I like the tops of my eggs cooked – but of course I want as much as the egg runny as possible. It seems to me that the preference in Britain is to serve eggs ‘sunny-side-up’. In my experience that normally means ‘still-with-slimy-uncooked-film-over-top-of-the-egg’! So, I tend to cook my eggs ‘over-easy’, but my mother’s cheat is a good alternative. You need a frying pan with a tight-fitting lid.
2 lean and meaty sausages
2 large free range eggs
A tiny knob of unsalted butter
A little drizzle of light olive oil
Toast made from a nice loaf of bread
Recipe: Boil the kettle. Take the skin off the sausages and make little patties. Use a non-stick frying pan (which has a tight fitting lid), put it on amedium-high heat and add the butter and oil. Fry the patties until browned on the bottom and then turn and flatten with a spatula and continue to fry. Keep and eye on the heat – you need enough heat to brown the sausage patties but without burning the fat. When the sausages are done, add two eggs and fry until the egg is white on the bottom and the eggs appear about half way cooked. Then put a splash of boiling water into the pan (about 60ml – 80ml). Aim for half a splash on both sides of the pan. Then immediately put the lid on the pan and hold it down to trap the steam. Steam for 20 seconds to half a minute. It’s best to know exactly how long this is going to take so that the steaming is done in as short a time a possible. But since we cannot know this, you will need to check – do so after about 15 seconds. When the eggs are cooked and opaque on the top they are done. Slide the whole lot out onto a plate, season and eat with toast.
Tips: The wonder to this recipe is the counter-intuitive process of splashing water onto frying eggs. But if your water is boiling and the pan is at the right temperature what you are really doing is creating steam – this obviously cooks the top of the eggs, but also makes a handy sauce. I’ve put sausages into my dish because I like the American way of making patties from sausages. They cook in a fraction of the time and here combine to make a fine breakfast or brunch.
Trick: The trick is to ensure that the pan is hot enough to make steam but not so hot that everything gets overcooked. If done properly these eggs will be cooked to perfection yielding maximum runny yolk in an egg that is tender and without uncooked white.
Optional ingredients: Ketchup, chives, paprika etc are optional. You could use some boiled up stock or demi-glace instead of water – this would have the effect of creating a type of oeufs cocotte dish where eggs have a meaty sauce.
Notes: If you slide the eggs out with a spatula and leave the liquid in the pan – then you will also be leaving behind added fat and the fat from the sausages – thus making what might be considered healthier fried eggs.