Crunchy eggs? Ova my dead body.

America’s Test Kitchen’s idea of the perfect fried egg – offered in their weekly recipe email this morning – differs from mine in one respect: I consider fried eggs with crisp edges to be partially burnt and, like a typical Starbucks roast, a bit unpleasant. I also disagree with their use of oil in addition to butter; I think it’s in there primarily so they can burn the edges but not the butter. Oil is also going to give you rather greasy eggs unless you pat them with a paper towel before serving.

If I got such eggs at a diner, I’d cut the crunchy edges off and drop any daft plans I might have for a return visit. The same goes for scrambled eggs that look and taste like a pile of sunbaked boulders. Standards must be maintained.

Below, my perfect butter-fried over-easy eggs in progress. All they need from this point is a flip of the wrist and another couple of minutes on medium-low heat.

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9 thoughts on “Crunchy eggs? Ova my dead body.

  1. parisflight says:

    hummm. Have to have a think about this. A couple of things that I’m not so in favor of in your version…i’m strictly a sunnyside up gal…so that “flip and cook for a few more minutes “? Yikes !

    Best fried egg technique I have ever seen was at a place called Marie-Ange’s somewhere in the very middle of France. The guy had only a fried egg on offer. No omelets. No ham nor cheese. Nothing else that I can remember.

    He started with a swath of oil, Moved that around the pan until it was hot, cracked the egg onto a plate. Slid the egg in the plan. There was a quite a sizzle. He then moved a spoon around the edges, gathering up the oil and continued spooning the hot oil over the yolk of the egg. This was a pretty slow proccss as I recall. Quite a graceful gesture. Then he put just a drop of very very good cider vinegar and slid the egg onto a warm plate. A twist of a pepper grinder at the table, pinch of salt (no salt shakers at this place) i A slice or two of a decent baguette! Service! This was the best egg I have ever eaten. Simple as it was. No butter, freshest eggs. Nothing else on the menu. I don’t think I even had a coffee afterwards. It cost a buck fifty. I’m still making eggs this way. -p

  2. parisflight says:

    Yes those look yummy !

    No not crunchy. And indeed the fact that he kept spooning the hot over the top meant that they were cooked on top too. Kind of a light film of cooked white on the top of the yolk. This is important i think. That and the little bit of vinegar which cuts the fattty feeling of the yolk in your mouth in the most delicious way.

    I think there are basically two ways to cook eggs. Very quickly or extremely slowly (in a slow oven). Butter will burn if i use the quick way. Might try indian frying technique and try ghee or clarified butter …a voir.

    ooo Butter ! We must have a butter conversation one of these days. Mom used to make butter when I was a kid with the top of the raw milk that she got from a friends farm most weeks.

    Here in France, we have a miraculous butter maker : “Bordier” that makes things like smoked butter and butter with seaweeds…he makes something like fiften different butters…last spring I ran into him at a salon where he was offereing butter tastings. Heaven on a spoon.

    back to saturday cleaning.


    • lalmon says:

      I’d love to try some flavoured butters. I never have, so I don’t have a feel for what sort of flavoured butter you might use in particular dishes. Any examples of combinations?

      I always chuckle when I see sleb chefs like Ramsay do their special 15- or 20- or 30-minute scrambled eggs, the ridiculously long time, they claim, required for amazing scrambled eggs. What a load of buncombe. I don’t believe for 1 minute that they ever do that for anything but a TV audience.

      I love doing the exact same sort of creamy, soft, small-curd scrambled eggs they’re espousing with their fantasy recipes, but super fast – three or four minutes start to finish. I use regular unclarified butter for this, but it doesn’t burn because the butter goes in only seconds before the eggs.

      1. Warm a plate.
      2. Set a pan on medium-high heat.
      3. While it’s hotting up, whisk your eggs – I use three eggs, salt, pepper, and a tablespoon of cream. The cream lends a nice silkiness to the interior of the finished scramble. Start your toast.
      4. When the pan’s hot, toss in a butter pat (a teaspoon or so), quickly swirl it around, then just when it’s melted, in with your eggs so the butter doesn’t burn.
      5. Use a small whisk – with silicone-coated wires if you use a non-stick pan as I do – to keep the eggs moving constantly. This keeps the curd size small and prevents the eggs from drying out on the bottom.
      6. In about 70 seconds (if I recall correctly), when they’re still quite soft and a little wet – or, a little before you see your preferred texture – get them off the heat.
      7. Immediately stir in a tablespoon, more or less, of sour cream – or crème fraîche if you’ve got it – to halt the cooking and add a pleasant slight tang. Transfer to your warmed plate.

  3. parisflight says:

    gosh. makes me want to run out and buy some eggs !


  4. […] 3-minute soft and small-curd scrambled eggs as discussed below the crunchy eggs article… […]

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