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.