For the Spanish, an ideal fried egg is one that has been fried in lots of very hot olive oil and has a lightly crisped, puffed-up white and a juicy, runny yolk that bursts in a bright-orange explosion when you puncture it with a fork. Cooked this way, the egg is deliciously different from the American diner-style sunny-side-up, particularly if you use fine olive oil and very fresh organic eggs. The recipe here is for one egg, but you can fry as may as you can fit in your skillet. With toasted dense sourdough, this is my favorite midday snack.
Heat the olive oil in an 8-inch skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Break the egg into the skillet, being careful not to puncture the yolk. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the white is puffy, sizzled, and set, but the yolk is still runny, gently loosening the white from the skillet with a thin metal spatula and pouring hot olive oil over the yolk. The egg should be done in about 45 seconds. Using a thin slotted spatula, lift the egg out of the skillet, gently shaking off the excess oil. Transfer the egg to a plate.
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