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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Guilty of Poaching

I've got a lot going on right now, so the blogging has been a bit thin. Besides all the busy-ness of family life and work, I've been making good on my commitment to write something creative every day (at least 12 sentences, thanks Jane), gearing up for shooting the first instalment in a webTV series, working with Morgue on a campaign to put pressure on John Key to keep the ETS in place, redrafting the obituary for Hugh Cook (the Herald didn't run it this Saturday, but they hope to this weekend - how inconsiderate, those local notaries passing away at a time like that!), and on the weekend I finally got out in the garden and put down some onions, potatoes and pumpkins. To be honest, some of the pumpkins are self-sown, as well as one potato plant I found amongst the weeds, and among those are a number of self-sown tomato plants as well. Pictures will follow at some stage, I promise.

But I won't complain. Now I just have to stay on top of the weeding and watering duties. Meanwhile, out the front, the herbs are going wild and we have a single brocolli that survived the ravages of the neighbourhood cats, one strawberry plant, and a few cultivated tomato seedlings. Looking good for the summer season.

Anyway, I got a call on the weekend from Uncle H asking how to poach an egg. Apparently Uncle H never used to like poached eggs, but since working on the boat and being fed catered meals for two weeks at a time, he has acquired the taste. And it just so happened that I had very recently made myself poached eggs for breakfast in anticipation of posting here (Dessert Chef doesn't seem to like them - why not is beyond me), and I had also been listening to a chap on Radio NZ describing how best to poach an egg, so I guess this post was inevitable.

As it turns out Uncle H and Liz E. Bear were missing the key ingredient required to make this dish a success: Vinegar. And as it also turns out, my wild suggestion to substitute the vinegar with wine was also ill-advised. Not to worry. They weren't my eggs.

The chap on the radio seemed to think this was best done in a deep pot, so I must try that one day.

Normally, I poach my eggs in a pan. Get the water rapidly simmering, add a generous pinch of salt and about 2T of vinegar; I tend to use balsamic, but white, brown or even cider are OK, as is red wine vinegar. If you're not sure, just use 1T the first time you make it.
Next, crack in your nice fresh free range eggs and put down your bread in the toaster. Keep the heat under the pan at a constant level, maintaining that simmer, and by the time your toast is popped and buttered, the eggs will be done. Drain the water and scoop onto your toast, dressing with freshly ground black pepper and a little salt.

5 comments:

Patrice Farmer said...

Have you heard of 'birds in a nest'? I love that stuff...I fry the egg all the way though, do you ever make that?

Dan said...

No, I've never heard of that. What is it, exactly?

Patrice Farmer said...

You're supposed to take good quality bread but I just use what I have. And you tear a whole in the center of it and then you add your butter to the pan, place the bread and crack an egg in the center. Cook on one side, flip and cook on the other side. I always break the yolk and make sure its completely cooked because that's the way I like it...but that's birds in a nest.

lbs said...

I didn't know that had a name! We just call it "you know, where you cut a hole in the bread, and then fry it with an egg in the hole". "Birds in a nest" is much easier to say.

Anonymous said...

it's called "TOAD IN A HOLE" over here