Updated Nov 24, 2014Chatelaine
- HEAT a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, then add the oil. When it’s shimmering hot, crack in the eggs (watch for splatter!). The bottoms of the whites will set almost on contact. When they do, sprinkle with the salt and lemon juice, and immediately cover the pan with a lid. Let the eggs finish cooking, 30 to 45 seconds for runny yolks or 1 to 1½ minutes for molten yolks. Slide them out of the pan and onto a plate or directly onto the dish they are destined for. Sprinkle with pepper.
Tip: This technique builds flavour and varied texture in panfried eggs. The eggs are cooked in a super-hot pan, so that the whites get just a little crispy but the yolks remain runny within. Waiting until the fat is almost at the smoking point is key. The eggs bubble and spurt and crisp up quickly at the edges. A drizzle of lemon juice or vinegar is added to create steam, and the pan is covered with a tight-fitting lid to trap it in, finishing off the tops of the eggs. Aromatic ingredients, like garlic, red pepper flakes, and herbs, add tremendous flavor to eggs cooked in this manner; get creative with your own twists on the following variations. Be aware that the cooking happens fast, and these ingredients burn easily, so it’s important to have each one ready to go into the pan. Have the eggs cracked into little dishes and any aromatics sliced, juiced, and measured out next to the stove top.