Fried eggs are the ultimate fast food. They're done in minutes, are more nutritious than Burger King and you don't have to stand in line to get them. Assuming of course
you have some in your fridge.
One advantage to frying eggs is that you can instantly see how fresh they are as soon as you drop them in the pan. The more the egg white spreads in the pan, the older the eggs are. Fresh eggs have a well-defined thick, oval layer of white and a small thin fringe.
Ideally they should be fried in olive oil unless they're to be combined with fatty food on the plate in which case, being lighter, corn or soybean oil is more suitable. Never fry your eggs in cheap or bastardised vegetable oil, you lose both taste and the antioxidants found in good oil. Using grease or margarine is a culinary crime, period--don't do it, OK? You may, however, use the fat from the bacon you just fried. Don't use too little or too much oil. The oil should fully but only just cover the bottom of the pan before the eggs are added.
Fry at medium heat, slightly on the hot side. If the oil isn't hot enough the eggs will cook too slowly and the fringes of the whites will end up tough by the time the insides are done. If you're afraid of getting burnt by hot bubbles bursting from underneath the eggs, make a slit in the place where you see the bubble forming. It's also my very personal opinion that sunny side up is the only way to fry an egg but that's open to debate. When there's just a thin halo of runny, transparent white surrounding the yolk, spoon hot oil from the rest of the pan over the eggs until the yolks have a whitish hue. This means they're done.
Eggs fried in olive oil make a great tasting fast meal. It is imperative that bread be available for dunking though, it's not half as good without. A simple, tasty and
healthy lunch could consist of no more than eggs fried in olive oil, a hunk of good bread (Wonder bread is an insult to good oil) and a sliced tomato sprinkled with oregano. The tomato itself combines beautifully with the olive oil.
Alternatively, you can simply put fried eggs, fried in light vegetable oil and sufficiently drained, on a slice of toast (again, Wonderbread is out of the question) with real butter and accompany it with fresh vegetables such as sliced cucumber or place a lettuce leaf on the toast. For a less healthy option, place slices of ham and cheese on a plate, put the eggs on top and let the heat melt the
cheese. Good with baked beans.
Salt and pepper may be added during cooking or afterwards. Ketchup is a matter of taste or religious preference of course. If you ask me, ketchup does not belong on good fried eggs. It's also acidy and does not always combine well with oil. On the other hand, it's almost mandatory with chips/french fries. It's entirely up to you. At any rate, bon appétit.
Dedicated to Gone Jackal, egg lover extraordinaire.