Monday, 24 January 2011

A perfect poached egg

This won’t take long, and I’m only writing it up at all to give me an excuse for posting the accompanying pics, but is there anything quite as perfect as a perfectly poached egg?

Eggs don’t get much of a look in on this blog, what with Becca being allergic, but I’m not always cooking for two, and, like the previously featured grilled/fried cheese sandwich this is a case of a basic snacky lunch for one being made just a little bit unnecessarily indulgent for very little effort.

To poach an egg is undoubtedly to go to a bit more trouble than to simply fry one, or to boil it, but not by so very much.  You just need to put a pan of water on the heat and bring it to the gentlest simmer you can.  Add some vinegar – about as much as you’d sprinkle on a portion of chips, then, using a wooden spoon stir the water to create a whirlpool in the pan, into the centre of which you drop the egg. The trick is to break the egg into a small cup or ramekin, and then tip the edge of the cup into the water, so the egg just gently slides in, and that way it all holds neatly together.  Then you wait until the egg white is set, just a couple of minutes, then lift it out with a slotted spoon, tipping off any excess water before placing it on to a slice of toast or a potato cake or, as here a golden fried disc of colcannon.  Some mushrooms, sliced and sautéed with perhaps a little garlic and parsley could even make it a little better still.  Breakfast, or lunch, of champions.

If you do like an egg, by the way, fried or poached, on toast or colcannon, for breakfast or lunch, my top tip is to try a few drops of the mild green Tabasco sauce sprinkled over it.  A marriage made in heaven.

And speaking of marriages made in heaven, I've said it before and I'll say it again: smoked haddock and mash with spinach topped with a poached egg.  As I believe the kids say elsewhere on this internet thingy, OMG.

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