Tuesday, March 08, 2005

James Bond's Scrambled Eggs

I'm not kidding. Author Ian Fleming actually attached a recipe for scrambled eggs in his James Bond short story, "007 in New York" (reprinted in the Penguin editions of Octopussy and The Living Daylights).

In gastronomical terms, Bond is probably better known for his martini (shaken, not stirred) rather than for his eggs (which are stirred, not shaken). It's still a nice recipe, though, and a lot less complicated than the Nero Wolfe version (which uses a double boiler and takes 40 minutes to make).

Fleming is probably one of the first 20th-century authors who used "branding" in his output: mentioning certain products by name that Bond liked to use. It wasn't because he was paid to do so; it's just that he used the products himself or read about them, and figured to establish his super-agent (as well as other characters such as CIA agent Felix Leiter and 007's boss M) as men of discriminating taste, much like himself. (It's one of the reasons why 007 always likes brown eggs as opposed to white.)

Accompaniments for scrambled eggs, for Bond, included champagne (his preference was Tattinger's but any sparkling wine would work out), buttered toast points, and smoked salmon (007 preferred the latter from Scotland and not Nova Scotia, but it's easier to get the latter in Canada). Not to mention a pretty girl in a bed, but we needn't go into that.

I've added a few annotations in the event that you don't have four individualists to feed, but just yourself and Jill St. John (or Ursula Andress, or Maryam d'Abo, or Halle Berry, or you can insert your own personal substitution here).

Scrambled Eggs James Bond

For four individualists:

12 fresh eggs [or 3 eggs per person]
Salt and pepper
5-6 oz. of fresh butter [about a stick and a half, or 3 tbsp. per person]

Chives or fines herbes

Break the eggs into a bowl. Beat thoroughly with a fork and season well with salt and pepper. In a small copper (or heavy bottomed saucepan) melt 4 oz. [half a stick] 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 the rest of the butter and continue whisking for half a minute, adding at the same time 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.


At 6:08 p.m., Blogger Elizabeth said...



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