Once upon a time in the last decade, local star chef Daniel Patterson who is better known in haute foodie circles perhaps than he is known to the Food Network crowd discovered a method for making scrambled eggs that he particularly enjoyed. He shared it in a January 2006 column in the New York Times Magazine, and it did not cause any great waves, though this was the era before social media and its virtual pitchforks. Fast-forward to August 2017 when he releases his cookbook, The Art of Flavor, where he includes his recipe for Boiled Scrambled Eggs yes, they're boiled, and here's where the trouble starts.
The videographers at Food 52 decide to do a video demo, without giving any of the context Patterson gave in his column and recipe namely that he's not saying this is the proper way to scramble eggs, this is just a way he enjoyed because of the resultant fluffy texture, a hybrid of poaching and scrambling. (PBS featured the recipe via The Mind of a Chef about five years ago, and Food & Wine did their own video demo in 2015, but I digress.)
Bloomberg Food publishes this piece with the headline "You Are Making Scrambled Eggs All Wrong," in which food writer Kate Krader calls the boiled scrambled eggs Patterson's "most trailblazing recipe," and now you can cue the pitchforks. The UK Sun picks up on the online "stink," with commenters complaining about a recipe they likely have not tried, and Patterson is forced to respond on Twitter.
I've tried Patterson's recipe and it's a pretty good, if different, way to make eggs, but not without a couple pitfalls. It's easy enough separate out the thin part of the whites, unless the eggs are farm-fresh, scramble the rest, pour into a whirlpool of water on a low boil, cook for 20 seconds, and strain.
The latter part is the biggest pitfall like with poached eggs, unless you strain carefully and sort of flip the eggs around in the strainer a couple times, you will end up with a pool of water on your plate. But otherwise, the texture is lovely and unique, as egg dishes go, and feels a bit like a luxurious, slow-cooked omelette without all the fuss.
The point is, this is just one more method to add to your egg repertoire, not intended to be the only good way to scramble eggs the biggest downside being you can only top these eggs with herbs and condiments, you can't actually mix anything in as with a scramble or omelette.
Patterson is the owner of Coi, Alta CA, Aster, and Plum Bar in Oakland, as well as a partner in Locol and the former Haven in Oakland, which is set to reopen as a location of Alta.