highly delicious eggs and green.

I am absolutely next level obsessed with crispy fried eggs. This is, of course, at least 50% because they have crispy in the name, but the other 50% is because they are the fulfillment of the egg’s purpose on this earth. I had heard about them – and even made them! – in the past, but I recently stumbled across the above smitten kitchen post and was vividly reminded of their perfection. I make them … a lot, now. I put them on everything. Including this dish, which is pretty simple to make but feels like a fancy brunch dish. It is important to feel like you are eating fancy brunch during these Pandemic Tymes, when we can’t go to the fancy brunch store in person as we are not monsters or fools who don’t understand germ theory. (Although more and more of us are vaccinated, which means the fancy brunch store is getting closer and closer!)

This is the new! shiny! CSA dish I mentioned at the end of my last post. (The CSA item is uses is greens, more specifically kale.) It’s adapted from a friend’s adaptation of a dish by Yotam Ottolenghi, and at that many removes I feel comfortable calling it my own. This makes enough for 2. It’s also, actually, a lot easier to plate this dish as you cook it, so I’ll walk you through that too. Here’s what you need.

1 bunch of greens (I have enjoyed kale the most; I did not like it with chard, which is usually my favorite green; the original calls for arugula, which I dislike)
2 eggs per person
Olive oil
Salt
4 tablespoons (half a stick) UNSALTED butter which is in bold and caps for a reason, oh god, I’ll tell you about it later
1/4 teaspoon paprika + 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes OR 1/2 teaspoon kirmizi biber OR 1/2 teaspoon berbere (we’ll talk more about your options later)
Tzatziki, to serve (recipe to follow)

Set out two plates.

Start by wilting the kale in olive oil with some salt. Kale, I observe, wilts less than other greens, and this dish is nicest when the kale still has some body. Remove half the kale to each plate when it reaches your preferred level of doneness. Now, did you read Deb’s very nice article about crispy fried eggs? Did you watch the many crispy egg videos she links? If so, you know what you’re going for here. If not, it’s too late for you, just do your best. What you’re going for here is a totally cooked, crisp bottom; a fully cooked white; and a ludicrously runny yolk. You achieve that with really, really hot oil. The easiest way to get your oil appropriately hot is to cook something else in the pan first.

So: after you remove the kale, add more oil, give it a sec, and then break your eggs directly into the pan. The whites should immediately begin to bubble. You can move the pan around a little bit to get some oil overtop of the whites, but it’s honestly not necessary. They cook either way. The best part about crispy eggs, though? The best part? You don’t flip them. You don’t goddamn flip them, thank Jesus. You just watch them. The second, the very second, the whites look fully cooked, remove the eggs to the greens. Two per person, in my opinion. My partner’s good with one. (And for frying eggs, you want a fish spatula. Deb recommends a fish spatula in that article, but I actually came to it on my own in my in-laws’ kitchen. I called it my egg flipper, and when I read the crispy egg article, I was absolutely delighted to see that Deb agrees with its perfection at egg flipping.)

Now, the sauce. And here’s where I tell you why “unsalted” is in bold and all-caps above: I made this with salted butter once. Prior to that day, I did not actually think there was that much salt in salted butter. I never thought too much about it; I mostly used whatever butter recipes told me to; but on the rare occasions my mom baked when I was growing up, she just used normal-ass butter, so I sort of assumed they are interchangeable. Holy shitsnacks, you guys. They are NOT. When I made this sauce with salted butter, which was a legit oversight (I forgot the recipe calls for unsalted), the result was completely inedible. (This was the same day I made the leek gratin I told you about in my last post. I had anti-cooking mojo that day, let me tell you.) Please, please, you must use unsalted butter for this sauce, if you want to be able to eat the result.

Anyway. The sauce is just unsalted butter and spices. The original recipe calls for something called kirmizi biber, which is apparently a Turkish hot chili powder similar to paprika, but the friend who gave me this recipe used a mixture of paprika and chili flakes, so that’s what I use. I’ve also used berbere, an Ethiopian spice mix; the recipe I’ve linked there is the blend I have, as my berbere was a gift from a friend who’s gotten into making his own spice blends. I thought it was nicest with the berbere but paprika+chili flakes is lovely. So. What do you do? Cook the butter and spices on high until the butter is melted; it will be foaming and golden red. At this point, pour it directly over your eggs and greens.

That’s it! You’re done. Serve with tzatziki. Here’s how you make tzatziki. I have never measured this out in my life, so I’m guessing here; bear with me.

~1 cup Greek yogurt
4 – 5 cloves garlic, crushed (I use a garlic press, a tool whose purpose I did not understand before I started making tzatziki)
1 diced mini cucumber or half a diced normal cucumber
Generous handful of fresh parsley
2 – 3 tablespoons lemon juice
Kosher salt
Pepper

This is entirely to taste. Make sure your garlic is crushed, either in a garlic press or a mortar & pestle; chopping really will not release enough of its juices. Mix it up, taste it, doctor as needed, THEN LET IT SIT FOR HALF AN HOUR. Then taste it again, make any final adjustments, and then serve. Enthusiastically.

About Sara

I like to talk about media, food, and gender.
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