In a video circulating on Twitter this week, French chef Jacques Pepin demonstrates a technique for fried eggs that lifted my breakfast to a whole new level. Pepin starts by melting a tablespoon of butter, then slowly cooks his eggs in a covered skillet with a teaspoon of water for about two minutes. This results in a barely cooked yolk and delicately tender whites that don’t resemble any egg I’ve ever eaten.
The 85-year-old Pepin, perhaps best known for the PBS cooking series he did alongside Julia Child, Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home, as well as for authoring more than 30 cookbooks, offers a couple of other important tips in a three-minute video that’s about as long as it took me to cook my incredible eggs. First, be sure to crack them against a flat surface rather than against the side of a bowl, as this prevents the yolks from breaking. Second, season your eggs with salt before putting them in the pan. And finally, top them with black pepper and fresh herbs after they’ve been fried, which will make them taste even better. I didn’t happen to have any herbs on hand, but even without a sprig of tarragon or parsley, they were still delicious.
What Pepin doesn’t say in his video is that aside from the delicate cooking technique, the main reason these fried eggs taste so good is that the underside is gently bathed with melted butter. As the French know perhaps more than most, everything tastes better with butter.
What are your favorite ways to cook eggs? Do you prefer them fried, boiled, poached, or over easy? Leave a comment and let me know!
What I Ate: A perfect fried egg on an English muffin