Many of us grew up on good ol’ bacon and eggs breakfasts and just the thought brings back such good memories. Yet, I wonder how many know how it’s really done, how to put the sizzle into it without having steam coming out of their ears.
Cold and Crowded
Start with a cold fry pan and crowd the bacon in it, because it will shrink and leftovers are so handy. Heat the pan of bacon slowly. This is what helps prevent shrinking and curling. I use medium heat for bacon.
As spattering begins, I add a lid to keep stray droplets in the pan. This also helps conserve heat, so you may want to turn the burner temperature down a little. Notice the lid is tilted to allow steam to escape.
This is also a good time to sprinkle with black pepper, if you like.
Once bacon is fried to your liking on one side, use a pair of tongs and turn it over to finish. Add more pepper, if desired. Watch carefully for burning; never use more than medium heat. When done, remove to a plate lined with paper toweling and place in oven set on low, or 150-170 degrees. Allow pan to cool some.
Eggs on Low Heat
Now it is time for the eggs. Break them into the pan if it is not too hot. You do not want the eggs instantly to bubble and harden. The pan should not be very hot. This is the secret to avoiding “gristle” on the edges of the eggs.
The best spatula for managing the tricky task of turning eggs has a rounded front edge. For this non-stick pan, I use this plastic spatula, which, at these low temperatures is SUPPOSED to be safe. Hope they finally got the truth all straightened out about those topics.
Now comes the test. At our house, one person likes eggs over easy, another likes them broken, flattened, and cooked through. So at this point in cooking the eggs, I pick out the two I feel are most likely to turn out unbroken for the over-easy pair. I choose the two left-most ones. They are ready to turn when the white is mostly gelled. If they are slightly stuck, scoop the spatula under them from all directions, to loosen them, first. Then with the spatula in your dominant hand the and pan handle in the other, tilt the pan slightly to position the spatula under at least half of the egg. Gently tilt the spatula to lift and turn the egg.
If it breaks, you still have three left to try and get it right. This is another of my secrets: turn the over-easy eggs first, so if you break one, it can be for the other person who likes them that way.
Eggs Almost Done
Once you have successfully turned the over-easy eggs, you can relax. Turn off the burner under the pan and allow the existing heat to finish the job gently. To hard-cook a fried egg takes longer, so there is no rush to turn the other two, but do break them at this point, so the yolks can run away some.
Remove the over-easy eggs when the bottoms are done. My over-easy egg eater likes the whites hard. You can determine this by pressing gently on the whites, near the yolk, and if it does not give much, then it is fully cooked. At this point, the yolks are very near overdone, so removing them immediately is the next step. The longer you hold them on the plate before serving, the more the yolk cooks, so do try to hurry your eaters to the table.
Finish the fully cooked eggs by flipping them and waiting until they are cooked through. You may want to return the burner setting to low.
Serve with hot coffee and toast.
Don’t forget: the bacon is in the oven.