Think You Know Eggs? Learn These Techniques to Perfect Sunny-Side Every Time

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I have a lovely, friendly neighbor who raises chickens in her backyard and sells the eggs they produce to people who walk past her house. Lately I’ve been making a weekly visit to pick up the next dozen and love that I don’t have to refrigerate them, as they still have the protective “bloom” on the shell which protects the insides from air and bacteria, something that is washed off before arriving at your grocery store.

Eggs are the perfect little food package. Low in calories but full of essential nutrients, they are a breakfast favorite and easy to prepare.  However, they are also easy to ruin, either undercooked and jellylike, or overcooked with that horrible burnt egg smell that permeates the house.  Other than scrambled one of my favorite ways to prepare them is sunny side up, fried and firm, perfect next to a slice of buttered toast.

To make sunny-side up perfect each time, there are a few tricks to know courtesy of The Kitchn. None are impossible to master, but they are essential to getting the best out of your eggs:

  • Fresh eggs are the best eggs, as they hold their shape better.
  • Heat your pan, either non-stick or cast-iron, over medium heat.
  • Crack the eggs individually into small ramekins or bowls and put into hot skillet rather than cracking them directly into the pan.
  • Cover the skillet with a lid and cook over low heat to set the whites without having to baste with additional fat. If you hear any sputter, take the pan off the heat for a minute or two to avoid crisping up the edges.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil or if you prefer butter use a tablespoon
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat a medium non-stick or cast-iron skillet over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil or 1 tablespoon of butter, swirl to coat the pan, and heat until the oil is shimmering, 1 to 2 minutes. Meanwhile, crack 2 large eggs into 2 separate small ramekins or bowls.

  2. Slowly pour 1 egg into one side of the skillet; repeat with the second egg on the opposite side. Cover with a lid or plate and immediately reduce the heat to low. Cook undisturbed until the whites are set and the yolks are still runny, 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 minutes.

  3. Slide the eggs onto a plate (a fish turner is helpful here, especially with cast iron.) Season each egg with a generous pinch of kosher salt and a grind or two of freshly ground black pepper and anything else you’d like to add (I sometimes use a pinch or two or curry powder.) Serve immediately.

NOTES

Leftover fried eggs should be refrigerated within 2 hours of cooking in an airtight container for up to 4 days. The eggs must be thoroughly reheated in the microwave to 165°F before serving. However, the texture will not be as good as freshly cooked eggs, so I recommend you eat them right away!

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