Now I know you may been thinking that I have lost the plot – that eggs don’t deserve their own post. But I disagree. I have blogged about my excitement and the sheer joy I derived from finding out that one of my birthday presents had been a basket of eggs. But not any eggs – they were free range, freshly laid eggs.

Now, you may think I am nuts, but I have spent years experimenting with eggs. And these days, I really can tell the difference between a true fresh egg, and what the supermarkets call a fresh egg.

As a definition, a fresh egg’s white should not spread and be runny – although that might be what we think they should be like because that’s what we generally get from supermarket eggs. Both the white and yolk should be firm. In other words, it should look like in this picture below.
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Only fresh eggs should be fried. And in fact, when I say ‘fried’, I mean a combination of something between a fried and poached egg. More on that in a minute. When the egg is broken into the pan, the chance of you ending up with chewy, frizzy bits on your egg white, is reduced because the thicker white keeps it moist during cooking. When it is thin and runny, it ends up chewy.

Same with the yolk. Old yolks have the tendency to spread and flatten – making it more difficult to achieve the perfectly gooey yolk: not runny, not hard.

I guess I would also be stating the obvious if I insisted on free range and/or organic eggs. 

Battery/barn eggs are tasteless, the yolks are light yellow and have no richness to them. And of course the hens are treated terribly.

So what do I do with eggs as they lose their freshness. This is what works for me:
Fresh eggs – fry/poach
Older eggs – scramble, omlettes or boil

And my perfect egg breakfast recipe? Here it is:
Take a Potato Farl, and layer some sliced red leicester or cheddar on top. Pop it under the grill while you make the egg.

Take a non-stick pan, lightly spray (I use low fat spray) or butter the pan just to ensure it doesn’t stick at all. Warm the pan, but not too hot. Break in the egg(s). As soon as the whites are starting to set properly (yolks still raw), add about a teaspoon or two of water into the pan and immediately put a lid on it. See through lids work best of course. The yolk will start to steam cook. Once a cooked film has formed on the yolk, your eggs should be just about ready. If you like runny eggs, take them out now. If you like gooey or harder eggs, leave them there for a little longer. As soon as the yolk is about right, take the lid off and wait until all the water has evaporated. It is important that you don’t add too much water for this reason.

Serve the egg(s) on top of the cheesy potato farl. For a little extra decadence and taste, your can take a tiny bit of butter – about a quarter teaspoon, and put it on top of the egg to melt over it. Skip this step if you’re on diet!

And that, it my perfect egg meal …..