By Genevieve Ko, The New York Times
There’s a way to plates of crispy bacon and sunny-side-up eggs that doesn’t demand you stand over a hot skillet and get greasy. “Frying” bacon in a hot oven, then cooking eggs on the same sheet pan, turns out a meal for four in 15 minutes and requires almost no attention.
Yes, the method is convenient, especially on a holiday morning when there are gifts to open, but its real appeal is how the evenly browned bacon and perfectly set eggs are done all at once.
Because bacon strips run long, a big batch of them cooks more uniformly on a sheet tray than in a sloping skillet, all crowded and tangled as if playing Twister. Surrounded by hot air in the oven, the fat in the bacon melts steadily and runs under and around all the slices, sizzling them from pink to brick red. As they cook, they curl enough to allow space to add eggs to the pan.
Eggs aren’t often cooked in the oven, probably because getting them right can be tricky. If eggs are baked at all, they’re often plopped into ramekins, along with cream, for some version of shirred eggs. They can be delicious, but they can risk tasting rubbery as they may toughen in dry, moderate heat.
With this sheet-pan technique, the eggs cook quickly in a very hot oven. Cracked into all that slowly rendered bacon fat, the egg whites slide like silk and start to set almost immediately. Once the pan is back in the oven, the encompassing heat finishes solidifying the whites, including that ring around the yolk that sometimes stays jiggly when heated only from below on the stovetop.
For a spread, bake sticky buns, muffins or scones, or roast potatoes, mushrooms or tomatoes before starting the bacon. They’ll cool to the just-right temperature as the eggs finish. Or toast rolls, biscuits or croissants in the oven at the same time, for breakfast sandwiches or just to swipe through that runny yolk.
In every case, you can relax and be present for all the holiday cheer — even in another room — while breakfast cooks itself.
Recipe: Crispy Oven Bacon and Eggs
Yield: 4 servings
Total time: 30 minutes
- 4 large eggs
- 8 bacon slices
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Toast, for serving
1. Take the eggs out of the refrigerator. Place a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 450 degrees.
2. Arrange the bacon on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer, spacing evenly. Roast in the center of the oven until the fat renders and the bacon curls, about 8 minutes. Very thin slices will cook more quickly; thick-cut ones will take longer.
3. Take the pan out of the oven and quickly flip the bacon and move to one side of the pan. Crack the eggs onto the other side, then immediately return the pan to the oven and roast until the whites are just set, the yolks are still runny and the bacon is brown and crisp, 2 to 5 minutes longer. If you prefer medium or hard egg yolks or extra-crisp bacon, cook a few minutes more, but take out the bacon before it burns.
4. Using a spatula, cut the eggs apart. Slide them off the pan and onto plates right away to stop the yolks from solidifying. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drain the bacon on paper towels, then add to the plate along with toast. Serve immediately.
Use the bacon and eggs in breakfast sandwiches: Toast split buttered rolls, with cheese on the bottom halves if you’d like, directly on another rack in the oven while the eggs cook. Then, center the eggs and bacon slices over the bottoms and sandwich with the tops.
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