(“No Mr. Bond, I expect you to dine…” with apologies to Gert Fröbe.)
If you’re anything like me, one of your ficitional heroes would have to be James Bond, the elegant superspy. We all have our favourites… Sean Connery always tops the list and I liked Brosnan, but the new guy is bringing something really new (as in authentic to the novels) to the screen.
The novels are different. And Bond is different in them. The quintessential Bond meal, for instance? Eggs. (And coffee or champagne, or vodka tonics… depending on the hour.)
So what is so elegant about the egg?
The pleats in a chef’s toque are supposed to number the ways that he can prepare an egg. That ought to give you an idea of how important the egg is to cooking. And to properly scramble an egg isn’t as easy as you think. But with a little patience and some practice, perfection can be yours. What could make you feel more suave than serving Bond’s favourite as an impromtu dinner (…or breakfast?)
The recipe comes from a short story (“James Bond in New York”) that is on page 113 in my copy of Thrilling Cities, a sort of travel book that Ian Fleming wrote. It should more properly be called Eggs a la Plaza as he eats them in the Edwardian Room at that storied hotel. (I wonder if the restaurant still exists since the conversion to condos?)
Regardless, here we unscramble the message to bring you: “Eggs James Bond.”
For four individualists:
12 fresh eggs
Salt and pepper
5-6 oz. of fresh butter.
Break the eggs into a bowl. Beat thoroughly with a fork and season well. In a small copper (or heavy bottomed saucepan) melt four oz. of the butter. When melted, pour in the eggs and cook over a very low heat, whisking continuously with a small egg whisk.
While the eggs are slightly more moist than you would wish for eating, remove the pan from heat, add rest of butter and continue whisking for half a minute, adding the while finely chopped chives or fines herbes.
Serve on hot buttered toast in individual copper dishes (for appearance only) with pink champagne (Taittinger) and low music.
The shot above takes liberties with the original recipe and adds some smoked salmon in a garnish reminescent of the pickled ginger served alongside of sashimi. The salmon will go wonderfully with the champagne….
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