Scrambled eggs are one of those deceptively easy foods that even "I-can't-even-boil-water" types are able to whip up. But don't let the relative simplicity fool you: this basic dish has a million permutations and preparations. Recently, we put Gordon Ramsay’s master class on eggs to the test, then latter pitted it against Bobby Flay’s instructions for basic scrambled eggs. Both are based on the classic French preparation, which is runny and with small curds, not the large, fluffy ones many of us were raised on in the U.S. We found that Flay’s, cooked over medium heat, were easier to make than Ramsay’s, which were fussier and left more room for user error. But if we thought we’d found a definitive answer, we were wrong.
Uncovering a blog post from 2012 is, in internet years is akin to finding the Rosetta stone. But we were also able to discover that the recipe did make a bit of a splash back then. A writer for Food Republic even gushed that it taught his wife to make the “perfect scrambled eggs” — following up with the cringeworthy "conclusion "that, “supermodels are smart.”
But, back to actual recipe. Teigen describes them as “low and slow” scrambled eggs, but her love of soft-scrambled eggs goes way beyond that. She also calls them “man pleasing’ sex eggs,” but doesn’t elaborate beyond that. Do they make a man want to sleep with you? Do you make the eggs for the man after he’s slept with you? (Are scrambled eggs even in the running for sexiest form of eggs post-coitus? For what its worth, think poached is the way to go.)
A more complicated version of these would later appear in Cravings, titled “Cheesy Cheeseless Scrambled Eggs With Burst Cherry Tomatoes.” But, for our purposes, we went with her original post featured on the blog.
Her tips are as follows: “Super low heat. Constant attention. A spatula. Non stick pan. Lots of butter. Generous splash of heavy cream and plenty of salt and pepper in the scrambled egg mixture.”
Flays’ scrambled egg tips were a bit different: Melt equal parts creme crème fraîche and butter on medium heat, salt and pepper the eggs, stir continuously, then add chives and salt before serving. I first made a batch of Flays eggs and sampled them while hot to remind myself exactly what they tasted like. Then it was onto Teigen’s.
I made a frothy mixture of eggs and generous amounts of cream, then added it to a pan where I’d melted butter on low.
How much is enough butter? She says, “Enough to make Paula Deen smile.” This was back in 2012, before Deen’s downfall. But, as a southerner, I let my own butter-o-meter guide me and, at two tablespoons for six eggs, I felt myself break out into a smile.)
The next step is to cook the eggs slow. Like, really slow. As Teigen herself says, “with the pace of a hungover Chrissy.”
So I powered up a podcast and took my time. Fifteen minutes, to be exact. Before they firmed fully up, I spooned them onto a plate and took a bite.
Compared to Flay’s, they were, indeed, incredibly creamy. They’d be perfect on top of some crunchy, buttered bread. It was hard to beat the hint of crème fraîche flavor in Flay’s scramble, however. And chives. Everything should be topped with chives, but especially eggs.
That said, cooking on truly low heat, not medium heat (or by taking it on and off a higher heat like Gordon Ramsay recommends) was, for me, the easiest way to get a truly custard-y texture. It’s also mildly fascinating to watch the eggs ever-so-slowly firm up.
Next time I make eggs, I’m doing a hybrid: adding crème fraîche and butter to the pan, then cooking on the lowest setting while listening to a podcast (or, to honor Teigen, watching the Housewives). And, like Flay and Ramsay, I will wait to the final moment to add good Kosher salt and chives.
I may be splitting the yolk a bit here, so if I had to pick an absolute winner, despite Teigen’s superior texture, I’d still have to go with Flay. There’s something about finishing salt and chives that will win me over every time. Like in horse races where someone wins by a nose, here, Flay wins by a chive.