The egg is truly a thing of beauty. Its versatility is unmatched, and if done right, even the simplest recipe can hold its own against some of the most complex Michelin-starred creations.
Let’s begin with what you can do with eggs. Fry ’em. Boil ’em. Poach ’em. Bake ’em. Shirr ’em. Coddle ’em. Omelettes. Meringues. Macaroons. Soufflés. The list is endless. Cooking an egg is an art, which is easy to imitate, and even easier to fuck up.
Let’s look at the humblest of humble egg dishes, the fried egg.
Everyone and their grandmother can fry an egg to save their lives. If they can’t, well they’re borderline stupid. But are you doing it right? Hell, no!
Those miserable excuses for fried eggs with their crusty, brown edges (excusable if you’re putting your egg on a burger) and sandy, grainy, fucked-to-the-core yolks (in-fucking-excusable), make me want to thank their creators with a knife to the gut. So how does one fry an egg with precision? Here’s how I do it and so should you.
It all starts with a nice clean pan – stainless steel, good. Cast iron, even better. Non-stick, get the hell outta here, but okay. And the main ingredient in this modest dish, an egg. Free-range, cage-free, organic, whatever floats your boat.
From eggs to awesomeness: A yolk’s journey. Damian D’souza/Arré
From eggs to awesomeness: A yolk’s journey.
Freshness is key, so if you’re the type who bought six eggs, six weeks ago, throw that shit in the bin, get off your lazy ass and buy some.
Reasonably good, fresh eggs should look like this when cracked open: The whites should be a wobbly, semi-solid mass, and shouldn’t run all over the place. The yolk should be a tight glob of yellow/orange sexiness, which frankly looks better than Kimmy K’s ass, IMHO.
The jury is still out on how to tell if an egg is fresh while still in its shell. It’s simple, ask the guy at the store to give you eggs that came in that very morning. Take ’em home, crack ’em open, and if the yolks are spread out and saggy, those motherfuckers at the store lied. So find another store.
After you have fresh eggs and a decent pan, grab some butter, olive oil (it’s ok if it has lost its “extra virginity”), a bit of sea salt, and get cracking.
While cooking, unless explicitly stated otherwise, all your ingredients need to be at room temperature – not frigid, not hot. Same goes for your eggs and butter.
Now, put the pan down and let it heat up a bit over a medium flame. Put in a bit of oil, and swirl to coat the pan.
Turn the heat down to low and gently crack the eggs into the oil. There should be an initial sizzle that should die down. If the sizzle is constant and sounds like the pan’s angry, it’s too hot, move it off the heat for 30 seconds.
Then put in a knob of butter and let it melt around the eggs. Turn up the heat a little and let the whites coagulate completely, without forming a crusty brown ring around the edges.
Tilt the pan lightly and spoon some of the butter over the eggs. After another minute or so, slide the eggs off the pan and into a plate. If you’re not a hardcore yolk slut like me, let the eggs stay in the pan and constantly spoon the butter over the yolks until they firm up a little more.
Season with sea salt (smoked salt is even better), letting the yolks catch some really nice flakes, or anoint with some really good quality extra virgin olive oil, or if you have the scratch, shave some truffle and some Parmigiano over the eggs. The possibilities are endless.
You can sauté some asparagus or spinach in the same pan and serve the whole shebang with good crusty bread. I personally like my eggs with jada namak, a dash of Sriracha, and nice, crusty burun pav.
These are sunny-side-up eggs that allow you the pleasure of rich, oozy yolks that are sex on a plate, quite literally.
If you wind up with eggs that look like these, give yourself a pat. If not, there isn’t going to be a worldwide egg crisis anytime soon, so try again. But seriously, if you fuck this up on the second try, you’re going to hell.