Try to remember the first time you heard about the combination of truffles and eggs. I was on an airplane, flying out for a week-long visit with my nana. Ice melted slowly into the puddle of O.J. remaining in the clear plastic cup. My legs dangled from the chair, toes still inches from the floor, making me feel uncomfortable next to the impeccably dressed woman sitting next to me, who inexplicably took me on as a close confident, lavishing me with stories of shopping expeditions through the souqs of Cairo or scuba diving on Australia’s great barrier reef. Breakfast was served; scrambled eggs and sausage with fruit salad.
“Oh God, what I wouldn’t do for some truffles,” moaned the woman in a tone that made my nine-year-old mind tingle in an odd new way. “What’re truffles?” I asked. She explained to me the mysteries and seductions of the tuber, and I was at once disbelieving and flushed with anticipation; how could such a thing exist, and where could I get some? The decades since then have occasioned a long list of truffle experiences. There was the unrecoverable bliss of “first truffle,” a cirrus of black truffle over hand-cut pasta noodles. There was the gold-miner’s delight of “truffle I found myself” pulled from moist loam in the southwest of France and stuffed into roasted guinea fowl. There was the madness of “best truffle,” an opulent scramble of white truffles and eggs served at the now-closed March Restaurant in midtown Manhattan.
Eggs are indeed a recurring and inescapable medium for savoring the truffle, and the miracle of black truffle salt is that you can concoct the living experience almost as easily as you can conjure the treasured memory. This recipe for truffle salt and scrambled eggs includes the option for serving them somewhat fussily in cups of their own shells to give this decadent dish some visual pizzazz.
Makes 2 servings
5 large eggs
2 pinches black truffle salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons crème fraiche
2 chives, thinly sliced
If you want to serve the eggs in their shells remove the rounded ends of the eggs with a fine tooth serrated knife. I know this sounds nuts—and and it is—but it isn’t that difficult. If you want to just serve the eggs in a mound on a plate, ignore this paragraph and start the recipe with the following one. Moving on, hold an egg on a plate and gently saw across the shell until a small hole opens up. Don’t push down hard or you’ll break the egg. Continue gently sawing until you get most of the way around. Now remove the cap and let the egg drop from the shell onto the plate. Pour it into a bowl and repeat with the remaining eggs. You will only need 4 of the shells for serving, which gives you an extra for breakage. Wash the shells and pat dry. Set cut sides up in egg cups or in a bed of coarse salt.
Beat the shelled eggs with a fork until frothy; add a small pinch of truffle salt.
Melt half the butter in a non-stick skillet over very low heat. When the butter is melted add the egg and cook over the lowest possible heat, lufting the egg with a heat-resistant rubber spatula until it sets into a mass of moist curds, about 15 minutes.
Add the remaining butter, crème fraîche and chives and continue folding the ingredients gently until everything is incorporated. Spoon into the cleaned egg shells and serve immediately, embellished with a pinch truffle salt.