Steam Basted Eggs

June's Poached Eggs

Basted Huevos Rancheros

June was NPR's Linda Wertheimer's mom. Here is Linda's recipe, handed down to her from June:

"I grew up in a small mining town in the West, Carlsbad, N.M. My dad had a grocery store, and my mother, June Cozby, was a very good cook with a soft spot for overripe fruit and very dark red beef. She taught me to make foolproof eggs — tender and soft, kind of a cross between poached and over easy. These are the kind of eggs that go on top of something — maybe a plate of asparagus, or a stack of red chile enchiladas, or a salad. Because the yolks are soft, they become like a sauce, especially delicious on enchiladas.

"Start with a small skillet with a glass lid. Put the skillet on the stove on medium heat and pour in a little oil (canola is good). As the oil warms, wipe it around the skillet. Crack the egg in the skillet, fill half an eggshell with water and add that and then pop on the lid.

"Here is the hardest part. You have to stand over the egg and watch it cook. It doesn't take long, but if you miss the moment, you don't get a soft yolk. So you watch the egg through the steamy, blurry glass lid. Suddenly you will notice that the yolk is changing color around the edges. As you watch, the color will creep up to cover the yolk, and when the yolk is almost pink, you take it out of the skillet and serve.

"That's a plain basted egg. You can eat it as is, on toast, slide it over warmed up leftovers — it will improve almost anything.

"Here's another version: Toast a corn tortilla in a dry skillet until it gets a few brown spots on each side. Oil the skillet as above. Put the tortilla in the bottom and crack the egg on the tortilla. Add half an eggshell of tomato salsa, and put the lid on the skillet and hover over it until the yolk turns pink. Scoop the tortilla and egg onto a plate, add some grated cheese and serve.


  • 2 eggs
  • Oil/Butter
  • Water
  • Small skillet with a glass cover

How To

  1. Crack the eggs into ramekins
  2. Melt oil in pan to coat lightly
  3. Gently tip the eggs separately into the pan on separate sides. Let them cook for 30 seconds or so
  4. Pour half an eggshell of water onto the pan between the eggs, not on the eggs
  5. Cover the skillet with the glass lid and watch the eggs. When the pink haze creeps up to the top of the yolks, they're done. 
  6. With a thin spatula, gently lift the eggs out of the pan and plate