scrambled eggs with salmon caviar (aka fancypants scrambled eggs)

Did you hear that? That, my friends, is the sound of relief. I don’t know what kind of mental blockage I was having, but I just couldn’t get my taxes done this year. My w-2 went MIA for a few weeks. There was a box full of receipts that had to be sorted through – the absolute last thing in the world I wanted to do. And then at the eleventh hour, I finally got my act together. Needless to say, I am delighted that that shiz is filed. It was really beginning to feel like a hostage situation up in this joint.

Since I was here last, which was forever-ago {insert sad face}, there has actually been quite a bit of activity in my kitchen. Easter came and went. I feel like I missed it. I went about business as usual that day – baked a couple dozen cupcakes (yes, there were cupcakes!), ran to the farmers’ market to buy strawberries for the rugrats (no Easter candy from Auntie Sandy this year), got my hair did. And before I knew it, I was late to dinner and still frosting cupcakes.

I did manage to squeeze in a little treat for myself that morning. After the cupcakes were out of the oven, I moved on to breakfast. Farm fresh eggs. Salmon caviar. A splash of heavy cream. A dab of butter. You get the picture. It was a whole lot of decadence.

These scrambled eggs were inspired by a little place called Zuni Cafe. Lee and I met there for brunch a few Sundays ago. We sat at a sunlit table on the ground floor of the dining room and enjoyed a few adult beverages. I ordered the rabbit salad with a poached egg, he ordered the scrambled eggs topped with steelhead caviar. I had one bite of those eggs and wished that I had ordered that instead. Those eggs were everything. Little pops of salty ocean goodness enveloping silky curds of the most perfect soft scrambled eggs. I seriously contemplated ordering a second entree, but ultimately decided against it.

Instead I promised myself that I would make those eggs as soon as possible. It happened two weeks later. Because it’s such a simple dish, the ingredients are key. You should be able to find cured salmon roe, also known as ikura in Japanese cuisine, at any market that sells sushi-grade fish (I bought mine at Tokyo Fish Market in Berkeley; if you’re in San Francisco, Nijiya Market in Japantown is where you’ll want to go). And if you can get your hands on fresh farm eggs, they are definitely worth the extra bucks; those amazingly bright orange yolks produce a richer, creamier, super delicious cooked egg. I like to call this dish eggs on eggs or fancypants scrambled eggs. It’s my new favorite breakfast and I totally wish I had ikura on hand everyday (salmon roe is loaded with omega-3s – hooray!). And in case you were wondering, a glass of rosé pairs really nicely if it’s that kind of morning. Bon appétit!

scrambled eggs with salmon caviar (aka fancypants scrambled eggs)

inspired by Zuni Cafe

serves 2

4 large eggs

1 tablespoon heavy cream

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/4 cup cured salmon roe

large pinch of salt

fresh cracked pepper

Crack the eggs into a medium size bowl. Lightly beat the eggs with a fork or small whisk, being careful not to over mix. Add cream and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Heat a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add the butter and melt until it begins to bubble. When butter is foaming, add the eggs to the pan. As the eggs start to set, push the egg curds to the center of the pan using a rubber spatula. Continue to push the eggs around until no longer runny, but still moist. Be careful not to overcook. When the eggs are just about done, remove the pan from heat and distribute the eggs between two plates. Toss a generous amount of the salmon roe over the eggs and serve immediately with toasted baguette or sourdough.