‘egg’cellent flipping

Q: Chef Jeff, I love to cook for my family! I watch shows like “Top Chef” and more often than I would like to admit I’ve heard them say that the measure of a cook is in the way they prepare an egg. I can cook an OK scrambled egg (who can’t, right?), but am horrible at any other eggs. I thought maybe getting a gas stove would transform me, but that didn’t happen. How do I cook a perfect over-easy egg? Does my failure to cook a decent egg say something deeper about problem spots in my cooking techniques?  — Sherri Beausoleil

A: Sherri, I appreciate your question. Even scrambled eggs have their tricks to make them light and fluffy,  CJ-eggincluding the use of a little steam and constant movement while cooking them over medium-high heat. The three keys to making perfect over-easy eggs is in the heat, the lubrication and the flip. First, your heat cannot be too high. If your heat is too high, the egg will set too quickly and possibly even brown without thoroughly setting the egg white, which is needed for structure. Medium/moderate heat is best.  Second, using enough lubricant in your pan, whether it be pan spray, butter or oil, is very important so there is little resistance. Flipping the eggs properly without breaking the yolks is of course, the third key to an over-easy egg so you can maintain the desired runny egg yolk. On the flip, the egg must roll completely over all at one time. I find the best technique is by flipping with a small sauté pan. Slide the eggs aggressively away from you and flip them back toward you when they hit the far edge of the pan. It takes a little practice, but can be mastered quickly. A spatula in a larger pan can work just as well. I hope this helps you, Sherri. Happy flipping!

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