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How do you like them?  How do you make them?  In a diner, I usually order them over light.  But, at home, I don't trust myself to turn them over without breaking the yolk, so I use another method.  I happen to love the brown lace on the perimeter that most people try to avoid developing.  To me, its delicate crispness is like the snap of good chocolate.  The way I achieve the desired result is to pre-heat my 8-inch nonstick All-Clad pan, add some olive oil and when that is hot, break in the eggs.  I don't turn down the heat.  It's fast.  Yes, I know what high heat does to protein, but that's the effect I'm looking for.  The whites puff attractively.  When there is just a little rim of uncooked white surrounding the yolk, I put the lid on the pan until, in about 10 seconds or so, a film has formed over the yolk.  Pepper only, no salt.  I like these when I'm eating dinner alone, with some home-fries, if I have potatoes and the patience to make them.  

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On the rare occasions when I fry eggs...

I heat the nonstick pan on medium with butter, not too much, and slip in the eggs. When the eggs are sunnyside up (white cooked), I add a couple of tablespoons of cream, a couple of dashes of hot sauce, some freshly ground pepper, and salt. I slide the eggs around in the pan to mix this with a flick of the wrist, then flip over, (when I'm daring, I do the aerial method, depends on how my coffee's taking) and after no more than a minute, slip them onto the plate.

Ideally served with proper home fries, toast, meat, fresh squeezed juice and another cup of coffee.

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Sandra, I use a big skillet, which makes it easy to get the spatula under the eggs and turn them without damage. In an 8" skillet, it's pretty hard to work around the skillet walls.

I usually use cast-iron, and I preheat it long and slow to a low-moderate heat. I think one reason fried eggs turn out well at restaurants is that the griddle is so thoroughly preheated.

I put a lot of butter in the pan, swirl it all around so it covers the entire surface, and dump out the excess (this is my standard procedure with butter or oil). When the butter begins to foam, I add the eggs. (If bacon grease is available, I might add a tablespoon of that to the butter.) When the eggs display air bubbles around the edges, I flip them. I remove them very, very soon after flipping. I sprinkle coarse salt and grind a little white pepper on each side (before and after the flip). I have nothing against a little crispness at the edges, and with cast-iron it's hard to avoid.

If I do sunny-side up, I don't use a lid. I don't like the steaming effect on the eggs. Instead, I use extra butter and do a butter-baste: Tilt the skillet so the butter pools up at one edge, and spoon the butter repeatedly over the egg yolks until their tops are cooked. This also works exceptionally well with bacon grease.

The big thing, though, is that you've got to start with eggs that have been able to come up a bit from refrigerator temperature. This is another critical element in restaurant egg cookery. The whites and yolks just don't cook at the right rate in relation to one another if the eggs are cold.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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My husband makes them the way you do, and I like them that way, too, especially if I'm having them in the morning, for breakfast.  (And in fact, I can flip the eggs in a big pan.) But, the truth is, I've come to prefer them made the way I described, which I developed when I still suffered from fear of flipping.  I've found that if the heat is high enough so that the lid stays on just a few seconds, you don't get the steamed effect.  I agree, bacon fat is great for eggs.

Any other methods, anyone?

(Edited by Sandra Levine at 11:24 pm on Jan. 8, 2002)

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Sandra, my wife and I had some really great fried eggs in Malaga, at a small cafe. Basically, they had been cooked in large amounts of good olive oil (almost poached really). The eggs (sunny side up) were tended and the fruity olive oil flavour went really well with eggs.  We were also very hung over, so that may have helped!

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I heat the pan up very hot until the oil is spitting (I only use vegetable or olive oil) and lay the egg into the pan. Sprinkle coarse salt. Sometimes I let the edges crisp, sometimes not. Sometimes I baste, sometimes I flip, sometimes neither. All these options create surprising variety in texture and flavor.

There seem to be a number of factors that make an egg break when you flip it. The first is technique, and if you tend to flip too hard, try using 2 spatulae, sandwich the egg lightly between them (make sure the top spatula is oiled), turn over and slide off. Lightly basting the egg before flipping will also help. Also, my experience is that eggs straight from the fridge, or VERY fresh eggs will tend to break more easily.

One other method I'm continually experimenting with is ways of flavoring the white. Sprinkling a small amount of very finely chopped spring onion or paprika into the white immediately the egg goes in the pan works :), and so far the things I've tried which I didn't like are basil, tomato, thyme and black pepper :(.

Just for fun, when I've been serving eggs on toast to friends, I have a rectangular metal pastry shape cutter which I put into the pan, then pour the egg into. The fried egg is then rectangular and fits perfectly onto a slice of toast :biggrin: altho it does have to be sunny side up.

