Magnus Nilsson’s new cookbook, The Nordic Cookbook, weighs over five pounds and contains 735 pages of Nordic cooking wisdom. It provides an unprecedented look at the rich culinary offerings of the Nordic lands with a range of distinctive recipes (over 700 of them), all accompanied by Magnus’ own personal photography of the landscape and its people. You can learn to cook classic Nordic dishes and explore new ones. Below is an excerpt on Magnus take on frying an egg.
HOW TO FRY A REALLY GOOD EGG
Adapted from The Nordic Cookbook by
(Phaidon, $49.95 US/$59.95 CAN, October 2015)
I guess what constitutes perfection in egg frying is probably quite individual. Myself, I do not like my eggs fried in a lot of very hot butter or oil. I don’t like those bubbles forming at the edges – to me they have all the pleasantness in texture of little curls of hard plastic. Neither do I like the appearance of sooty fat mingled with egg white which has hardened, that would be the grey looking stuff at the exterior thirty per cent of your average hotel breakfast egg.
I usually heat a pan with just a little bit of fat in it – butter or oil, whichever seems appropriate – then I crack the egg into the pan, which mustn’t be too hot. The thing to remember here is that the fresher the egg the better it will keep together in the pan. If the egg is quite old, there will be the yolk in the middle, followed by some rather thick gelatinous white, and then, around that, a much more liquid white. In a fresher egg the liquid part is next to nonexistent. This means that in an older egg there will be three distinct thicknesses to take into account when frying that egg. A fresh egg is easier because more or less the whole white is one uniform thickness. It will therefore cook more evenly.
I usually keep the pan just under medium heat until the white has just set. Then I keep the pan off the heat, allowing the warmth to spread through the yolk. It might take 5 minutes or so of resting. The easiest way of figuring out if the yolk is cooked is to simply by touch the top of it carefully. If it’s warm, it’s done; if it’s cold, it’s not done.
When the egg is just perfect, sprinkle a bit of salt over it, and possibly grind some pepper if you are into that – black or white – according to your preference. Serve immediately; there is to be no keeping fried eggs warm.
Want to read more about eggs and much, much more in The Nordic Cookbook? Enter for a chance to win a copy here.