Lynn Russell taught me to make her favorite scrambled eggs when she came to stay with us in San Francisco. They're beautifully luxe, herb-flecked scrambled eggs with cream cheese. Perfect for weekend brunch. Lynn is a fantastic cook, but I didn't connect with her though cooking. It was through her letterpress work. I loved her clean, understated designs, and found her writing about her work and son inspiring.
Scrambled Eggs with Cream Cheese: The Inspiration
We did a bunch of stuff while she was in SF. Her visit happened to coincide with the Alameda Flea market. We crossed the bridge not long after sunrise to beat the crowds. Conversation on the drive over covered a range of things, and one of the things we covered was cooking -- specifically eggs. For example, poached eggs are good, but jiggly whites are just gross. Lynn mentioned she does a scramble where she adds dollops of a special, super-herby cream cheese to finish the eggs. This was an idea that hadn't occurred to me. They sounded incredible. The sort of thing I think of as simple-special - a simple technique with a special twist. Lynn was a good sport, and let me photograph her while she showed me how to make them.
The Special Ingredient: Cream Cheese with Herbs
The thing that makes these scrambled eggs special is cream cheese made with lots of herbs, scallions, chives and the like. You mash them into a brick of cream cheese and then use this component for a wonderful flavor packed finish to your eggs. You’ll likely have quite a bit left over, and that is fantastic. Here’s a list of ways to use it.
- Good toast: slather on toast and/or crackers, make bruschetta.
- Lynn suggested layering it throughout a breakfast strata. Or this panade.
- Add dollops to the top of a frittata or sheet pan frittata.
- Or a smear across this omelette.
- Add a dollop to a bowl of hot roasted tomato soup.
- Work a few dollops into homemade pasta (I love it with this pappardelle) and a good amount of pasta water.
- It’s a great pizza topping, I especially love it on grilled pizza.
- Potato magic: Finishing touch on baked potatoes or mashed potatoes.
- Saving one of my favorites for last! Use it as the cream cheese in these wonderful wontons in this wonton soup.
Variations on Scrambled Eggs with Cream Cheese
There are some great ways to take this general idea and add your own twist. Here are a few suggestions from the comments.
- Boursin Shortcut: A number of people love this. “…I take a short cut and add 1T. Boursin Garlic and Herb cheese, or their Shallot and Chive flavor. One of the few special cheeses I keep around for such sauces and purposes.”
- Debra: I’ve got house guests coming next week, and I’m going to do this garnished with your roasted cherry tomatoes (I’m totally addicted to those!) and a little bed of baby spinach.
- Under Swirl It!: Maia says: “My mom used to do this! Except it was herbed Philadelphia cream cheese and she would smear it on the plate before putting the hot eggs on top, instead of mixing it in. It would get so gooey and melty.”
- Coriander: M @ V. Gourmet noted: “My best friend’s mom, who is Indian, used to make a similar dish with chives, green onions and freshly-ground toasted coriander seeds — it was sublime.”
I hope you love these special scrambled eggs as much as we have over the years. It goes to show, one of the best ways to find great recipes is to chat about it with friends!
More Egg Recipes
Scrambled Eggs with Cream Cheese
As far as cream cheese goes - we used Organic Valley cream cheese, but Lynn also mentioned Nancy's cream cheese is cultured, nice, and spreadable. Also, feel free to play around with the herbs you use. Mainly, just keep in mind that you want tons of herbs and green onions in the cream cheese. Think herbs with cream cheese rather than cream cheese with herbs.
- 8 oz / 225 g cream cheese, room temperature
- 4 tablespoons chopped herbs - equal parts thyme, tarragon, oregano
- 6 green onions, with greens, chopped
- 1/3 cup (big handful) chopped chives
- fine grain sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3 eggs, well whisked
- plenty of good sourdough toast, for serving
Place the cream cheese in a medium bowl, add the herbs and mash with a fork until the herbs are evenly distributed. Add the green onions, most of the chives, a generous pinch of salt, and mash until those are incorporated as well. Set aside.
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-heat. Add the eggs and let them set a bit. Use a spatula to fold them over themselves, let them set a bit again, and repeat until they are nearly cooked to your liking. Remove from heat, add 2 dollops of the cream cheese (roughly a tablespoon each) to the skillet, count to ten, then stir a bit more to work the cream cheese into the eggs.
Serve sprinkled with the remaining chives, salt and pepper to taste, and toast on the side.
Serves 2, feel free to scale up with more eggs if you have more people to feed.