Perfect Sunny-Side-Up Fried Eggs
“Sunny-side-up fried eggs” is really a game of timing skill cleverly disguised as a breakfast dish. The game is this: how do you 1)keep those yolks runny; 2)harden the gloopy egg white on top; and 3)crisp up the edges of the fried egg–all at the same time? An egg wasn’t really built to respond perfectly to these needs. Sunny-side-up fried eggs are being made by the millions every morning, at restaurants and in homes. But not many diners get to start their days with perfection. My feeling is that the following recipe will bring you darned close, morning after golden morning.
Makes 2 sunny-side-up fried eggs
a large non-stick skillet, preferably 10″-12″ in diameter
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in half
2 extra-large eggs, refrigerated
1. Place the skillet over medium-high heat. Place the butter pieces in the skillet. Allow them to melt and foam.
2. When the foaming subsides, break the eggs into the pan on opposite sides of the pan, making sure that they’re not touching. If the whites start to run together, separate them with a spatula.
3. A moment or two after adding the eggs, run your spatula under them to make sure they’re not sticking. Some of the white will have already hardened. For each egg, dip a flat edge of the spatula into the egg whites on top of the egg that haven’t hardened, just outside of the yolk, and push the gloopy whites across the egg (not over the yolk), until they spill over the edge of the fried egg and into the butter in the pan; they should still be connected to the egg, and should seize up immediately. What you have done, in essence, is made a thinner but larger-in-diameter fried egg, whose whites will cook more quickly.
4. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, or just until the whites are cooked, the edge is crispy, and the yolk is still runny. If the whites on top aren’t hardening fast enough, flick some of the hot brown butter in the pan over those undercooked areas (I like to do this anyway.)
5. Remove with a spatula to a large plate, season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
Sunny-Side-Up Eggs On A Raft
I have no idea what “on a raft” means precisely in diner lingo, but I can tell you that the following fried-egg variation is not diner food; the good country French bread, used as a “raft,” speaks of upscale breakfast restaurants, of fashionable French brasseries in New York’s Soho district that open at 8AM. Happily, the dish is simplicity itself–and I can’t think of a better way to kick off a great Sunday of reading the New York Times at home.
Makes 2 servings
4 Perfect Sunny-Side-Up-Eggs (see preceding recipe)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 slices cut from a round, rustic, country French bread, each slice 3/8″ thick, each slice large enough to receive 2 overlapping fried eggs
1 smashed clove garlic, optional
a drizzle of white truffle oil, optional
1. While the eggs are cooking, butter the bread slices very evenly. If desired, rub the edges of the bread with garlic. Place the slices under a hot broiler, and toast them until they are brown and crunchy around the edges (they should still be fairly soft in the middle.) Place each slice on a plate.
2. Top each slice with 2 fried eggs, overlapping the eggs slightly, but letting the 2 yolks show. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle with white truffle oil, if desired. Serve immediately.