at all: You think, "I'll just flip these eggs, no problem." But then the yolk breaks, and you have to toss them (in a restaurant) or serve them looking like a mess (at home). Try this next time: Start with a nonstick pan. Get a couple of tablespoons of butter nice and foamy over medium heat and crack in two eggs. Season them with salt and a dash or two of cayenne. I like to swirl and shake the pan regularly as the eggs cook, to keep them from sticking. After about a minute and a half the eggs
should be sliding freely and the white should be pretty well cooked except for right around the yolks; that part should have started to gel. At this point you can flip the eggs. Don't try to do anything flashy. Grease a plate that's a little wider than the pan with cooking spray or a smear of butter. Slide the eggs onto the plate, invert the pan over the eggs, and, using a dry kitchen towel to hold the whole rig together, flip it over. Remove the plate, return the eggs to the stove, and cook them 10 or 15 seconds more—over, and easy.

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