This article was originally featured in The 30 Second Wine Advisor's FoodLetter on Thursday, May 4, 2006.

The perfect fried egg

INGREDIENTS: (Serves two)

2 fresh large eggs
3 tablespoons (45g) butter


1. This recipe deserves the freshest, best eggs you can find. It's well worth the quest, and the expense, of using free-range eggs from a local producer, with extra credit if the producer has the class to mark the box with a "pull date" so you can find the freshest of all.

2. For Point's technique, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a small, nonstick sautée pan or skillet over very low heat, so it spreads out into a pool of hot liquid butter but does not bubble or sizzle.

3. For Loiseau's version, fill a small saucepan about half-full with water, bring it to a slow boil, and rest a saucer on top of the pan. Put 1 tablespoon of butter into the saucer and let it melt.

4. Break each egg onto a separate saucer, taking care not to break the yolk and to remove any shell fragments.

5. When the butter is melted but not sizzling, gently slip each egg into the hot butter. Cook both until the egg is just done: The white will gradually solidify from transparency into snow-white cream; the yolk will thicken slightly as it heats. This may take five minutes or more, depending on how solid you like your yolk, but please leave the egg sunnyside up and natural.

6. While the eggs are cooking, gently melt the remaining tablespoon of butter over low heat in another small skillet.

7. Slide each egg onto a small serving plate. Salt and pepper to taste (Loiseau, "The Perfectionist," advises salting only the white, not the yolk, so as to avoid unsightly salt speckles). Then drizzle a little of the remaining hot melted butter over the top of each egg and serve immediately, with crispy bacon and toast ... or just enjoy nature's most perfect egg au naturel.

WINE MATCH: Wine? With breakfast? Well, maybe. If you're having an indulgent brunch (or for that matter, serving this memorable egg as a light, meatless dinner), you couldn't go wrong with an excellent bottle of bubbly.

Just for fun, I've started another of those casual, non-scientific polls on our Netscape WineLovers Community, inviting you to check in and cast a ballot for your favorite egg prep, whether it be scrambled, fried, poached, boiled or other. Please stop in and add your pick. There's no need to register unless you wish to add a comment or question. For the ballot, click to the forum home page,
where you'll find "Today's Poll" at the lower right.

Rudolph Chelminski's "The Perfectionist: Life and Death in Haute Cuisine" is available from in hardcover for $17.33, a 36 percent discount. Purchases made using this exact link,
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