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Just out of curiosity: Why does it have to be sunny side up? I've used a ring mold for shaping eggs and never had a problem flipping them. Would the same not apply to a square, a star, a heart, or whatever?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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That's why God invented knives!

I'll have to try it with a square mold. With circles, they seem to cohere pretty well when you flip them. I wonder, if you used a very shallow mold, if you could just do the flip, mold and all. That would certainly preserve the shape.

I make my molds from old cans, primarily. I have to find a square one.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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LOL Steven, that shows you're a cook and I'm not. I NEVER EVEN THOUGHT ABOUT USING A KNIFE :)

I got a large circular pastry mold and formed it into a rectangle. When I'm in a 'fancy breakfast' mood, I use a bulka (almost rectangular chollah) for toast, put my rectangular egg on the toast and lay a half slice of beef tomato on the curved top of the toast.

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That term, bulka, seems to have a lot of different meanings. Here I see it used primarily to refer to a torpedo-shaped roll made from the same dough as a bialy. Interesting.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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By the way, how do you all feel about the broken-yolk method in widespread use in America for the preparation of fried-egg sandwiches?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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As to fried egg sandwiches, I always break the yolk. Use a soft sourdough bread, good butter, salt, black pepper. And sometimes add one or two of the following: fried pancetta; taramasalata; lox; Dijon mustard; extra old cheddar; provolone; radish sprouts; thinly sliced red onion.

But basically, I love eggs any which way. While very bad restaurant eggs which asre greasy and torn are unacceptable I have to admit I still enjoy eating them.

On the whole I prefer them over easy with whites still moist and trembling.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Quote: from Fat Guy on 10:23 am on Jan. 9, 2002

By the way, how do you all feel about the broken-yolk method in widespread use in America for the preparation of fried-egg sandwiches?

if it's not broken, it breaks when you bite into the sandwich and procedes to run down your fingers.  gotta break 'em so they set a bit!

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There's a place up in Westchester, near Briarcliff Manor I think it is, where they are true masters of the fried egg sandwich. I have to contact a friend to get the address, because I've only ever been there late at night when he's been driving and we've been, well, in a good mood.

Anyhow, what they do there is they make an incision in one of those Portuguese-style fluffy white rolls and then hollow out a pocket by hand. Thus, the edge is sealed all around except for an opening for insertion of the ingredients. The roll is warmed, butter is schmeared inside, and the egg is inserted. The egg is broken after insertion, so that the yolk is still runny (if you break the egg while it's still on the griddle, the yolk cooks hard). But it doesn't leak. Instead, it combines with the butter and the fluffy bread (and salt and pepper, which are added at some point), and makes a very delicious goo. You hold it vertically while eating, slit side up, of course. Add to that some crispy, deep-fried bacon and it's about as good as this sort of thing gets.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Quote: from Fat Guy on 11:41 am on Jan. 9, 2002

There's a place up in Westchester, near Briarcliff Manor I think it is, where they are true masters of the fried egg sandwich. ...

that sounds like and uber-egg-sammy.

but i'm not *too* jealous cause jersey is the one and only home of the taylor-ham-egg-and-cheese-on-a-hard-roll, which is pretty much the most perfect thing in the world, especially when one is in, well, a good mood. ;)

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Decades ago, I was "head" baker at a small place. We rolled baguettes and croissant by hand. I and Kivo could roll 150 baguettes by hand in 20 minutes. Nice French oven. After several hours work, when dawn was coming over the Market, we timed it so that:

We pulled the cheese croissant trays. When this side of the oven was empty we cracked four eggs into a melting wad of butter on the inside of the open oven door. Flipped them over. Salt. With a palette knife slid two each into a huge croissant split into its heart.

Put the croissant down, close the door, open the other side, fill it with baguettes. Pick up the croissant and go and sit on the steps out front watching the farmers stalls being filled with red peppers.

Best fried egg sandwiches I've ever had.

(Edited by Jinmyo at 12:03 pm on Jan. 9, 2002)

(Edited by Jinmyo at 9:22 pm on Jan. 9, 2002)

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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You're very welcome. I rattled it off so quickly it was teeming with typos and seriously needed to be edited.

(We also made some fabulous Croque Monsieurs in and on the inside of the doors of those ovens.

Our sourdough and Black Russian breads (the latter with reduced coffe and vodka) breads were fun too.

But: Back to eggs! O  Adam Balic, I invoke thee. Pray come and tell us of the true egginess of eggs.  

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Quote: from A Balic on 4:17 am on Jan. 9, 2002 my wife and I had some really great fried eggs in Malaga, at a small cafe. Basically, they had been cooked in large amounts of good olive oil

Yes.  I was inspired to fry eggs in olive oil by this painting:http://www.artchive.com/artchive/V/velazquez/velazquez_frying_eggs.jpg.html

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