My dad jokes that my way of turning anything into a meal isto put a fried egg on top of it. He even had what he thoughtwas the best idea in the world!—for me to figure out a wayto remix “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It),” Beyoncé’sseminal song, to “Put an Egg on It” (I’ll add that laughing atyour own jokes runs in my family). Needless to say, he isright—I do think just about everything is improved with afried egg on top, and adding one to anything at all, even abowl of leftover spaghetti, makes for a complete meal. Thesmall victory here is adding a few drops of water to thepan to create steam and then immediately covering the panto trap that steam. This makes perfectly cooked eggs withrunny yolks but fully set whites (nothing to me is more off-putting than an uncooked egg white).
SERVES 1; EASILY MULTIPLIED
1/4 cup [60 ml] plain yogurt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp roughly chopped leafy fresh herbs, such as basil, dill,chervil, chives, and/or parsley
In a small bowl, combine the yogurt and most of the juicefrom the lemon half (don’t discard the lemon half) and whisktogether. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer themixture to a plate and use a spoon to spread it so that itcovers most of the plate.
In a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Crack the eggs into the pan and sprinkle each egg with abit of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Sprinkle a fewdrops of water (less than 1 tsp) into the skillet, being sure tolet the water hit the bottom of the pan and not the eggs,and immediately cover the skillet with a lid.
Let the eggs cook until the whites are cooked through butte yolks are still a bit wobbly, just a minute or two. Transfer the eggs to the prepared plate, setting them on top of theyogurt. Squeeze whatever juice remains in the lemon half over the eggs and scatter over the herbs. Serve immediately.
FOR EGG-IN-A-HOLE, start by using a juice glass or acookie cutter to cut a circle out of a piece of bread. Usebutter instead of olive oil for cooking, put the slice ofbread in the hot buttered skillet, and crack an egg rightinto the hole that you stamped out. I like to toast the littlecircle of bread right alongside the egg-in-a-hole (I think ofthis as like getting a donut hole along with your donut).Sprinkle the egg with salt and pepper, add a couple dropsof water to the pan, cover the pan, and cook until the eggis just about set on the bottom (a minute or two), then flipit over to “seal” the other side of the egg and to toast thesecond side of the bread. Serve immediately, with thecircle of bread acting as a little hat.
FOR SHAKSHUKA, a Middle Eastern dish of eggs cookedin an aromatic, often spicy, tomato sauce, sauté a slicedonion in a generous amount of olive oil with plenty ofminced garlic, a finely chopped fresh chile pepper (Igenerally like a jalapeño, mainly because it’s readilyavailable), and a few shakes of ground cumin. Once theonion and garlic are soft, add a 28-oz [794-g] can oftomatoes, crush with a potato masher, and simmer thewhole mix until it’s thick and saucy, about 20 minutes.Season with salt, then crack a few eggs into the pan, rightonto the sauce, cover with a lid, and cook until the eggsare just cooked through, about 5 minutes (the saucecreates the steam that cooks the eggs beautifully). Servesprinkled with chopped herbs (parsley and/or dill is nice)and some crumbled feta. And warm pita bread. Yum.