I can poach eggs! Woo! I have done so twice of late, and here is a record of my successful results. I’ve never been great at timing boiled eggs – I know it’s one of the easiest things to do but eggs aren’t my strong point. This is why I was pleased with my successful omelette recently, too, even though it wasn’t much to look at, and in all honesty I didn’t really enjoy it all that much. I’m just not into omelettes, I guess. I had it with wholemeal toast and whatever mushrooms didn’t fit inside the omelette, and it was probably one of the least inspiring things I’ve made in years. It was very seventies, as a plate, with a lot of orangey-brown tones. I was still proud of having made it, though – nailed it on the first attempt. Take that, eggs.
Having conquered the heady heights of omelette making (and spelling) I turned to egg poaching. What I like about it is you can see what it’s ready, when the white’s cooked and the yolk’s still soft. With a boiled egg it’s a bit of a guessing game. I think the trouble is that I’ve never really set down proper boiled egg rules in my head – does the egg go in the water while the water’s cold, or does it go into boiling water? I don’t know! I know it should take three to four minutes to be soft-boiled but does that start from the beginning or from when the water starts boiling? I do like boiled eggs because of my cool egg cup, and because you get to dip excessively buttered strips of toast in them. Soldiers of toast, in fact, which you then dip in roasting hot, liquid egg and munch down like an angry giant. However, I’m better at poached eggs, based on the fact that I have a 100% success rate with them so far. I had a bit of a rummage online for poached egg tips, and basically what everyone said was use barely simmering water, tip the egg in gently and cook for two minutes for a soft yolk. There are other tips, like using a pot of water and swirling, or adding vinegar to hold the egg together, but I’ve been keeping it simple. I have found my eggs have stuck a little to the bottom of the pot, which I guess I down to me not swirling the water round, and that I lose quite a lot of the white trying to coax them out of the pan. Apparently the fresher the egg, the less white you lose? Something I can observe as time goes along. Next time might try a deep pot of water and a bit of swirling to give a nicer shape and to make the yolk more central within a ball of white – the two poached eggs I’ve done looked like fried eggs without the crispy undersides.
The first poaching attempt was as part of an enormous breakfast – I was going out to wish my friend good luck in her move across the water to Canada, and this ‘good luck’ was going to involve a day in the pub. As well as being a responsible drinker, which I totally am (mum), I wanted to have a good breakfast in me to accompany the pub dinner I’d be eating later on; it’s always good to have a full stomach before a pub visit, really. So I made a massive breakfast of bacon, toast, potato waffles and egg. Potato waffles are, as claimed, waffley versatile and can be eaten for any meal or snack on any given day: FACT. They are excellent in sandwiches, with an optional topping of cheese. I have a terrible fondness for any shaped potato food items, stemming to childhood when they were part of a treat dinner when friends came round to tea. Waffles are probably the only ones it’s borderline acceptable to buy for yourself as an adult, not that I let it stop me buying potato smiley faces now and again. I also used to love Alphabites but haven’t seen them in a long while. You could spell things with them, then eat the spelling, thus absorbing the knowledge into your very being. Sort of.
NB Alphabites, the potato product, should not be confused with Alpha Bites, which is an erotic novel featuring werewolves. I found this out just now, so that’s a heads up for everyone else.
The second poaching project was on a day where I was feeling a bit fancy and had steamed asparagus with a poached egg for what I am choosing to call brunch, though it was really just a late breakfast. It’s more of a brunch kind of meal, though. I have to say that the asparagus was missing a nice drizzle of butter or olive oil, and the egg was missing a bit of salt, but I ate it anyway. Considered trying a hollandaise to go with them but it seemed like far too much work at the time – I’ve only tried a hollandaise once and it didn’t come out that well. This was a long time ago, though, I’ll have to give it another go soon. You can see that I managed to burst the yolk of this one as I transferred it from pot to plate, but only a little bit – there was still plenty to dip the asparagus in (like an angry, hungry giant). I love asparagus, it’s nice plain as I served it here, but a bit of lemon oil or butter, or even humble margarine, makes it super good, even if it does make your wee smell funny.
That’s all I’ve got for now, was sorting through my photos and came across the poached egg ones so decided to share. Also makes up for lack of posting of late – I’m hoping to get another few up this week, though I only have material for one so I’ll have to get cooking. It’s a budget week, too, so you could see some inventive stuff. Or you could see nothing as I eat fish fingers, waffles and beans (things from the cupboard) for the next five days. Time will tell.
Finally, go and have a read of this: At the Appetite Cure, by Mark Twain. I only discovered it lately, and really liked it. It really rang a bell with me – I quite often catch myself out in not enjoying my food as much as I should because I’m not really stomach-hungry, only head-hungry. Glad it’s not just me.