From The Zuni Café Cookbook
Notes from the cookbook:
This recipe has been written for one because these eggs are easy to make and fun to eat when you are alone. If you are making them for more than one person, use a larger pan and cook the eggs in batches of four to six. Also, If you are preparing the eggs for more than a few people, it is a little easier to toast the seasoned bread crumbs in advance in a 425ºF oven instead of in the skillet. In that case, toast them to the color of weak tea. Then scatter them in the skillet, add the remaining olive oil and proceed with the recipe.
Serve these eggs with a simple salad tossed in a citrus vinaigrette (recipe above):
- 1 hunk of white, bakery-style bread such as a peasant loaf or ciabatta or a boule (This is to make the fresh, soft bread crumbs. You only need 3 tablespoons of crumbs, so you’ll need just a portion of this loaf.)
- kosher salt
- about 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- a few fresh thyme or marjoram leaves, optional
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon red wine, white balsamic, balsamic or sherry vinegar
- To make the bread crumbs: Carve the crusts off a loaf of white bakery-style bread such as a peasant loaf or ciabatta or boule. (Discard the crusts or add to your compost pile.) Break the tender insides of the loaf into large chunks, then grind in the food processor. Don’t grind too finely or evenly.
- Sprinkle the crumbs with a pinch of salt, then drizzle with enough of the oil to oversaturate them.
- Place the crumbs in a 6- to 8-inch French steel omelet pan or nonstick skillet and set over medium heat. (If you like your fried eggs over easy, reserve some of the oiled raw crumbs to spinkle on top of the eggs just before you flip them.) Let the crumbs warm through, then swirl the pan as they begin drying out — which will make a quiet staticky sound. Stir once or twice.
- The moment you see the crumbs begin to color, quickly add the remaining oil (or a dab of butter) and the herbs if using, then crack the eggs directly onto the crumbs. Cook the eggs as you like. (So far, I’ve made them two ways: without flipping them, but by finishing them in a heated oven so the tops cooked through a tiny bit; and flipping them, but cooking the eggs only briefly on the second side — the yolks were still runny.)
- Slide eggs onto a warm plate ( … right), then add the vinegar to the hot pan. Swirl the pan once, then pour the drops of sizzling vinegar over the eggs.