By Lukas Volger
I love watching people cook eggs, because everyone has their own method. My brother, Max, greases an electric griddle and carefully fries eggs on one end of it, while the other toasts buttered English muffins facedown — he makes the best breakfast sandwiches. Once I watched the chef Elise Kornack heat up a carbon-steel pan in her home kitchen for what seemed like 20 minutes, then crack a single egg straight into the very hot oiled pan and scramble it with a spoon in a matter of seconds — this was breakfast for her wife, Anna. My stepmom, Pam, seems to engage her whole body as she fries an egg, swirling the pan and turning a spatula so as to encase a perfectly runny yolk in a perfectly set white, mastering the challenge of getting both cooked at the same pace (if you go to YouTube and search for “perfect fried egg,” there are French chefs who’ve spent their careers mastering a method similar to this.)
I eat eggs often, and the first reason I like them is that they’re delicious. They offer a boost of protein and iron, plus numerous vitamins and minerals, but there’s constant debate over how healthy they are, plagued as they were by decades of fear of cholesterol. The current research indicates that much of the basis for the cholesterol scare has been debunked, which is not to say that one should eat eggs with abandon, but rather that, like most foods, they’re best regarded as a component of a balanced meal, ideally one that features a hearty dose of vegetables. Eggs are a default of mine when I need something to eat now, getting home late and hungry, or wanting a hearty breakfast or even a snack. I was an early adopter of #putaneggonit, the Instagram movement of taking any manner of savory dish and topping it with a fried, poached, or soft-boiled egg, its vibrant yellow yolk dripping in dramatically photogenic fashion.
This is one of those quick meals that feels like self-care. A flavorful poached egg sits atop a crisp slab of toasted bread that’s resting in a little pool of hot broth. You can make your own court bouillon (a quick form of stock) from pantry-staple vegetables and lingering vegetable scraps (see the recipe below), but I’m also a fan of…