Sunday, April 19

Foody Friday: Poached Eggs

Again, not a Friday. This week's excuse is that I was in Birmingham, watching P!nk to her funhouse show. It was actual my first ever concert (I saw Sandi Thom live before she was big, in an arts centre theatre; there were little round tables and glass of wine and candles and it was all incredibly civilised). Brilliant. She is unexpectedly small to contain such a large voice, and very acrobatic. Raygun opened, who were very good, and whose frontman apparently wants to be Mick Jagger when he grows up.

Next week, I'm going to see Chicago, so it'll be a late post, and the week after that it's The History Boys. I seem to have developed not so much a social life as a culture life.

Anyway, back to eggs.

My favourite way to do eggs is poached. Like many foods, this is partly because I didn't have poached eggs until quite late on - I think I was 16. This isn't true - I had poached eggs before then, I know, because my mother has an egg poacher - but it's the first time I remember, and I associate them with deep indulgence. As a final family holiday, we'd managed to get cheap tickets on a cruise, and Eggs Benedict was one of the breakfast options. Addicted. Yum.

Poaching eggs is a bit of an art, especially if you don't own an egg poacher. I've had to experiment a lot, and I still don't get them perfect each time.

Eggs Benedict

1 Egg
1 English Muffin (or, if you're english like me, just a plain muffin!)
2 Rashes of bacon or slices of good ham (not processed yuk)
Hollandaise Sauce (1 yolk, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 5 teaspoons clarified butter)

2 Saucepans
1 glass or pyrex bowl
1 Toaster or grill
slotted spoon


This is a multitasking madness recipe. Honestly, I tend to buy hollandaise sauce, which makes life so much easier, but no cheating here.

Start with the hollandaise. Beat your egg yolk with a little seasoning.

Beat the lemon juice into the yolk, making sure it's incorporated really well.

Clarify some butter! Put in in a saucepan, melt it, and skim off hte white stuff that appears on top.

Fill the other saucepan with hot water and keep it simmering. Float the bowl in it. This'll make it warm, but not over heat it.

At this point, stick your bacon on the grill. If you're grilling your muffin, stick that on too, otherwise hold off a little.

Add the clarified butter a little at a time. Stir constantly. Once it starts to thicken you can add it more quickly. Keep going until it's completely smooth.

If you're toasting your muffin, stick it in the toaster now.

Take your hollandaise out of the saucepan. Add a little vinegar to the water and stir vigorously.

You can break your egg for poaching into a ramekin or dish, or straight into the water. The trick is to get the water swirling as fast as you can. Break the egg (or pour it from the ramekin) low over the water. You may need three hands.

Your muffin should be done, and your bacon as well. While you're waiting for the egg stick the muffin on a plate and the bacon on top.

As soon as the white of the egg turns solid fish it out with a slotted spoon. you can rest it on a bit of kitchen roll, or just shake the excess water off.

Rest it on top of the bacon. Pour the hollandaise on top.


For a veggie version, use spinach instead of bacon.

Beeton, Isabella; Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management;; 2007

And Wikipedia!

No comments: