The usual first question when thinking about frying eggs is, “oil or butter?” That simple choice makes a big difference, but what if the answer was neither of the above?

It doesn’t matter how nonstick your frying pan is — only in commercials is it a good idea to dry-fry eggs. Multitudinous options exist, however: lard, tallow, duck fat and more, not to mention plant-based alternatives. Amid the recent egg shortage, I’ve been searching for interesting ways to honor those few eggs I can get my hands on. What I discovered was the oxymoron of frying in cream.

Inspired by Lisa Steele’s “The Fresh Eggs Daily Cookbook,” the idea goes that the cooking process evaporates liquid from the cream, and what is left is twofold: fat to fry your egg and delicious, crisped milk solids. The brilliance of the recipe is in adding nuance to something so simple with just a little cream, an ingredient often relegated to the realm of fridge-bound leftovers without a proper use.