Fried eggs, anyone? There really is nothing I can say in my defense here, except to own up to the fact that I totally caved in to the idea of a crispy, fried soft-boiled egg. I like to think of myself as a person with a modicum of self-restraint, but in the last week I’ve lost all perspective. I’ve made 9 10 of these “fried eggs” in the last 5 days. Of course, I tell myself that it’s all research for the blog, but who are we kidding here.
The back story on these little gems is that while on the treadmill the other day and watching one of my food shows, the particular recording I was watching caught a brief (like 20 seconds) snippet of the end of another show describing these fried eggs served at a restaurant (never got the name). All I caught was that the eggs were soft-boiled, rolled in panko breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese and then fried. That’s all the info I had, but it was enough. I wanted them. Bad.
The chickens are laying like crazy right now, so fresh eggs were not a problem. But I totally feared the idea of trying to peel a soft-boiled egg, especially a really fresh one. But as it turned out, I needn’t have fretted.
I had the rare brilliant idea to shock those little eggs in ice water right after cooking them, and those shells slipped right off. You probably already knew about this, but I'm happy to say it really works! Anyway, the peeling was easy, and the shells that remained a tad stubborn got a spoon shoved under their shell.
The next challenge came in getting the panko breadcrumbs to stick to an egg. Not an easy thing to accomplish, I must say. The first few tries were rather pathetic, so I resorted to the flour/egg/breadcrumb assembly line and got pretty good stickage.
All that’s left after that is to heat your oil, dunk those puppies in for about 20-30
seconds and you’re done. You can eat them right then sprinkled with a little salt and pepper (which I highly recommend), or you could use them to top a salad or maybe as a delectable garnish to some creamy, cheese-y polenta.
I am hooked, people. I lay awake at night dreaming of the next perfect way to eat these, as if they aren’t already a perfect thing unto themselves. But I have imagined them sitting atop a bowl of pasta or risotto, or melding into a thick bowl of bean soup, or gracing the top of a veggie pizza, or perched on top of a plate of grilled asparagus, or ……
PANKO-CRUSTED FRIED SOFT-BOILED EGGS
¼ cup flour
1 beaten egg
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
Bring a pan of water to a boil and gently submerge the eggs into the water. Boil for 5-6 minutes and then remove and place in a bowl of ice water. Let the eggs completely cool in the ice water which should take about 10 or 15 minutes.
When cooled, peel the eggs by gently tapping them around the equator of the shell. It’s easiest to peel the horizontal middle of the eggs first and then remove the rest of the shell. If the shell is difficult to remove, gently slide a spoon between the shell and the egg, dislodging the shell.
Heat 2 cups of vegetable oil in a small saucepan. While that heats, place the flour, the beaten egg and the breadcrumb/parmesan cheese mixture in 3 separate bowls. Mix a little salt and pepper into each bowl. Dredge each soft-boiled egg in the flour, then coat with the egg and then finally with the breadcrumbs.
Drop a bit of breadcrumbs into the oil and if it sizzles quickly, the oil is ready. Using a small stainless steel wire strainer (also called an Asian skimmer or spider strainer), gently place one egg at a time in the hot oil. Gently turn the egg with the strainer to brown on all sides. This should only take no more than 30 seconds. Remove the egg to a paper towel and continue with the rest of the eggs.
These can be eaten immediately with a little salt and pepper or stored in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator (after they’ve cooled completely) for up to a week. To serve, re-warm on a small baking sheet in a low oven for about 10 minutes (I do this in my toaster oven on the “keep warm” setting.
These would also be great served atop a salad, polenta, pasta, risotto or a thick stew or bean soup.
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