What’s your favorite thing to cook?

Image of fried egg on black background

From time to time I may decide to write in response to one of the WordPress daily prompts. This is one of those times.

[Image credit: Matthew Murdoch, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons]

I’m not a great cook, and I don’t cook very much. But I believe I have found the secret to preparing an extremely delicious fried egg. Granted, that’s not a very big deal–but the preparation of eggs is one of those things that people can be very particular about, and there are about as many ways to do it as there are people who eat eggs. Here’s my method:

First, I heat a small skillet–sort of an omelet pan–at a medium to medium-low heat. In case this is helpful, the temperature control knobs on my old electric cooktop go from 1 to 6, and for frying eggs, I set it halfway between 3 and 4. This helps to ensure that the edges of the egg white don’t get too crispy and tough. When the skillet is hot, I add a dollop of butter–half a tablespoon or a whole tablespoon, depending on whether I’m frying one or two eggs. (If you substitute anything else, like vegetable oil, olive oil, or try to do this in a non-stick pan without any butter, I promise you it will not taste as good.)

Once I’ve cracked the eggs and gently put them in the skillet, I take the plate I’ll be using and spread about a quarter-cup of shredded cheese, usually cheddar or colby-jack, on the plate, covering approximately the area that the egg(s) cover in the skillet while they are cooking. This is perhaps the next most important thing aside from using butter. Season your egg however you like–I use salt, black pepper, and sometimes a bit of chili powder or cayenne pepper.

I happen to like my eggs over-medium, which, to me, means they are turned once to cook on both sides, but not for too long, because I don’t want the whole yolk cooked hard. There should be at least a portion of the yolk that is still liquid, though heated thoroughly. After turning the egg(s) I tap on the center with the side of the spatula to make sure it still feels soft. Then the egg is turned onto the little pile of shredded cheese on the plate, which begins to melt immediately–I give it about a minute.

Caveat: this is not a particularly healthy breakfast choice, just a very tasty one. (I don’t eat this every day.) I like to serve mine with a toasted and buttered English muffin with strawberry preserves or a bit of honey, or a peeled and sectioned orange (Cara Cara oranges are my favorite), or both.

Bonus tip: If the egg yolk breaks, I’ll just go ahead and scramble the egg. But the important thing is to remove it from the skillet just before it looks completely done. By the time it rests for a minute or so, melting the cheese underneath, it will have continued to cook to the perfect consistency. Nobody likes a rubberized scrambled egg.

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