Saturday, January 31, 2015

Basted Eggs

Room temperature eggs and tablespoon of water
If you haven't figured it out by now, I am a breakfast person. Ever since I was a little boy I was told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If I don't have something to eat for breakfast, my butt is dragging until the early afternoon. For me a good breakfast sets the tone for the entire day.
When I think about how I want my eggs prepared, I would have to say that it really depends on my mood. I like my eggs soft or hard boiled, poached, basted, fried, scrambled, or made into an omelet.  Almost everyone knows what a poached egg is, but a basted egg? When was the last time you heard someone order basted eggs? What is that little known cooking method? It is basically a cross between a poached egg and a fried egg, that usies live steam to finish cooking the top of the egg. Basted eggs are a slightly healthier way to enjoy your eggs.
Melt butter in the pan
Requesting basted eggs in a restaurant is likely to be met with a puzzled look on your server's face. It just doesn't happen that often. It's not that they're hard to make, but do require an understanding of the technique involved. 
You're going to need a preheated non-stick, or stainless steel skillet with a little butter (okay I used more), with a drop of vegetable oil mixed with it to keep the butter from burning. You will also need some water to create the steam and a lid, preferably glass to hold the steam and allow you to view the cooking of the eggs.
Slip the eggs into the pan
Once the butter and oil is melted and combined, crack a couple eggs into a glass ramekin. Slip the eggs into the pan trying to hold the yolks closely together. If the pan is hot enough, the egg whites should start to cook immediately. Lightly season the eggs with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Once the egg whites are beginning to set, add about 3 Tablespoons of water around the eggs, give the fry pan a shake to get the water moving around the eggs to all parts of the skillet. The water will begin steaming immediately.
Just about time to add water
Cover the pan and let the steam from the water cook the top of the egg. It helps if the lid is glass so that you can monitor the egg cooking progress to your liking.
The steam off the top starts cooking the top of the egg
Once the egg yolks have a white film on them and are cooked to your liking, remove the lid. The water also disperses the butter and oil from under the egg. 
To serve remove the basted eggs to a plate and serve with 3-4 slices of crispy smoked bacon and one slice of lightly buttered whole wheat toast.
How do you like your eggs?
2-3 teaspoons butter
1-2 drops vegetable oil
2 egg
1-2 tbsp. water
To baste an egg, first heat 2-3 teaspoons of butter and 1-2 drops of vegetable oil in a non-stick, or stainless steel skillet over medium-low heat until hot. Then, crack the eggs into a ramekin or small bowl. Cracking your eggs into a small ramekin or bowl serves two purposes, to avoid getting shells in your eggs and to keep the egg yolks together for appearance purposes, since we eat with our eyes first. If you have a large egg ring, the egg whites will stay round too.
Once the butter is melted and blended with the oil, gently slide the eggs into the pan, and cook about 30 seconds. When the white of the eggs starts to turn opaque and lightly set add 1-3 tablespoons of water around the eggs. Immediately place the glass lid over the skillet to capture the steam, and cook 1½ to 2 minutes, or until cooked to your liking. It’s ready when the white is set and the yolk has a beautiful white finish.
Basted eggs, potato pancakes, apple-wood smoked bacon
How do you like your eggs? If you, or your family have an unusual way of preparing eggs. Please leave a comment below. A friend of mine living in Arkansas has chocolate gravy with biscuits. I just can't understand this paring. If you can convince me otherwise, please leave me a recipe below.
I just love homemade corned beef or roast beef hash with my eggs. I am looking for a great family recipe for those as well. 
Where do you like to go for breakfast? Tell me where you go and why.

© TMelle 2014-15


Lin Ewing said...

Actually, I think I end up pretty much making them this way when I fry them in a small cast iron skillet and cover it so the butter doesn't splatter all over the stove. I don't add oil for the butter or water for steam, but the tops of the eggs steam anyway.

Good stuff, Menard.

The Retro Cooking Guy said...

By adding a little bit of oil to the butter it is not likely that the butter will burn. I like my egg yolks slightly runny so the steam cooks the top fast without overcooking the yolk.
This steam method works great for melting cheese on your eggs, or a hamburger.

Anonymous said...

Interesting method to baste an egg. I have always used a good amount of butter in the pan,and, with a spoon, basted the top of the eggs with the hot butter in the pan. No covering involved. Place this suckers on top of toast and pour the butter over the entire thing. This recipe is Cardio Approved. Not.

The Retro Cooking Guy said...

For another take on basted eggs check out my post Bacon, Bacon, Bacon for "Campfire Eggs," which are eggs basted with bacon grease.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Italian Beef post Tim! You rock!

With regards to eggs, how do you do your scrambled? I do them fast in a very hot pan and pull them before they are done so they finish on the plate. Ive never timed it, but they are done real real quick, they are almost done before they are started. I add a splash of water to the eggs when
I beat them. I think my method almost has the eggs steam themselves, they turn out fluffy, but not overly so. Works well for me. I've noticed though many chefs have a much slower lower heat method. Maybe I'm doing it all wrong, but it was a self learned method from experimentation.

The Retro Cooking Guy said...

Scrambled eggs, just like omelets need a little air whisked into them. I prefer a little water, or skim milk added to them. The end result is “light and fluffy.” When I was very young and working as a short order breakfast cook, we would crack the eggs into a metal milk shake cup, add a little milk and whip it on the shake mixer. The egg mixture would actually double in size.

Butter on the pan or griddle until hot and bubbly, pour eggs into butter and scramble quickly with a use a heat-resistant rubber spatula, until light and fluffy. Knowing when they’re done is the secret. You have to monitor the heat of the pan I like them wet, not too dry and never browned.

You can watch a Gordon Ramsay clip on YouTube

Anonymous said...

I started steam basting because I could never flip an egg without breaking it. I hate when that happens!


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