Fried eggs are great and all, but when I cook eggs for my family, I’m Team Basted all the way. What are basted eggs? They’re sizzled in fat until the whites set, then covered and steamed in liquid to gently cook the yolks. Think sunny-side up, but with greater control over the yolk’s firmness.
And here’s the fun part: You can use water, but for more flavor and interest, reach for carrot juice. It not only stains the eggs a sunny orange, it imparts a subtle, earthy sweetness to every bite. Conveniently, carrot juice is easy to find in small bottles in most grocery stores. You can use straight-up carrot juice, or carrot juice blends, such as carrot-turmeric and carrot-ginger.
And there are lots of uses for the leftover juice (aside from drinking it straight!). Here are some of my favorites: Cook quinoa (and other grains) in half water, half carrot juice. Whisk up a jazzy dressing for spring salads and roasted vegetables, such as the carrot-harissa vinaigrette I included in Mighty Salads. Add oomph to soup recipes by replacing a portion of vegetable stock with carrot juice. Or freeze small portions in an ice cube tray for making basted eggs whenever the craving strikes.
I suggest making the recipe below as written, then using it as jumping off point for the next time. A few ideas: Sizzle a small amount of ground turmeric or your favorite spice with the butter before adding the eggs, or top with your favorite chile sauce for a spicier rendition. —EmilyC
Salted or unsalted butter
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a nonstick skillet that’s big enough for the number of eggs you’d like to cook, melt some butter over medium heat (figure about ½ tablespoon of butter per egg).
Add the eggs; season with salt and pepper. After 30 seconds to 1 minute, when the outer parts of the whites are set, add a splash of carrot juice (a scant 1 tablespoon per egg) around and on top of the egg whites. Immediately cover the pan with a lid.
Cook for about 1 minute, until the whites are fully set and the yolks have a white film over the top. Uncover and continue to cook, spooning the carrot-butter over the eggs, until the yolks are your desired firmness. (Tip: Jiggle the pan to see how firm the yolks are.) Serve the eggs warm, spooning any remaining carrot-butter over the top.
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