Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Fried Eggs with Sizzling Vinegar


Having a total flashback. . . Have I already posted this recipe? I sincerely hope not. I know I've never posted this exact photo, given that this is the actual egg I ate for lunch an hour ago.

I love vinegar and always have. Pickled anything, tangy slaws, sharp salad dressings, salt and vinegar potato chips, white-vinegar-doused collards, vinegary hot sauces, you name it. And I love vinegar reduced with a bit of butter—which is as versatile a little sauce as you could hope to make. You can use balsamic vinegar or wine vinegar, and it’s great on asparagus, grilled chicken, frittata, even plain brown rice. But this recipe here works best with mellow, smoky sherry vinegar, and it makes one of those absolutely simple, absolutely perfect dishes that is so delicious you could stand up with your eggy fork to sing a song of richness and clarity. The golden yolks run into the buttery vinegar to make something like a dark, ad hoc hollandaise sauce for the toast and white, and it is just as good as you know it’s going to be when the vinegar hits the pan in a cloud of jaw-cramping aroma. Plus, as an added selling point, it takes about 3 minutes to make. I would estimate that Michael and I, alone and together, eat this for lunch on 3 out of 5 weekdays, and have for years. And I should mention that this is how Michael started liking fried eggs—which he had never liked before. Ben loves it too, and Birdy doesn’t, but only because she doesn’t like fried eggs—not because of the vinegar, which tempts her. If we’re eating this for dinner, she has her eggs poached instead.


The original recipe is Deborah Madison’s, from Local Flavors, which is a cookbook that I find deeply inspiring around this time of year, when food starts coming in fresh at the farmer’s market, and also a bit later, when our CSA farm share comes on hot and heavy. I read the recipe’s title and knew it would be just my kind of thing. She uses a little diced shallot, which she adds to the pan when she adds the second round of butter. If I have shallot, and I usually do not, I add it too, and it’s wonderful—but really, you don’t need it. You do need the best eggs you can get (still, we’re talking about a really cheap meal here) and, ideally, sherry vinegar—although wine vinegar will work in a pinch. Try this, even if it sounds bizarre. And report back.

p.s. Ben is home sick and just fell asleep on the couch by me while I was typing. I cannot remember the last time I've seen him asleep during the day. Highish fever, baby face, no other symptoms. Is this going around?

Warning: some scenes may contain animals on the table where people are eating.

Fried Eggs with Sizzling Vinegar
Serves 2 (can be halved or doubled most straightforwardly)

Adapted from Local Flavors by Deborah Madison. If you can’t get great eggs… try harder. Kidding! Make it anyways, because it will still be better than plain not-great fried eggs, which, believe me, I still end up eating often enough.

2 pieces of bread
2 tablespoons butter, divided use
2 very fresh eggs
1-2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Kosher salt and pepper

Put the bread in the toaster and heat a nonstick pan over medium-low heat. Add half the butter, then break in the eggs and fry them however you like your eggs. We like them over easy. When they’re done, slide each onto a piece of toast.

Add the rest of the butter to the pan, along with the vinegar and a generous pinch of salt and grinding of black pepper (now is when you could add a small chopped shallot, which I so seldom use I don’t even mention it in the ingredients, but it’s good). Swirl the pan until the sauce is foamy and reduced some (it should like shiny but not like heavy syrup—not that it really matters that much), then turn off the heat and divide the sauce over the eggs over the toast. Eat hot.







Yum.

49 comments:

  1. I will definitely have to try this! One of my go-to meals several times a week is what I call Egg on Cheese on Toast. I'm sure you get the idea of what that may be!

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  2. I clicked over to your blog without any hope of there being a new post (on a Wednesday?), and what a nice surprise I found! Being on the West Coast, this showed up just in time for me to make it my lunch, and it was delicious. I don't know if this will appeal to you, but I added a handful of arugula to the pan with the butter and the vinegar, and it was mighty tasty. Thanks for the recipe and the inspiration to have a lovely little lunch moment.

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    1. Oh, that sounds heavenly! I will try that too. Actually, right after I posted this, I thought: this would be so good over asparagus--the whole thing, maybe with the toast underneath? Like an asparagus benedict, kind of. Yum.

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  3. We have strep again at our house: fever, sleeping during the day, not eating well.

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    Replies
    1. How's about now? Everyone better, I hope. xo

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  4. Erin K.4:05 PM

    i have a feverish but otherwise happy six year old assistant at work with me today!

