You probably already have some in the fridge.

By Sara Tane
December 29, 2020
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Eggs are the best. They really are. I mean, what’s not to love? They’re a great source of protein, they’re not too expensive, you can prepare them a million and one different ways, and they’re freaking delicious. There was a whole day in culinary school that was devoted solely to egg cookery, and let’s just say that my chef instructor had my undivided attention for that entire class. The possibilities are truly endless! Now, as a private chef who prepares a lot of breakfasts and brunches, I am constantly whipping up egg dishes for the folks that I’m cooking for.

Because I like to keep not only my diners but myself on my toes, I try to put a little twist on whatever it is that I’m cooking. After all, there are only so many frittatas and omelets that a person can make before they start to go a little insane. It is this desire to keep things fresh and exciting that inspired this genius (if I do say so myself) addition to a basic fried egg. It’s cheese, of course — what kind of lunatic makes an egg dish without cheese? Like, come on.

See, the most underrated use of cheese is frying it directly in a pan — fried cheese is a crunchy, delicious blessing; and one that should be taken advantage of more often. You know those stray cheese shreds that cook directly in the pan when you’re making a grilled cheese sandwich? Yes, that’s exactly what I’m talking about.

Here’s how it’s done. Warm up a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and throw in a drizzle of oil or melted butter(you really don’t need a whole lot). From there, sprinkle a scant handful of shredded cheese (Cheddar, pepper-Jack, and Swiss would all be great) directly into the hot skillet, sprinkling it to create a 4-inch (or so) cheese web. Be sure to leave some openings where you can see the pan through the shredded cheese. Then, crack an egg directly over the center of this shredded cheese web. 

Depending on how you want to cook the egg, you can either cover the pan at this point for a more well done center, or you can do this entire process uncovered for a sunny, runny yolk. Either way, you want to keep your flame on medium-high heat so that you get crispy, crunchy cheese on the bottom as well as a frizzled egg white. Once the egg is almost done cooking, tilt your pan a little bit and spoon any hot oil or butter onto the white to complete its cooking. Depending on how large your skillet is, you can do multiple cheesy fried eggs at the same time, or simply tackle them one by one. Slide the egg(s) off the pan and serve immediately with some toast or a corn tortilla and hot sauce (maybe some avocado and cilantro, too). These crunchy fried eggs are the perfect size for a fun breakfast taco situation.

If you’re feeling extra bold, you can opt to grate a small potato, and lay that down on the hot, oiled pan (also in a web-like formation) first, and then season with salt and pepper (plus whatever spices you might like on your breakfast ‘taters, such as garlic powder, onion powder, paprika or cayenne). Then, you’d add cheese on top of the grated potatoes, and finish off your little potato-cheese nest with an egg. 

The beauty of these cheesy fried egg nests is that they take ingredients that you likely already have, but jazz them up in an unexpected and tasty way. If you have some friends coming over for brunch, these are so straightforward to make yet always impress people because they’re so unique. Any friend that can appreciate the simple beauty of an egg is a friend that you should definitely keep around. Because like I said, eggs are the freaking best.