My quest to cook the perfect egg continues with ‘poaching’. Yes my friends, the scariest of all the egg cooking methods but why are we all so afraid? I think poaching an egg always seems like the riskiest option, especially when you only have two eggs left, no no, better play it safe a fry the little blighters.
But if you want to take a chance then you have to make a few tough decisions. To vinegar or not to vinegar? To swirl the water or not to swirl? Frying pan or saucepan? Refrigerated or room temperature? Boil or simmer? AGHHH JUST FORGET IT!
I hear you people, I hear you, poaching an egg can be a very stressful time in ones life, I don’t blame you for frying, it’s a natural reflex. But if I told you there’s a way of poaching an egg that won’t make you run for the hills? No no, I’m not a mad idiot, I’m a just a girl who wants poached eggs for breakfast and this is where my story begins…
One blustery but warm Autumnal morning, I rise from my sleeping quarters to find my housemate Isabelle in the kitchen. It’s a small kitchen, with a blue tiled floor which feels cold on the soles of my feet. She delicately stirs a spoonful of sugar into her tea, I can’t help but notice her slender bird like hands. There’s a small frying pan simmering away with what looks like two cloudy white orbs floating on the surface, like two boats on a calm sea… But they are not boats, oh no, Isabelle is making POACHED EGGS!
“ARE YOU POACHING EGGS???!!! HOW THE HELL ARE YOU DOING THAT???!!! I screech, my eyes wide with shock.
“Yeah, it’s easy, I’ll show you” she says… And she did. So now I will show you my dear friends. Hold onto your hats, it’s going to be wild.
Perfectly Poached Eggs
Serves 1 / Takes 10 minutes
You’ll need: One small frying pan
2 medium eggs at room temperature (fresh is always best and does make a difference. I find older egg whites spread more in the pan, as do refridgerated ones.)
1. Fill your small shallow frying pan with boiling water leaving a 1 centimetre at the top. Bring to the boil and reduce to a low simmer. You want the water to be as still as possible to avoide a fluffy egg white situation.
2. Crack one egg into a small cup and then gently pour it into the water. Don’t panic if it spreads a bit, just try and keep it to one side. Repeat with the other egg on the other side of the pan. Don’t worry if they look like they’re touching, you can always separate them with your spoon once cooked.
3. Leave them to set for about a minute and if you can see the yolk is popping above the water (see above) gently submerge your eggs under water by placing your slotted spoon over the top of them for about 10/20 seconds (see below).
4. You’re eggs should take around two minutes to cook so get your toast ready pronto! I don’t want to tell you how long they’ll take exactly as it can vary, just don’t take your eyes off the pan or you’ll overcook them. When they’re done they should look like the above picture.
5. Once cooked, remove one egg at a time with a slotted spoon, allow to drain over the frying pan for a few seconds and pop onto a couple of sheets of kitchen towel.
6. Prepare your toast (I like sourdough toast brushed with a garlic clove and topped with avocado). Once your eggs are cooled a little I tend to just pick them up with my hands to avoid breaking the yolks. Pop on top of your toast and serve.
If you’ve had a go at making my poached eggs or any of my other recipes I’d love to hear about it. @corrieheale firstname.lastname@example.org