In my family we have a breakfast tradition that stretches back to my great grandfather on my Father’s side, called Special Eggs. I remember this as being my favorite breakfast growing up, and it is the one dish that my Mom taught me to make that I still make at least a couple times a month. I learned how to make and serve a perfect soft-boiled egg, and it's been a skill I've used a lot over the years. —lechef
strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled
slices cheese (I use American...it's what I grew up using)
First off, get your bacon cooking, and get a pot of water on the stove big enough to hold all of your eggs. Put it on high and get it boiling.
Meanwhile, get out your bowls (1 per person). Break up 1.5 slices of American cheese into the bottom of each bowl. You can absolutely substitute your favorite cheese here, but I always go for American. It melts, it's creamy, and I'm a sucker for tradition. Check your bacon. Split the muffins.
The layering of the ingredients should start with the cheese since it doesn’t need to be cooked. The bacon too can be cooked and crumbled before the muffin and the egg. The timing will come into play with the egg, which at sea level, cooks for exactly 5 minutes and 15 seconds at a rolling boil. This is crucial! You want a perfectly cooked soft-boiled egg, where the whites are done and the yolk is still runny. If you overcook the yolk, it’s all over. You’ve RUINED BREAKFAST! So get your muffins toasting, and add your eggs to the pot. Make sure to keep it at a rolling boil! And don’t forget to set your timer (hi Mike!). You may want to add an extra egg or two in case some crack, but these are usually still fine as long as they don’t overcook. Extra eggs, bacon, and muffins always get eaten.
Pull out the muffins (if you are making a large batch I suggest using the oven so you can do them all at once), butter them, and break them up into the bowl (one full muffin per bowl). I find that folding the muffin in half like a taco, with the butter inside, and breaking it up that way prevents butter-burnt fingers. You should be finishing with the muffins just as your timer is counting down to zero, so that the muffins are hot and the eggs are just about done. Having two people working on this is definitely a huge advantage, so you can delegate muffin duty to one person and egg duty to another.
Now, pull your eggs off the heat and get them under cold water. Don’t let them sit there, but get them cool enough to handle without burning yourself. The more you cool them, the faster your eggs will get cold, so you still want them to be warm. If you can barely hold them to peel them, then they are perfect. Gently peel the eggs and add two to each bowl (whole). Season with salt and pepper.
When you are ready, break open the eggs and stir the whole thing up with a fork. This dish isn’t pretty, and it doesn’t photograph well, but if you decide to give it a try I think you will find that this will become one of your breakfast staples.