I really love eggs.
This is nothing new for those of you who have been following The Preservery for a while. We've discussed at length the magic of poached eggs and now, I feel, it's time to address eggs of the fried variety.
I'm going to confess something right now: fried eggs have not always been my favorite. Conventional egg-frying wisdom has taught us that if we want a creamy, runny yolk (and believe me, we do!) we order it over-easy. Right? And what arrives on the plate looks like a lovely fried egg from a distance, but up close it actually has a thin layer of uncooked egg white mucous on the top. I know I'm not the only one who has scraped that gelatinous pool of egg snot off my fried egg and shoved it to the side of the plate, just so it could stare me in the face while I'm trying to enjoy the rest of my breakfast. I'm all for raw eggs in the right context (Meringue! Cookie dough!) but that shit is just gross.
So, what's an egg lover to do? Allow me to introduce you to the Steam-Fried Egg. It has a bottom so crispy and crunchy you almost need a knife to cut it, puffy egg whites cooked all the way through, and a luscious golden yolk that runs like a slow river of molasses. It is 100% snot-free and totally delicious. If you're into that sort of thing, read on.
You don't need any fancy cooking tools, advanced cooking skills or even any unusual ingredients. Just find a good pan with a lid that can cover it, an egg, and a little bit of high-heat oil (vegetable, canola, or peanut all work well). My favorite frying device is a little cast iron skillet (mine is just the right size for frying two eggs at once) and I find it yields the best results. I don't have a lid that fits my skillet, so I use a larger pot lid to cover and it works just fine. Other types of skillets may work, too, so if you try this with a different frying instrument - holler at your girl and tell me how it goes!
Now, the fun begins. You want to get your pan and oil really nice and hot, so place the pan on the burner, add about 2 tsp oil (for one egg) and crank it up to medium-high. Let it heat up for a good two minutes if you're using cast iron. Make sure your lid is handy and crack your egg into a small cup (or if you're a skilled egg-cracker you can do it straight into the pan - just watch out for those bits of shell!), then gently drop the egg into the pan. It'll start to sizzle and crackle which helps create that nice, crispy crust on the bottom (if not, your pan probably wasn't hot enough). Now, place the lid over the egg and stay close. You'll hear some pretty fierce popping and sizzling under there as the moisture from the egg turns into steam. Lift the lid to take a peek, if you dare, but be careful not to tilt the lid to the side - all that condensation that collected on the lid will drip into your screaming hot pan and the water droplets will create something of an egg-splosion. (Sorry, had to). In about 2 to 3 minutes, when the white has puffed up and formed a thin, cooked layer over the yolk, it's done. Don't wait any longer and get that thing out of the pan because the yolks will start to cook after this stage and then you won't have that nice, slow-running yolk (but hey, even if that happens it'll still be pretty good!).
Season your crisp-fried creation with a little salt and pepper and put it on top of just about anything you damn well please. Or, just enjoy it all by itself and marvel at the stunning variety of flavors and textures that just one, single ingredient can yield. ILY SO MUCH, EGG!