Bacon and Eggs

Some things are so fundamental that to screw them up is a crime. Walking across the street without looking both ways would seem to qualify. Even if you make it out alive you still feel like a fool. Eggs and bacon also merit consideration.

Egg mastery has been, for centuries, revered as the ultimate mark of a chef’s skill. They’re incredibly sensitive little orbs, and in some cases you can’t even massage the process since they cook inside a shell. Nevertheless, good eggs can be made at home. The first step is to recognize bad eggs. Or bacon and eggs, as per this post.

Lousy diners serve crummy eggs. I’m not sure why, but odds are they don’t care, never a good start. Which also makes you wonder about the stuffed sole. In fact, why is stuffed sole a diner staple? And the menu several bound laminated pages long? Because, again, they don’t care: increase volume and push out the product. Yet we keep coming, purely for convenience, and eat unloved eggs.

Bad diners blast the eggs on a griddle until they achieves a nice, leathery consistency. Accompanied by limp, paper-thin bacon, it makes for a sad plate of food. Good eggs, on the other hand, should taste like butter and eggs, be a lively yellow as well as tender and delicate. Even ideal hard-boiled eggs are radiant, with a soft white and flaky yolk, as opposed to the overcooked article, more suitable for the golf course.

If there’s one thing as depressing as rubbery eggs, it’s bad bacon. Even well cooked supermarket bacon is slightly dismal if you’ve had the real thing. Thick, smoky, meaty and fatty, great bacon is like a great steak.

Fortunately, when it comes to eggs all you need is practice. You’ll succeed when you’ve become a bacon and egg snob and an unforgiving diner critic.

Eggs and Bacon

Serves 1

1 piece slab bacon, about ½ inch thick
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large eggs
salt and pepper

  1. Slice the bacon into lardons, about 1 inch by ½ inch. As many as you’d like (4 or 5). Reserve the remaining bacon for another time.
  2. Heat a small sauté pan over medium heat, add the lardons, and fry until well colored. Remove to a paper towel to drain.
  3. Heat the butter in a small pan over medium high until melted and the foam subsides. Swirl to cover the surface of the pan. Crack in the eggs.
  4. When the eggs are nearly done, you’ll be able to slide a rubber spatula around the edges, working it gradually under the center without breaking the yolk. Slide out onto the plate when the white is cooked. Season with salt and pepper. (You could cover the pan but keeping uncovered is delightfully risky.)
  5. Reheat the bacon briefly in its pan then plate alongside the eggs. Serve.

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