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  5. Janet4:41 PM

    This sounds great! And I like the idea of adding a handful of arugula. Or maybe spinach. Kale cut in thin strips? Or maybe the egg and vinegar over a big ol' salad. Hmm....

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  6. We are on the west coast, but both my boys got hit with the 24 hour lay on the couch flu...to sick to even watch tv! The egg looks wonderful - i love vineger!

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  7. We are in the Western Mass area and yes, my son had that fever as well. Kept him home a day from school, and after all was said and done there was an annoying headache that followed. Everything lasted about a day. So sorry your little guy is not feeling well, and definately going to try this recipe. Thanks!!

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  8. Siobhan Moffitt7:29 PM

    The illness du joir here in our part of Chicago since 2 years ago is precisely what you described: high fever and no other symtoms. It's weird. My son's have both had it a few times.

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  9. Julie8:15 PM

    We're in Maryland and my daughter had the fever and malaise on Monday. Kept her home from the cook out with friends and she was fine the next day. She did take a mid day 2 hour nap!

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  10. I love all things vinegar and pickled (not including meats or animal hooves as are popular down here). I'm not so much a fan of eggs, but maybe the toast and vinegar can win me over. I'll give it a try.
    My kids thankfully haven't gotten the fever bug, but I did the other day. I felt weird at work all day and was freezing in the 100+ degree car when I got in it. By the time I got home I had a 101 fever. I stayed in bed watching Law & Order reruns, got up in time to eat supper, and felt good as new the next morning.

    We made your crack broccoli again tonight. It really is crack!

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  11. Um, how come you waited so long to tell us about this? Because really it is one of the most delicious things I've ever had (a few minutes ago) and I want to know why I had to wait so long!!

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    Replies
    1. I like to keep you hanging on, Reyna.

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  12. One more feverish kid to add to your dossier: my five year old, whose fever+tired lasted for six whole days, and then finally went away. The doctor said maybe Epstein-Barr, maybe just a weird bug -- it does seem to be making the rounds.

    And the egg looks amazing. I spent the first twenty-plus years of my life claiming not to like eggs, and then grad school penury forced me to realize that I adore them.

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  13. Made it, delicious. I had trader joe's "orange muscat champagne vinegar" on hand -- excellent in this recipe.

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  14. Oh man! I already ate an egg over easy on toast this morning. And I love vinegar, so I will definitely be trying this addition tomorrow morning. Looks delicious. :)

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  15. I made a recipe last night for Sauteed Chicken with Capers that called for adding white wine vinegar to a hot pan and scraping up all the stuck on bits. It didn't go over well since the smoke detector went off and the house filled with smoke and an extremely strong burntish smell lingered in the kitchen all night. It was delicious but my family complained nonetheless. This looks good even though I'm not a fan of fried eggs. I love your comment about trying harder to get good eggs.

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  16. alison12:46 PM

    Your egg yoke looks too orange to me. I like my eggs nice and pale looking. What's the difference between a regular egg and a really fresh egg?

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  17. Anonymous1:24 PM

    I get our eggs from our next door neighbor's chickens. They have very, rich, orange yolks.
    I believe foraging chickens that eat primarily what they scratch for (versus mostly grains) produce the richer, darker (better for you) eggs.

    Jenny

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  18. Anonymous1:27 PM

    Also meant to say I will definitely try this recipe. Sounds yummy. I also like the Migas recipe Catherine posted some time ago. I love egg dinners...so cheap, healthy and yummy. Meal trifecta.

    Jenny

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  19. Kerry1:35 PM

    Yes, seems like the fever is making its way up the coast! Starting with my youngest, I had to pick each kid up early from school with a fever 3 consecutive days down here in Philly last week. (you would think I would have learned and not sent my oldest to school with her two siblings already home... wishful thinking!) He'll be better in no time.

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  20. Oh, yum....I'm not usually really crazy about eggs. I just eat them because you're supposed to eat eggs for breakfast, right? Anyway, these look delicious. Your recipe for migas gave me an egg dish that I adore, and I think you may have struck gold for me again.
    Oh, and my two were sick last week with head colds and sore throats.

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  21. I hate runny egg yolks, but of course now that Catherine has posted about these eggs they look delicious and I will try them and love them and be converted. Darn it! Just please don't post a recipe for pig's feet or something else truly nasty that I will then have to fall in love with, okay?

    And I love the sick term "malaise" - such a perfect description!

