For me there is one thing I always have to have in my fridge or cupboard and that’s eggs. I have very fond memories of having a boiled egg in an egg cup with toasted buttery soldiers to dunk. That was real bliss for me! Although as an adult I am still inclined to enjoy a boiled egg from time to time, I have had a real obsession in my adult life with fried eggs. That was until I tried poached eggs. For me, poached eggs are like a beautiful combination of boiled and fried eggs all one nice package.
That first time it was my mother in law that made the poached eggs for me and I knew then that I had to try and recreate that magic. However, what I discovered is poaching eggs is not an easy thing to do. It took me a long time to properly master the skill, and if you are new to cooking it might be one that you are still trying to perfect. If that is the case, then just use the following tips as a guideline and you will be fine.
To start, you need to fill a pan with enough water to cover the eggs. Put the hob on full heat and bring the water to the boil. Once the water is boiling add a small splash of vinegar which helps bind the egg. Now open the egg carefully without breaking the yolk. You need to pour the egg carefully into the centre of the water.
By now the water starts to come off the boil slightly. Monitor the water until it returns to the boil and then turn the heat down until the water is only just simmering. The only thing you have to do now before removing the egg from the water is just watch it until it resembles a poached egg, with the white wrapped round almost in a ball shape.
It is a good idea to get some toast and coffee on round about the time you added the egg to the water, which should all be ready now to serve with your beautifully poached egg. When you are ready to remove it from the water, take it out using a flat and non-stick spatula. One of those slotted ones is best as this helps excess water drop through.
An important tip is not to put it directly onto your buttered toast or muffin or whatever else you are serving it with. Instead, put it onto a bread board to give it a chance to evaporate. Finish it off with a few turns on your salt mill and pepper grinder to season the egg and get stuck right in.
Be warned though, that even with the above tips it may take you a few failed attempts to get it just right, but you will get there in the end. The only problem is, if you cook eggs this way for your kids or significant other – be prepared to put up with requests for it every single morning!