JUNIPER BERRY: HOW TO POACH AN EGG

Hello, hungry friends! We are about to embark on a culinary adventure so sharpen your knives and tuck that napkin in your blouse as this appetite is going to get whet!

As a renowned chef, I have much experience in the world of food, eating and extractor fans. You may be familiar with some of my previous cookbooks, Laughing with my Salad, Chillies in their Water and other Recipes to get you through a Divorce and my bestseller, Eating Pickles in Practical Footwear.

These are my failsafe fallbacks, the recipes that can turn a picnic into a party, a simple supper into a bougie banquet, a butternut squash into a sausage plait. The things that unforgettable gatherings are made of!

Following my recipes you will create food you want to look at on a plate and say, ‘I can’t wait for you to be inside me!’

Yes, I’m talking about eggs.

Poaching an Egg

Fig. 1: an egg (not actually a fig)

Sometimes it’s just the simple things that can bring joy – the arrival of a spring day, licking the spoon, and magnets.

So here is my little recipe for poached eggs.

You will need:
Eggs
A pan of boiling water
A slice of crusty bread (optional)
An olive garnish (essential)

First things first. You must start with a good egg.

How do you find one? Touch it, you’ll know. People always ask me why I spend so long in the supermarket, and I tell them it’s worth taking a bit of time. Lifting open that cage of recycled papier-mâché to reveal perfect passengers of poultry. It’s a moving moment that’s worth savouring.

Eager eggies awaiting their destiny. I always try not to disturb them too much before their big moment.

First, a little bit of prep before you crack the egg. You want to make sure that the water is up to temperature. I like to use the old-fashioned way of telling if it’s ready before the little eggy jumps in. If when you stick your finger in the water you can pitch your scream to an F two octaves above middle C, then I’m afraid the water’s too hot.

If you are pitching to more of an ‘Oofh’ (like a hot bath that couldn’t possibly tolerate a toe), then you’re on the money! What can I say? I’m a traditionalist when it comes to my methods. See for yourself – it works every time!

This gentle bubble is the perfect ambience for your egg to settle in.
Too hot, this is not the time for an egg jacuzzi!

Now, when you crack your egg you want to make sure that you’re singing something sweet for it to come out to. This is its first impression of the world – you’ve got to make it feel welcome!

I like to sing a little bit of Haydn’s The Creation (Soprano part) as this really helps to give the egg a more rounded flavour and the confidence to cook evenly. (My new husband tells me it doesn’t work for everyone so I say this method is advised but apparently not “scientifically proven”).

Let’s face it, when I’m singing in the kitchen, everything goes a bit gooey in the middle but you try explaining that to the vet about the cat!  

I tend to get in there ‘thumb first’ but you can really use any finger to enter.

It’s yolkey cokey time: gently place the egg into your pan of simmering water. As you can see from this image, when you poach an egg it will unleash a swarm of ghosts. This is normal, you must let them be free.

After 3½ minutes you must save the egg from its purgatory. You can fish it out using a spoon with holes.

Transfer the beautiful egg to a slice of  toast. As you can see in my serving suggestion, I have finished the dish with an olive garnish. I feel that this really does help to bring the whole dish together.

WARNING: The image below is VERY graphic and some may find it disturbing/arousing.

Well butter my bread and wrap me in prosciutto! That’s how you get the perfect poached egg, my friends.

Juniper Berry is Georgina Thomas, a passionate foodie who loves to eat.

Image credit: Andrés Nieto Porras from Palma de Mallorca, España – [H] Huevo Hervido, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24332623

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Georgina Thomas
Georgina Thomas is a comedy writer and performer. She is one half of musical comedy duo Accomplished Ladies and she devises and performs comedy theatre with Thick ‘n’ Fast. She also loves to eat.

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