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Huevos Fritos

Thanks to José Andrés, I found a way better way to cook eggs.

Way.

Better.

I’ve struggled for years with finding a way to create a fried egg that the white is crispy and the yolk is warm and runny. And even before you start, I pull no punches with my next statement: fuck off with your salmonella and food born illness shit. I truly don’t care. I’ve never received an illness from all the raw and “undercooked” foods I’ve eaten in my life, and I bet I never will.

Thanks again to HULU which was broadcasting José Andrés’ “Made in Spain,” an incredible study in the food porn that is Spain, after I ran out of episodes of After Hours.

In the Madrid episode, Señor Andrés discusses the Spanish technique of frying eggs, a clear departure from how I was taught. You probably recall someone throwing down a coating of butter in a pan, having it foam up and do all that crap butter does, and then cracking and dropping the eggs in the pan from about three feet above the pan, they stick anyway, and eventually you give up and just turn them into scrambled.

Well, that’s how I was taught, anyway.

Over the years as I started to try to cook with less fats (read: during the winter when I can’t get outside and run and exercise properly), I migrated away from butter to olive oil (we’ll find out in a minute that was actually a correct decision), and tried to use as little of said fat as possible in non-stick pans to attempt to craft a proper egg without inflating my ass to the size of a small Volkswagen.

To put it lightly (hah! I’m fat), I failed miserably for years.

I could never create the proper crust I wanted on the white, and still get the runny, delicious yolk that makes that amazing sauce for toast-draggin’. Either I would under cook the white, or massively overcook the yolk. Clearly there was something flawed in my technique. Diners could do it just fine, why couldn’t I?

The answer was simple.

YOU CAN’T TAKE OUT THE EXTRA FAT FROM THE PAN!

There’s a reason eggs are always loaded with butter (or oil!). The hot fat around the egg cooks it from multiple sides and surfaces at the same time, without being able to penetrate far into the egg’s deliciously yolky nether-regions.

What Chef Andrés taught me was that the Spanish method to frying eggs is to basically deep fry them in olive oil. Not deep fry like fire up the Fry-Daddy and crack a few eggs into the wire basket. But place a quarter inch of oil in the pan, get it hot (300-350F-ish), and pool it up by tilting the pan up, and dropping the egg into the oil, and after you could see the white just slightly, let the pan tilt back and have it fry away.

By the time you’re about to panic that the whites are going to completely burn, it’s ready to be rescued to some paper towels to absorb the leftover oil.

I know what you’re thinking. I did the same for years. But stop panicking diet-obcessed world, it’s shockingly little oil. Look at what’s in your pan. Go ahead. Look. Yes, the fry oil is still in the pan. Almost none of it is gone. Check out the science of proper deep frying. You’ll be surprised. I was.

And now, I’ll let the results speak for themselves.

Proper Fried Eggs

Proper Fried Eggs

Yes, there’s a bit of yolk from a prior incident I’d rather not further discuss as I do not have egg malpractice insurance. I just learned the technique, damn it!

There’s no way to properly describe exactly how perfectly these were cooked. With no effort. No sticking, flipping, and only a little bit of cursing when the oil gets too hot, angers and decides to fight back. But that’s remedied easily with that little dial on your cooktop.

So what did I end up doing with these oozing jewels? A bit of the old dinnerfast. Breakfast for dinner as it were. Armed with some grocery store explod-O-can buttermilk biscuits, I sprinkled salt and cracked some pepper over the top of each and popped them in the oven. Twenty minutes later, split them open, and added said egg, and topped each one with a slice of Manchego cheese to complete the Spanish theme.

Spanish Breakfast Sandwich

Spanish Breakfast Sandwich

I sheepishly, but unapologetically confess that I just ate six of these for dinner.

Yes, they were that good.

“Astonishing!” As Chef would say.


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