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  22. Had this for early lunch. Mmmm...
    I have not had a grocery store egg (even those organic ones etc.) since we started getting them from our neighbors' hens a few years ago. There is NO comparison, and those pale ones seem so blah tasting now that we don't even bother to eat eggs if we can't get fresh deep yellow/orange-yolked ones.

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  23. Cheryl2:02 PM

    Thank you. I was so hungry and couldn't decide what I was in the mood for until I read your post. Very delicious.

    ( I find lunchtime to be miserable. I will plan dinner a week in advance, but since I'm rarely home for lunch I never remember it until I'm starving. Then I end up grazing on whatever I find lying around and feel pretty disgusted afterwards, wondering if it's too early to start cooking dinner so I can eat something better. Ugh. Happy to have a dish that's fast, delicious, and made entirely of ingredients that I keep on-hand.)

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  24. You had me at vinegar! I'll be trying this as soon as I get ahold of some really fresh eggs.

    Both my kids (we're in D.C.) have been sick with vaguely feverish, achy illnesses in the recent past.

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    1. Okay, I admit jumped a tiny bit in excitement when I saw that you'd commented on my blog. :-) Also, I wanted to say that I was impatient; did not wait for really fresh eggs. It was still DELICIOUS.

      Glad Ben's feeling better!

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  25. Anonymous7:44 AM

    Here in Ohio my daughter, who turned 11 1/2 yesterday, had a fever of 102 for 2 days a couple weeks back. She slept nearly a day solid, then had a lingering cough for a while. I had it, too, but my 102-degree fever lasted 4 days. Oh to be young and resilient.

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  26. I am of Birdy's opinion about fried eggs, generally. Eggs are one of the only foods I do not like, but I've been slowly warming to them in the last few years. This was the first fried egg I have ever loved! I told my husband about the recipe when he was still hungry after breakfast and he made one for himself. I ended up eating about half of his and making us another. Yum! Vinegar makes just about everything better. Hope Ben is feeling better!

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  27. Mmmmmm.....had this for lunch over some just-picked-from-my-garden lettuce...

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  28. Wow. Egg Lovers and Parents of Feverish Children: thank you so much for writing! I said to Michael just now, "These women like their fried eggs." I'm so glad you're here with me. And I really hope your kids are feeling better now. Ben was home for 2 days, and then fine again. Go figure. xo

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  29. Oh that Birdy! I'm going to start using her proverb.
    And nothing beats a quick fried egg on toast for lunch! I'll give it a go with vinegar but I alreay know I'll love it--and yes, to the arugula too!

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  30. I have never loved eggs, except maybe egg salad and then only if I make it, but I do love vinegar. So I've made this about 4 times since you've posted it - with balsamic vinegar because that's what I had. YUM!

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  31. I whimpered with desire at the title. I want to make and eat this NOW.

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  32. I have to admit, in my search for food blogs, I have found precious few that I actually want to read. But yours immediately endeared itself to me, and this post really pulled its own weight in that regard. It's eggs and vinegar and WHY HAVE I NEVER EATEN THIS? How is this possible? I can already see myself eating this a few times a week.

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  33. We've eaten this five or six times since you posted it. My 8YO, who doesn't like fried eggs or vinegar (what's wrong with her!?) hasn't tried it, but me, my husband and my 18MO devour them, with relish. Thank you again for a new favorite recipe!

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  34. Anonymous10:02 PM

    OK. This is all I ever eat anymore and I'm totally fine with that. Best recipe ever.

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  35. All my life I've been solidly in the "no runny yolks" camp, but your photos made them look so delicious that I made these for the family breakfast today - with runny yolks! It was outstanding! I think I could have eaten three of these.

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  36. Anonymous5:06 AM

    I love vinegar and always have. Pickled anything, tangy slaws, sharp salad dressings, salt and vinegar potato chips, white-vinegar-doused collards, vinegary hot sauces, you name it. And I love vinegar reduced with a bit of butter—which is as versatile a little sauce as you could hope to make. You can use balsamic vinegar or wine vinegar, and it’s great on asparagusswtor gold
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  39. Martha11:49 AM

    Just made these eggs for lunch--so good. I work from home and usually have a bowl of cereal for lunch, but have been dreaming about this recipe for months. I bought sherry vinegar yesterday with this in mind. Thanks, Catherine!

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  41. Eggs were delicious! I love fried eggs and I love vinegar but never thought of combining the two. All I had was brown rice vinegar and it tasted great. thanks! p.s. the family loved your fitzit recommendation. bought it with my free amazon points!

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