Taking Stock
Sam Sifton's Thanksgiving

Felicity Cloake's Perfect Fried Egg


I love you all so much, I really do. Thank you, thank you, for your fantastic, encouraging comments. I'm feeling all energized and excited. Did you know that would happen? I didn't! Hooray!

Without further ado, let's get to the fried eggs. I don't know about you, but I'm never happy with my fried eggs. Either the bottom browns too quickly while the yolk is still raw (and, folks, I like a runny yolk), or I end up flipping the egg out of impatience and then the yolk is overcooked and the white is rubbery. Every time I would make a fried egg, I got irritated that the platonic ideal - a set, tender white and a runny yolk - eluded me. But, I confess, I didn't think beyond that. And since Max doesn't like fried eggs at all - he prefers scrambled - the easiest thing was simply to acquiesce to his preferences most of the time instead of figuring out what I was doing wrong.

Except, I really like fried eggs for breakfast or, better yet, on top of things like leftover herbed millet or stewed greens or even a plate of spaghetti. I was getting a little sick of all those scrambled eggs. And so when, on Twitter the other day, I clicked on this article by Felicity Cloake, it felt a little bit like kismet. Finally, finally!, someone was going to tell me how to do a fried egg right.

Felicity Cloake very diligently assembled and tested all the different methods for egg frying, from José Andres's to Delia Smith's, Cook's Illustrated's to Jamie Oliver's, Lucinda Scala Quinn's to David Rosengarten's, even Nathan Myrhvold's sort of wacky sous-vide version, before settling on the following method, which - I tested it yesterday for breakfast - really is perfect.

First, you melt a lump of butter in a pan over low heat. Then you slide in a cracked egg (she has you crack the egg into a bowl first, but that seemed too fussy for me). Then, and this is the crucial bit, you cover the pan with a lid (I used the lid of my pasta pot, which was just slightly smaller than my frying pan's circumference), leave the heat on low, set the timer for 3 to 3.5 minutes, depending on whether you like your yolk totally runny or sort of half-runny and when it rings, you remove the lid, slide the egg onto your plate, season it with salt and pepper and EAT it.

Fried egg perfection! The white is set, the edges just ever-so-slightly frilly and crisp, the yolk is still molten, but not raw. Ooh, I gobbled it up so quick, Hugo did a double take. It turns out that all these years, I'd had the heat turned up too high! And I was missing the lid. I'm so thrilled to have finally cracked the code. Here's to many fried eggs in our future. Hugo, for one, can't wait.


(Yes, he has blue eyes!! My child has blue eyes! He turned 5 months old this week.)

In totally unrelated news, I wanted to share the thrilling news that My Berlin Kitchen was chosen as one of Amazon.com's Best Books of 2012 in the Food Lit category! And the Goodreads Choice Awards are now in the semifinal round, so you can vote again, if you like. Thank you.

Here's to a lovely weekend with lots of fried eggs for breakfast for all of us. Here's to you lovely people and your encouragement. And here's to lots of new posts coming up. Wheee! I can't wait.

See you next week!