"I like these crunchy eggs for dinner with a salad of bitter greens. At Zuni, they appear on the Sunday lunch menu accompanied by house-made sausage or bacon and grilled vegetables or roasted mushrooms. This is a very easy dish and fun to eat when you are alone, so I provide proportions for one person. For more people, make it in a larger pan, in batches of four to six eggs."
Wine: Cline Cellars Mourvedre, Ancient Vines, Contra Costa, 1999
- 3 tablespoons packed, fresh, soft bread crumbs, made from slightly stale, crustless, chewy, white peasant-style bread
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Thyme or marjoram leaves, or coarsely chopped rosemary (optional)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar or sherry vinegar
Sprinkle the crumbs with salt to taste, then drizzle with enough of the oil to just oversaturate them.
Place the crumbs in a 6- to 8-inch French steel omelet pan or nonstick skillet and set over medium heat. (If you like your fried eggs over easy, reserve some of the oiled raw crumbs to sprinkle on the top of the eggs just before you flip them over.) Let the crumbs warm through, then swirl the pan as they begin drying out -- which will make a quiet static-like sound. Stir once or twice.
The moment you see the crumbs begin to color, quickly add the remaining oil, and the herbs if using, then crack the eggs directly onto the crumbs. Cook the eggs as you like.
Slide onto a warm plate, then add the vinegar to the hot pan. Swirl the pan once, then pour the drops of sizzling vinegar over the eggs.
If you are preparing the eggs for more than a few people, it is a little easier to toast the seasoned, oiled crumbs in advance in a 425-degree oven instead of in the skillet. In that case, toast them to the color of weak tea. Then scatter them in the skillet, add the remaining olive oil, and proceed as described above.
From "The Zuni Cafe Cookbook: A Compendium of Recipes and Cooking Lessons from San Francisco's Beloved Restaurant" by Judy Rogers (W.W. Norton, 2002).
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