The perfect poached egg

Last updated 16:44 13/05/2014
JUST GOOEY ENOUGH: The perfect poached egg is a life-affirming experience.

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Julia Child once offered to teach me to poach an egg. And I declined. I had my reasons; I was in labour. But I regret the opportunity missed.

I know how it's supposed to work: the steaming water, the splash of vinegar, the swirling vortex.

Nonetheless, I end up with something that looks like a supernova, surrounded by nebulae. A mess.

I daydream of smoked salmon Benedict smothered in hollandaise but all I ever achieve is a nightmare of egg strands.

So recently, I decided to try something different: learn.

I opened a big reference book and peered at it anxiously while my teens rolled their eyes.

They sighed: try YouTube. There I found a new technique, involving a fine mesh strainer. Which worked. The strainer drains off pre-straggle. And it makes egg handling easy.

That's the thing about motherhood: ut's always an education.



Main ingredient Eggs
Type of dish Quick and easy
Course Breakfast/brunch
Cooking time <30 min
Serves/makes 1
Special options Low fat

One very fresh egg
One tablespoon vinegar (white, wine or cider: all delicious)

1. Calibrate: Fill a large saucepan with water. Add vinegar. Bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer. Lower to less than a simmer: tiny bubbles will be visible on the bottom of the pan, but none will break the surface of the water.

2. Strain: Set a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl. Crack in the egg. Gently rock the sieve back and forth - some white may seep through.

3. Poach: Lower the sieve into the water. Rock the sieve back and forth a couple of times. Tip out egg; remove sieve. Let egg poach 4 minutes, turning once with a soft spatula.

4. Drain: Use a slotted spoon to scoop out egg. Set on a clean kitchen towel to dry, briefly. Serve at once or hold in a bowl of warm water up to 30 minutes.

5. Serve: Nice on a buttered English muffin half, perhaps with a strip of smoked salmon underneath and a spoonful of hollandaise on top.

- Chicago Tribune

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