Friday, August 21, 2009

Recipe: The Perfect Over Easy Egg

The perfect egg, although it seems simple and has been done for centuries, is actually not as easy as it sounds. I have been practising a lot recently since my one year old is in love with egg yolks (still to early to give him the whites). So the challenge is to create the perfect dipper / over easy egg where we can scoop the yolk out with a spoon. Some would do this using a soft boiled egg, but why take 10-15minutes when you can do it in two.

One more caveat is that I don't use non-stick frying pans for health reasons (if food doesn't stick to them, how does the coating stick to the pan?), hence a beautifully seasoned cast iron pan is the way to go for me.

A few keys to remember:
1. Make sure you have enough oil (I use butter for the flavour).
2. Use a bigger pan than you need (this helps with flipping).
3. Do not fill the pan with eggs, this makes flipping much more challenging.
4. The pan should not be too hot, I like to use butter for this reason as well. If the butter browns when it hits the pan, the pan is too hot!
5. Crack the egg on a counter or flat surface, not a corner or edge as this helps prevent broken shells in your eggs.
6. Get a good flipper. This can make all the difference. It should be medium width and longer with no curved edges. I have five flippers, but only one is good enough for eggs!

Now that you are ready, lets get cracking (sorry:)). Heat a pan to medium-low heat, add butter (or oil) and let melt. Use your flipper to spread the butter around the pan so it is covered. Once melted, add the egg (don't get fancy, use 2 hands, this is all about preserving the yolk) to the center of the pan and don't touch it. The edges should start to turn white on the bottom immediately but the rest of the egg should slowly turn white. After about 1 minute, the edges of the whites should be fully cooked and the middle around the yolk should start be firm on the bottom. Some of the white will still be uncooked on the top and around the yolk. Let's get ready to flip, but don't just jump in, there is a chance part of the egg is a little stuck to the pan and this can spell disaster for our sensitive little yolk. Work your flipper around the egg until it moves freely on the pan. Now we are ready to flip, good luck! Try to ensure none of the egg folds under itself or you will end up with the dreaded uncooked whites (yuck). Cook for another 10-20 seconds, remove, season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Enjoy with your favourite piece of toast!