How Do You Like Your Eggs?

I Am The Egg Man (Or, "I Am The Egg, Man")

That sounds like I’m coming on to you, doesn’t it? I’m not, I swear. I respect you, Internet.

Normally Tuesdays are writing posts but last week was a little heavy and this week I’m on vacation so, you get a post about eggs. Chicken eggs, in particular.

I eat eggs every morning in some capacity. Farm-fresh eggs in particular. It’s interesting, actually, to see the shift in organic (which now doesn’t mean what you want it to mean) to free range (which used to mean that the chickens dined outside as wandering creatures but now means that someone opens a door and gives them the opportunity to roam free which they don’t do automatically because they’re not, uh, smart animals) to pastured or pasture-fed.

Mostly, buying fresh from a local farm undercuts all that. Because you can usually see the chickens somewhere in the distance, dicking around, being chickens.

Anyway. When out of season I do try to buy the “pasture-fed, not pumped full of exotic pharma-cocktails” type of egg, and in terms of taste it damn sure pays off. The regular eggs you buy — woo boy, I ate those for most of my life but had no idea. Those eggs are watery. Flavorless. Then you crack open a farm-fresh egg and it’s like, the yolk is thick and looks like a little sunshine. And the eggs taste like something. (Appropriately enough, a little like chicken.) And sometimes you crack open one egg and a little baby chick hops out and chirps at you and helps you with housework and dress-mending TRUE STORY SHUT UP.

Sometimes I make my eggs in the morning in a particular and perhaps peculiar fashion that is both simple and — at least, far as I know — unheard of. Not sure anybody else does this. Maybe they do and I have more people out there than I think. Here’s how it works:

I warm up a non-stick skillet (an omelette skillet) on medium heat and drop into it a glob of whatever Delicious Fat Product I choose to lubricate my food with. Butter is the obvious choice. I don’t eat vegetable oil because I’m one of those paranoid food types. Olive oil is a good oil but for me, not with eggs. I happen to recently like coconut oil for this purpose, actually — the blobs of white coconutty goodness bring a kind of sweetness to the end result (though any coconut taste is lost). Anyway: MELTY FAT GOODNESS.

Swirl the pan, let that fan run a few laps around the skillet.

Just after it melts, I crack a couple-few eggs into the skillet. For extra fun, draw a couple of googly eyes and a mouth frozen in horror onto the eggs, then crack them and mimic their screams. Then leave the shattered egg-skull fragments around for a loved one to find.

Anyway, point here is, you don’t want to drop the eggs into the pan so they’re suddenly sizzling and bubbling. You want to beat the heat a little, let the eggs warm up in the pan. BECAUSE IF IT’S TOO HOT YOU’LL RUIN IT LIKE YOU RUIN EVERYTHING ELSE. Ahem. Anyway, what you want is for the goopy translucent egg whites to slowly grow white — and when the pocket of goop around the yolk gets mostly white, that’s when you want to flip the eggs.

Now comes the weird part.

You let it cook another 30 seconds or so.

Then you take a fork.

Gently — as if performing surgery — make an incision over each yolk. Peel the egg back, exposing the golden sunshiney goodness. Use the fork or whatever other tool you so choose (spatula, spoon, hobo-finger) to spread the goopy yolk around over the top of the egg so that the majority of it is covered in a golden shellacking.

It’s like you’re bronzing the egg with its own insides.

This, by the way, is the time for salt and pepper.

Let it keep cooking until the egg yolk — again, most of which is now smeared all over the eggs — starts to firm up. It may almost start to look like it’s getting a skin to it. The goal is to stop it from turning yellow. You want the orange yolk to thicken, to tighten, but not go full bore. The taste is exquisite — like in that middle phase the fat and the poltry magic and the souls of all the incomplete chickens come together and –

*eyes roll back in head, begins drooling, moaning in eggy pleasure*

Oh. Ahem. Sorry. I’m back! I’m back.

This is probably some French technique that I just stumbled upon. Whatevs.

And so now I ask you:

How do you like your eggs?

Toss around some egg recipes. Let’s see ‘em. C’mon, chop chop.

80 comments

  • Here’s what you do.

    FIRST: A chipotle sauce made of…

    –> 0.75 cup plain greek yogurt
    –> 0.75 cup mayonnaise
    –> .25 cup sour cream
    –> 1 small can chipotle peppers (usually in the “world foods” aisle at your average midwestern grocery. If you live in a city on the coast…I presume there’s some actual ethnic food-store to buy this at. Not sure. Will find out soon. Will report at that time.)
    –> 1 or 2 cloves garlic, pressed
    OR
    –> 1 Tblsp pre-minced garlic from a jar (Love this shit.)

    Blenderize all of the above. It’ll get super orange-red and be all creamy and spicy and yum. There’s going to be enough to last a while. Keeps for a couple weeks at least.

    SECOND: A waffle.

    Make a waffle however you usually make a waffle, but put crumbled bacon in the batter and maybe add some cumin and an extra two-finger pinch of salt.

