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.) The richness of egg 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. Adapted slightly from Roger Vergé's Cuisine of the Sun (Macmillan, 1979) —Genius Recipes
large brown eggs (6 if you enjoy them as much as Verge does)
Break 2 or 3 eggs, according to your appetite, into a bowl, taking care not to break the yolks. Heat half the butter in a 6-inch frying pan, and when it turns golden, slip in the eggs very carefully. Cook, puncturing any air bubbles which form in the egg whites with a fork. Don't worry if the eggs go crisp and golden round the edge. When they are cooked the way you like them, season with salt and freshly ground pepper and slide onto a heated plate. Pour 2 tablespoons of wine vinegar into the pan. Allow to reduce by half and pour over the eggs.
Wipe out the pan with a cloth or paper towel and repeat the process with the remaining butter, eggs, and vinegar.
From Vergé: This is a controversial recipe. Some people swear that the butter should not be allowed to colour; others cook the whites first on their own and then slide the yolks on top (having first salted the whites to prevent the yolks from being marked). Each way has its point, but in this book I have given the recipe I make for myself and my friends. Fried eggs cooked in this way are, incidentally, among the most irresistible of all dishes. 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. 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!
Genius recipes surprise us and make us rethink cooking tropes. They're handed down by luminaries of the food world and become their legacy. They get us talking and change the way we cook. And, once we've folded them into our repertoires, they make us feel pretty genius too. Watch for new Genius Recipes every Wednesday morning on our blog, dug up by Food52's Senior Editor Kristen Miglore.