Friday, March 1, 2013

Poached Egg

What a treat! Harry’s mum kindly brought us half a dozen newly-laid eggs on Wednesday - two days ago. That colour isn’t made up: five brown and just one this extraordinary blue-green. So it’s my duty to poach this beauty.

There are many ways to poach eggs, it seems to me, and even more ways to worry about getting it wrong. Whirlpools, ice baths and poaching liquids are all frequently discussed in my cookery books. Since I’m usually hungrier than all that, I cheat and do mine in the microwave. Oh, be off with your collective gasp of horror. Instead, buy one of these and never look back.

Put a teaspoon of water into the bottom of each dish, gently break the egg on top and just pierce the yolk with the tip of a sharp knife. Our (ancient) microwave needs about 1 minute - plus or minus 10 seconds - at 500W to do two eggs. I start with 50 seconds. It takes longer to make the toast. But I can do the long way round too, which I suppose is only proper given the circumstances.

Put a shallow pan over a very low heat and fill with boiling water from the kettle. Add a drop or two of wine vinegar. Put the toast on. Drop the egg ever so gently into the barely simmering water. (Put it in a cup and slide it in if you have a tendency to shake.) While the egg cooks, grab a sheet of kitchen roll and fold into four. After a couple of minutes, when the egg white has come together but the yolk is still soft, scoop it out with a slotted spoon and rest the underside of the spoon on the kitchen towel a moment to absorb the excess water. Place lovingly on a slice of hot buttered toast and season to taste. And if you’re not a purist, be my guest and top the lot off with grated cheese.

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