    Spread the chipotle sauce over the waffle as you finish…

    MAKING AN OMELETTE

    Two eggs, beaten. In a pan. Recommend adding bits of cooked sausage and green pepper and cheddar.

    But whatever, just make an omelette. But instead of folding it over and stuff, you just serve it flat over top of the chipotlized bacon-waffle.

    Enjoy with coffee.

  • I like my whites set and the yolks runny so that when they are broken they make a sauce for what is underneath them. My daily breakfast is to take a bowl and fill it with raw spinach, add a scoop of shredded pork shoulder, carnitas, shredded beef short ribs, shredded chicken cooked in adobo, etc. Nuke the bowl with spinach and protein of choice (or what I have this week) for 2 mins. During those 2 mins make one over easy egg. Put egg on top of spinach/protein bowl with a dollop of some flavor booster – pesto, salsa, etc. This is an incredibly fast and great breakfast as long as you have the prepared meat and sauce.

    I did have an incredible egg dish at a killer restaurant here in San Francisco – Coi. It was quite simply an egg yolk slowly poached in smoked soy oil. By slowly I was told for 45 mins in the oil which is then put into an immersion circulator at a very low temp. This yolk is then served on top of a dollop of crème fresh with a sprinkling of chives. The texture of the yolk and the slightly smoky flavor was something that I never experienced before. Absolutely incredible! I have yet to try and replicate – but I will and let you know the ‘home’ approach to slowly poaching/smoking an egg yolk as I do not have access to an immersion circulator.

  • I make a weekend ritual of eggs, toast, bacon and coffee. I always make my eggs in the bacon grease, and put on a dash of garlic salt and lemon pepper before putting a lid on the pan to get perfect eggs over medium. No broken yolks unless I fuck up when breaking the shell/putting ‘em in the pan.

    <3,
    -J

  • I’m going to join you in weird-egg-eating land… only my weirdness is totally different.

    I like over easy fried eggs, so the yolk is pretty much just warm with a slight shell. Which is obviously not the weird part. The weird part is… I don’t like egg whites, so cut those away. Then I peel away as much of the white away from the yolk as I can. Perfectly cooked eggs will actually allow me to peel away ALL the white so I have, essentially, a little yolk sack. Then I scoop that up on my spoon and plop the whole thing in my mouth.

    And the best part of this bizarre ritual is the face of whoever is watching me, because inevitably SOMEONE will watch me. ^__^

  • I’m simple with my eggs. Fried hard (not as much poking as you do but I break the yolks) then put on sourdough toast. Before the eggs are done, the toast gets horseradish mustard on one side each, then pepper jack cheese, then the eggs in between all that. Very simple but flavorful. Iced tea on the side to cut some of the heat.

  • i raised my own chickens. best eggs ever. i miss them terribly.
    i lightly saute some sprouts and/or chopped veggies in butter, then scramble a couple eggs in with the veg. season to taste. shredded cheese or crumbled feta on top. yum.

  • Get yourself a nice thick piece of home made bread. Cut a hole in the middle while some butter heats up on a skillet.

    Drop that bread onto the butter, let it brown just a little. Turn it over, crack the egg inside, get the white all over the bread, then salt and pepper a bit because

    in a minute or so you’re going to flip that bad boy over again so the other side cooks until the white sets while the yolk is still goopy.

    Scoop it out, drop it on a plate, and go eat your buttery bread and saltypeppery eggs, you heart attack hoper-for, you.

  • French Canadian Toast, an invention of my husband’s: You need Montreal bagels, and if you’re never had them, you’re missing out. Unfortunately, they go stale pretty quickly, so my husband once tried softening them up by soaking them in raw scrambled egg. Then you fry the excess egg mixture and the eggy bagels all together and voila… It’s like French toast, but with Montreal bagels, so it’s French Canadian toast! (I try to be funny. It doesn’t always work out)

  • Melted butter in your non-stick frying pan. Then add finely chopped spring onion, and very finely chopped red bell pepper, fry over a low heat, nice and gently, until they are more or less cooked (this shouldn’t take long if you’ve chopped them finely enough). Then add your beaten eggs, and stir in a spare handful of grated mild cheddar. When the cheese is melted and the eggs are cooked but soft, voila. Season and serve with toasted buttered bagel, or toasted buttered potato scone (mmmmm….potato scone…….).

  • I like my eggs in a very similar fashion. I do have a variant though. At the bottom of the pan, I use olive oil that I spread with a paper towel, so the layer of the oil does not mix with the egg white. I also put few grains of salt at the bottom of the pan with the oil. The oil-salt is heated on medium for 1 minute prior to breaking the egg in it.
    What does it do for you?
    The salt melts and slowly dissolves / transfer from the surface of the pan into the yellow of the egg. It combines with the yolk and prevent the yolk from hardening while the albumin becomes whiter and gels / solidifies.

    Cooking is chemistry after all ;-)
    Dr. O

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