Crack the eggs: Crack 2 large eggs into a custard cup.
TIP: Never crack eggs directly into a pan-always crack them into a cup or ramekin. It's the only way to make sure they cook evenly, and you can pour them into the pan right where you want them.
Heat the pan: Place an 8-inch nonstick skillet over low heat and add 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (don't dare skimp). Brush the butter around the pan.
Add the eggs: When the butter stops foaming, pour the eggs into the pan, then quickly lift the handle just enough for the eggs to pool slightly on the far side. This will prevent the thin albumin from running out all over the pan.
Flip the eggs: After 10 to 15 seconds, smoothly lower the handle. Wait another 10 seconds, then lightly jiggle the pan just to make sure that nothing is sticking. Season with 1 pinch of kosher salt and 1 grind of black pepper and cook, still over low heat, for 1 to 11/2 minutes.
Jiggle again and examine the whites for opaqueness; when they're fully set but not hard, it's time to flip. Here comes the hard part: Flip the eggs by pushing the pan away from you and snapping the far edge upward. As the eggs turn, try to bring the pan up to meet them.
Return the pan to the heat and slowly count to 10. Re-flip the eggs to their original side. (This time it won't be so difficult.) Slide onto a warmed plate and serve immediately with toast for wiping up all the goodness.
TIP: Never flip the food up and bring the pan down. Try to meet the food with the pan as best as you can, thus preventing a hard-and potentially yolk-busting-landing.
Photograph by David Malosh
Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown from Good Eats: The Early Years. Copyright 2009 by Alton Brown for Food Network Magazine