How do you you usually order your eggs? 9 times out of 10, I go with “over easy” or “over medium”. It’s almost always a pretty safe bet that the eggs will be fried with a runny yolk, but still fully cooked whites. Every once in a while, I’ll opt for scrambled eggs if they are part of another dish, like a burrito or a “scramble” (imagine that!). And I will almost always pick a nice, silky poached egg to top a benedict or some really good corned beef hash.
But imagine sitting in your neighborhood diner, and your server asking “How do you want your eggs?”, and you respond ….”basted”.
Unfortunately, I have a feeling that a lot of servers wouldn’t have a clue what that means. But actually, I’ve discovered that basting is a pretty popular method of cooking eggs, and is preferred by a lot of folks. Now, honestly I’ve only had basted eggs a handful of times, but really, I enjoyed them just as much as any other way to cook them. Basting eggs generally means to simply liquid or steam cook an egg thoroughly (whites and yolk) without having to flip it. Many restaurants have started offering basted eggs as an alternative to flip-fried and poached eggs, because they’re relatively delicate, easier and quicker to cook, and they are aesthetically pleasing in a beautiful breakfast plate presentation.
So, I thought I’d show you guys the two most popular ways to cook basted eggs. First up is the “glass lid” method…
Start by cracking your egg into a small, lightly greased (or you can just use cooking spray like I do) skillet over medium heat.
Now for this method, I take one half of the cracked egg shell and fill it with about a tablespoon of water. Add the water directly into the skillet with the egg. This will help produce the steam you’re going to need to cook your egg.
Cover your skillet with a glass lid so that you can keep an eye on your egg. Yeah, this means watching it through a steamy, cloudy cover, but stop complaining….you’ll love the outcome. Let the egg steam for about a minute and a half to two minutes, or until the yolk has just slightly clouded over and takes on a light pink hue. Cooking it longer could mean an overcooked, hard yolk.
Once clouded over, remove it from the pan and serve immediately. Simply beautiful. The egg white should be firm and your yolk a silky, flowing river of delish!
Alternatively, the second method of basting an egg is to cook it by repeatedly spooning hot oil or butter over the top of the egg. The act of scooping the oil/butter will cook the top of your egg fully, and will eliminate the need to flip it. Here we go…
This time, we’re going to start with a couple of tablespoons of bacon grease, your choice of cooking oil, or a couple pats of butter.
Once the butter melts and the temp is hot, add the egg into the skillet over medium heat.
As soon as the egg hits the skillet, you’ll want to take a spoon and start scooping the fat/oil over the top of the egg repeatedly. The yolk will again start to become cloudy when the egg is cooked. It should only take maybe 90 seconds to cook your egg. Any longer and the edges of the egg white will start to brown and crisp up, and the yolk will harden.
I prefer this method to the glass lid version, because I love the rich, nutty flavor that scooping the butter or bacon grease gives to the whole egg.
So there you go. Now you know what a basted egg is and how to cook them! If you give it a try, let me know how yours turn out!!