On my nightstand right now is Marco Pierre White’s memoir, The Devil in the Kitchen, a fascinating story of White’s rise to kitchen stardom. It’s a good book, entertaining, and in it White offers snippets of culinary wisdom, one of which is how to prepare a perfectly fried egg and also how not to prepare an egg. He writes, “…the majority of people still crack an egg and drop it into searingly hot oil or fat and continue to cook it on high heat. You need to insert earplugs to reduce the horrific volume of the sizzle. And the result, once served up in a pool of oil, is an inedible destruction of that great ingredient – the egg. Maybe that’s how you like it, in which case carry on serving your disgusting food.” Well, then.
This is not White’s method. But it is my method, not too different from White’s, and I’ve never found it to be horrific, destructive or inedible. It’s a hybrid between a fried and poached egg, but you don’t have to mess with the swirling of water and trying to keep all the egg white together, or worry about the not-quite-cooked egg white on top, or making a mess when flipping it to make it “over (not so) easy”. It keeps the yolk liquid (as it should be). The addition of water steams the whites on top just enough that you don’t have to worry about uncooked, slimy whites. It may not be the kind of egg that would win a Michelin star, but for me it’s perfectly fine.
My Favorite Way to Cook an Egg
Yield: 1 egg
Olive Oil Cooking Spray (or butter)
1 egg (at room temperature)*
Sea salt & fresh cracked black pepper
1 Tbsp water
1. Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray, or melt butter in skillet.
2. Crack the egg into the pan (or into a ramekin then transfer to the pan, depending on how good you are at cracking eggs and how perfectly round you want your final egg to be).
3. When the egg is no longer transparent, add the water to the pan and cover with a lid. Cook for about 1 minute or until the yolk is clouded over. Enjoy with toast, home fries, or however you see fit.
*White mentions that he only uses eggs at room temperature because, if chilled, it lengthens the cooking process. And when you’re trying to balance cooking the white before the yolk cooks, it might make a difference. If I’m thinking ahead, I’ll take the egg out of the fridge awhile before I cook it. But, if necessary, I’ll cook it right from the fridge. The difference? Probably one only a Michelin man would be able to decipher.
Source: For the Love of Cooking