Tom PapoutsisTom Papoutsis is a “Firehouse Chef” that currently holds the rank of Lieutenant with the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department. Tom’s experience in the Fire Service spans over 29 years, 19 of which have been with Fairfax County. The bulk of his firehouse culinary expertise has been practiced during his tenure there. He was a national finalist in the 2004 Tabasco Cook & Ladder Competition finishing in the top 10 of the nations Firehouse Chef’s, and traveled to New York City to compete in a cook off with his peers. He has also been placed on the “charity” auction block several times to prepare meals for the highest bidder. Tom likes to specialize in Italian and Greek cuisine being of the same heritage, but also enjoys preparing Asian and of course “Good Ole American” foods as well. He concentrates on entrées but also has a few hors d’oeuvres and dessert specialties as well, such as his versions of Bruschetta and Amaretto Cheesecake. For the past year he has been studying the practice of making homemade Italian deli meats and sausages. Tom’s motto: “It’s just cooking, not rocket science, take a chance…..you might like it!” Residing in Chambersburg, PA with his wife JoAnn, twins Jonathan & Katie and “Buddy” their Golden Retriever. Tom enjoys cycling, hunting, fishing, woodworking, raising his children and helping form today’s youth while volunteering with son Jonathan’s Cub Scout pack. Tom can be reached via e-mail at [email protected]
Tom Popatis: Hi! Tom Popatis here. We are doing easy egg dishes today, kind of the basics of eggs, how to do the simple stuff. One of the simple things is, how do you fry an egg? How do you get that egg to come out just right, the way you like it? Very simple here is what we are going to do. I'm going to go ahead. We are going to go to medium, like a medium-high heat. Id like to kind of stay on medium high. High gets kind of really hot and you burn things so a little bit lower is better because unless it needs to be really high at first, keep your heat down around medium high. So, we are going to put our pan on, what I have got, its a no-stick pan. Remember, just because it says no-stick, doesn't mean that it's not going to stick, it will kind of burn and then it won't stick. So, what I like to do is you can use a cooking spray or something like that. Typically what I like, I think butter works the best for no stick purposes. I'll put a little bit of butter in my pan, let that melt up for me. Now, what we are going to do, I'm going to let that heat up just a little bit, so that butter -- so it actually we can move it around that pan and coat that pan real well over with it. Essentially we have, we can do these eggs a couple of different ways. We can do a sunny side up, which is we just leave it the way we crack it and let it cook in the bottom and we don't flip it over, sunny side up ofcourse. If that's the way you like them great they are very simple very easy. You let them cook for a while. Let that white get as kind of solid as you want it and then just scoop it off and you are done.
Now, as far as an over easy egg -- here we go, our butter starting to get a little hot there, there we go. An over easy egg, we are just going to kind of let it sit for a minute or so on one side and then we are going flip it over and get it going on the other side. Now, what I'm doing here is I'm kind of coating sides of this pan with this butter and what that will do is, I'm a flip guy I don't like to -- I don't like spatulas too much, but I will use spatula for you so we can do it. But typically I'll flip the eggs and get them out of there. I have got my egg. Here we go. Wow! I hope I can do this. I can do it, you can do it, we are going to crack our egg on a side, very carefully, put your thumbs in like this, just push them in very carefully and just pull apart gently and lay the egg right in there, just like that. There it is we have got our egg frying, we are doing good. Now, what I do is I give it a little shake like this that little shake, see that butter gets to working on it, and that will actually get it. It's looking a little hot, I'm going to cut my heat back just a little bit, but here is where our sunny side up comes in. If you want a sunny side up egg, leave it there for a little bit longer till this white right here, starts to cook out a little bit. If you want you can take -- I have got a knife here, you see a bubble there, you can actually pop the bubble that will help it. Let some of that steam out. You can move this egg around just like that, that's what your butter does. The butter helps it to do that.
Now, typically what I do for an over easy is, I flip it, but I'm going to show you, using spatula what we do. Come in underneath the egg kind of quickly get up underneath the yolk. Once around to the yolk, we are just going to take it and flip over easy like that. See, how I give it a shake like that butter, keep it nice, let's turn our heat off because we don't want it too hot.
Guess what, that's an over easy egg, its done. Let me get a plate, how easy is it to take this thing off of here. Well, remember I told you about that flip thing, there you go. There is your fried egg.
The butter gives it that kind of brown, the butter got a little hot, but it will do that. If you don't want it brown like that, cut your heat back a little bit keep your butter from burning, but there is youre over easy egg. Remember, if you want one, thats going to be sunny side up then it's just a matter of just leaving it, don't flip it over just let it there. Let that white cook a little bit, take it off the pan, it's done. There you go. Fried eggs its that easy.