Call me a gastrocodger, but I generally don’t like what Instagram has done to food. In exchange for a few extra double-taps, the world is now making its grilled cheeses rainbow-colored and garnishing its bloody marys with whole fried birds. Don’t get me started on avocado curls. We now sacrifice the pleasure of eating a silky ripe avocado by shaving what may as well be a green rock over our toast.
As the line between “food” and “stupid” blurs, there is one thing that Instagram has done for America that I can truly get behind, and that’s #yolkporn. The kids these days want their yolks to spurt and ooze like the NSFW GIFs one might find in the darker alleys of Reddit. (For further reference, please see Tampopo.)
When I was a brunch cook, nothing broke my culinary heart more than when a guest requested that a runny-yolk dish be prepared scrambled. We would call the order out to the egg guy at the stove with a child-like impediment: “Lamb Breast and Eggs—eggs scwambled!” This weaksauce jab was our only retaliation as the guest mugged us of the pleasure associated with knowing that our perfectly roasted lamb would find its way into some viscous yolk. The guest would never reach the soigné brunch nirvana that we had crafted for them with the glory of our creator’s designed for the egg. Yolk: Nature’s Original Sauce™.
There’s a spot here in Brooklyn called Roebling Tea Room that used to offer a delightful omelet, until it was edged off the menu by “power bowls” of self-flagellation and the aforementioned avocado toasts. I’m sure these things are also delicious, but as a bon vivant it’s my job to encourage the consumption of foods that make you feel the urge to go to the gym, as opposed to the functional foods that are prepared at one. The omelet was on the daytime (not brunch) menu, listed as “Poached Egg Omelet.” Perhaps if they had called it the “Inception Omelet” as I am about to do in the recipe below, it would still be on the menu, all the while raking in likes on Insta.
Brace yourself, and place your mise, because we are about to make an omelet filled with poached eggs. When your guest pierces through the thin yet fluffy omelet exterior, they will gasp in surprise as bosom-warmed yolk drools from just-set whites, enrobing the whole thing in glossy golden manna. If you were to share this in bed with a loved one, you may find yourself with a very literal interpretation of #yolkporn.
- Yields: 1 serving for a very hungry person, or 2 for a couple sharing
- Total Time: 15 minutes
Fill the 2-quart pot with 6 cups of water or about ¾ of the way full. Set this over high heat on the stove.
Use the rasp to remove the zest from one of the lemons. Set the zest aside on your cutting board.
Crack two eggs in one of the bowls, being careful not to break the yolks.
Applying a little pressure, roll the lemons around on your board. This helps extract more juice.
Cut the lemons in half and squeeze them into the bowl with two eggs. I like to squeeze them with the seeds facing my palm. If seeds fall in the bowl, carefully fish them out with your fork, taking care not to break the yolks. Set this aside.
Crack the other three eggs in to the bowl and add the salt. Beat with a fork until uniform. Set this aside.
Gather the chives together as though they were pickup sticks and line them up neatly. Using the knife or scissors, cut off a quarter of an inch from the bottom and discard; this part of the chive is generally ugly and dry. Now, cut the chives as finely as possible. This is a good opportunity to show off. Save the rest of the chives for something else.
By now the water should be approaching a simmer. Set the nonstick pan on the stove over medium heat and add the butter, swirling to coat the pan as it melts. When the butter is completely melted and begins to bubble like this:
Carefully pour in the beaten eggs and stir with a spatula until it starts to congeal like this:
Don’t stir any further. From here, lift the pan off the heat occasionally and swirl to move the uncooked egg around. Once there is very little liquid to swirl, set the pan to the side, off the heat:
The water should be simmering but not boiling. That looks something like this:
Use the slotted spoon to give the water a good stir, and immediately add the egg and lemon juice to the vortex of water. Let the eggs cook for exactly two-and-a-half minutes. Turn the heat off and carefully remove them with the slotted spoon, landing them in the center of the omelet, perpendicular to the handle. Sprinkle half of the chives and lemon zest over the omelet and poached eggs.
Using the spatula, scrape around the outside edge of the omelet to loosen it. Fold the side closest to the handle over the eggs. Carefully scooch the omelet towards the unfolded side, so that the unfolded side is pushed up over the edge of the pan.
Tilt toward your plate and use the spatula to push the omelet out to fold over on to the plate.
Sprinkle with the remaining chives and lemon zest:
Get real excited when this happens: