Today: A new year, a new favorite way to cook eggs.
We know you're stubborn about your fried eggs -- so stubborn we couldn't write about one best method (we narrowed it down to 6).
But, friends, it's 2014, and it's time to try something new. Something that will startle you, then feel strangely familiar and comforting. This is the part where I ask you to change your ways, and put vinegar on your eggs.
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It might not sound as welcome at 9am as butter or maple, but a measured shot of vinegar is surprisingly perfect at breakfast (just think about hot sauce -- we don't reach for it because it's like ketchup, but because it's like vinegar.)
Roger Vergé, one of the forefathers of nouvelle cuisine, knew this. The richness of yolk is tempered and shined up best by sitting next to a tart, cleansing foe -- the balance of soft and sharp acting like a good vinaigrette. "Fried eggs cooked in this way are, incidentally, among the most irresistible of all dishes," Vergé wrote in Cuisine of the Sun -- especially after a night with a few too many glasses of bubbly, when you need to straighten yourself out.
"Many is the time that I have suddenly had a longing for three fried eggs -- usually after midnight, when I am among friends, and guests who have finished dinner and are mulling away the evening with a liqueur," Vergé wrote, making all of us wish we could come over for eggs. "The sight of the eggs cooking is too much for them all, and they always end up by joining me. I know few dishes so powerful!"
Here's how it's done:
Vergé is quite specific -- crack 2 or 3 eggs in a bowl, then slide them together into a well-buttered 6-inch frying pan to form a pretty, sunny orb.
But you can apply this technique to your favorite fried egg method, whatever it may be. Just splash a couple tablespoons of vinegar into the hot, still-buttery pan as soon as the eggs come out. Let it reduce by half, then spill the resulting syrup over your eggs.
Deborah Madison's version swirls in some butter at the end with the vinegar, much like mounting a proper pan sauce. You can try this if you want to ease in, but you'll see it's not necessary once the yolk is unleashed.
Welcome to 2014, by way of 1979. Meet your new eggs.
Got a genius recipe to share -- from a classic cookbook, an online source, or anywhere, really? Please send it my way (and tell me what's so smart about it) at [email protected]
The Genius Desserts cookbook is here! With more than 100 of the most beloved and talked-about desserts of our time (and the hidden gems soon to join their ranks) this book will make you a local legend, and a smarter baker to boot.
I'm an ex-economist, ex-Californian who moved to New York to work in food media in 2007. Dodgy career choices aside, I can't help but apply the rational tendencies of my former life to things like: recipe tweaking, digging up obscure facts about pizza, and deciding how many pastries to put in my purse for "later."