It’s the weekend. The weather is perfect. And in our house the breakfast cook is not me but Senor. The discrepancy between our skills with an egg became clear many years ago; he is the undisputed breakfast champion, which suits me perfectly (to say I am not a morning person is something of an understatement.)
Poaching an egg, I believe, is one of the most delicate and highly-skilled operations in the kitchen, and in my opinion the world is divided into two classes – people who can poach an egg and those who can’t. I am in the latter category; whenever I have tried I end up with a pan full of watery skeins of disintegrating egg white and a hard-yet-sodden little grey ball of yolk.
But Senor has developed the art of egg-poaching to perfection – the white is always just cooked through and perfectly un-drippy on the toast, and the yolk holds its shape before oozing gorgeously when cut.
So because I love you all, I hereby present Senor’s egg-poaching technique, dictated to and faithfully transcribed by yours truly.
- Take a non-stick frying pan & fill with about 5cm cold water. Make sure the pan is wide enough to poach a couple of eggs without them touching each other.
- Place pan over medium heat and immediately, and very gently, crack eggs into the water, making sure the white does not disperse too much.
- Now you play the waiting game. Use this time to make the toast and butter it.
- Occasionally test the firmness of the eggs by gently swishing the water near them to determine the wobble factor.
- When the egg is not quite as cooked as you like it, carefully remove it from the water with a non-stick slotted spatula, tilting the spatula for a few seconds to allow water to drain off. The whole egg-cooking procedure should take around 7 or 8 minutes.
- Carefully place the egg on your buttered toast – the egg will continue to cook as you bring it to the table. Best bread is Turkish or sourdough because it has crevices and holes for the soft yolk to pour into without making the bread soggy.
- Best served with the Empress’s tomato oil pickle … Unless she hasn’t given you any for a while ... quite a while …