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How to Make the Perfect Fried Egg Sandwich…

First, the bad news: At some point in your life, your days of endless brunch will be over. It doesn’t matter why or how— it could be for financial reasons, a renewed dietary awareness, the shock-and-awe of raising a family. One way or another, your cherished weekend brunch is doomed. While you’re at it, say goodbye to salted oreo caramel pancakes, dainty omelets with micro-veggies and curated cheese, and bottomless mimosas.

The good news: it only takes a few minutes and minimal hand-eye coordination to make a delicious brunch-worthy breakfast. All you need is a frying pan, some type of heating element, eggs, and bread. Whether you’re fresh out of college, newlywed, newly parented, or newly emancipated from society’s notions of what defines a household, making a fried egg sandwich is a vital and worthwhile survival skill. Best of all, you won’t need a full purse, full kitchen, or a full hour to wait in line for a table at brunchy restaurant. And — this a big one — you get back your Sunday to do whatever — go to a matinee, spoon on the couch, read a book, go for a walk, weed the garden.

Here are five steps that will liberate yourself and your loved ones from the tyranny of weekend brunch.

  1. Add a few drops of oil or melted butter to medium skillet, swirling to coat the surface as the pan heats up.
  2. When the pan is sizzling, crack two eggs into the pan, side by side. Turn down the heat slightly and lightly sprinkle salt and pepper over the yolks.
  3. When the eggs whites transition from runny to firm and opaque, the moment of truth has arrived. Flip the eggs in one smooth motion. Ninety-five percent of home cooks will use a flat spatula to flip the eggs; there’s nothing wrong with that. Or, you could step up to the pan, firmly grip the handle, and flip the eggs like a pancake, sending them backflipping through the air like tiny acrobats. As Julia Child once said, you must act with the courage of your convictions.
  4. After flipping the eggs, you should slightly break the yolks. Herein lies the secret to the perfect fried egg sandwich: the partially broken, partially cooked oozing egg yolk. If the yolks are too runny, you’ll get a sloppy sandwich with yolks squirting out the sides and down your chin. If the yolks are too firm and overcooked, the eggs will resemble their sulfurous, chalky cousins — hardboiled eggs. No one wants hard-boiled eggs for breakfast.
  5. After about thirty seconds, place a thin slice of cheese over the eggs, cover the pan, and turn off the heat. Moving post-haste, toast and butter your bread and arrange your fixin’s’: avocado, arugula, tomato, hot sauce, warm bacon. Slide the eggs onto the toast, assemble the sandwich, and dig in!

If you can make a perfect fried egg sandwich, congratulations, you’re on your way to great places. You’re a few steps removed from making an egg burrito, omelet, frittata, quiche, huevos rancheros, cheese souffle, who knows, you’re just getting started. Say goodbye to the epoch of long lines, thousand calorie pancakes, and bloated Sunday afternoons. Say hello to independence, morning adventure, and a new world of culinary possibilities.