For a GOYA TV commercial shoot featuring Huevos Rancheros, I faced the challenge of preparing the “perfect” Sunny-Side-Up under tight specifications of color, size, durability, and taste. The eggs had to be edible by the actors in the commercial. After each successive take, 1 to 3 plates had to be replaced. The eggs needed to have a bright yellow yolk and be firm enough to withstand the salsa topping. The yolks needed to be in the center of the eggs and the egg whites needed to be the right shape and color.
Challenges & Solutions
We needed to do a few test runs before filming. When trying to use large eggs, the yolks were too big in relation to the tortilla. Smaller eggs worked best. Some egg yolks were a pale yellow and had to be rejected. It was decided that the eggs could not be dropped onto the skillet straight from the shell. Each egg was cracked into a small cup; each cup of egg was gently slipped onto the skillet and the yolk was gently moved with a finger to center it within in the egg white.
Each egg was cooked one at a time in a small non-stick skillet. The fat that was used to cook the eggs was a critical factor. When using butter, eggs had a tendency to become too brown on the sides. When using oil, the egg whites developed small bubbles which stayed in the whites and looked like blemishes. A thin spray of nonstick cooking spray was just right. The eggs were cooked over medium-low heat (as opposed to medium-high which is how I do it at home). The skillet was covered with a lid for about 30 seconds towards the end just to set the yolk.
Using organic farm-fresh eggs worked better as well. The fresher the eggs, the yellower the yolk. The whites of the sunny-side up eggs were trimmed to fit the size of the tortilla, without overpowering it. Nothing could touch the finished eggs (ie. plastic wrap) because it would stick and ruin the eggs.
Rest assured, there were enough eggs for the day of the project - a total of 120 eggs (12 dozen). The finished eggs were kept on flat trays ready to be placed on the cooked tortilla and topped with salsa, avocado, cheese and pepper. The eggs were spritzed with water occasionally to keep them moist and prevent them from drying out.