One of my favorite meals as far back as I can remember is so simple – a poached egg on toast. I prepare it often if I want something quick and nutritious or if I’m feeling a little under the weather. I make a decent poached egg but the annoying thing about it is that how the egg turns out is totally unpredictable…sometimes the whites disintegrate in the simmering water even if I add a bit of vinegar…sometimes by the time the whites are cooked the yolk is overcooked…or the darn thing breaks as I try to remove it from the water, dry it off and get it placed on a piece of buttered toast. I can’t tell you how many times I have redone eggs when I make Eggs Benedict for a special occasion.
Recently my friend, Larry, at BIG DUDE’S ECLECTIC RAMBLINGS, mentioned that our mutual friend, Pam, at FOR THE LOVE OF COOKING, posted a recipe for soft boiled eggs that she claimed was perfect. That piqued my interest because my memory of soft boiled eggs is just plain unpleasant. My grandmother made them all the time and all I can think of is a slimy yolk and bits of shell in every bite. Thinking about that slithery crunch still makes me queazy! What appeals to me about Pam’s way of preparing soft boiled eggs is that the cooking is precise and her example of eggs done her way was mouthwatering. What makes Pam’s recipe special is the way she peels the egg. When the egg is cooked and slightly cooled she uses a knife to crack the side of the egg, then gently peels it, making sure to be careful so it isn’t punctured. Place the peeled egg on a piece of buttered toast, slice down the center with a knife, season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste then dig in. I tried this a dozen times and every try worked perfectly. The 4 minute egg is very soft so I had to take a little extra time with that one. I used large organic eggs. If you use extra-large add 30-45 seconds to the cooking time. Your eggs will be ready in the time it takes to make toast.
I experimented with cooking times: 4 minutes in simmering water produces a very soft, jiggly in places, white and a very runny yolk. Slightly under cooked for my taste. 5 minutes cooking time results in an egg with a soft set white and a slightly thickened yolk…perfection. 6 minutes in the pan produced a set white and a yolk that was slightly set around the edges but still a little runny in the center. At the end of the cooking time remove the egg with a slotted spoon and carefully place in a bowl of cold water. In about a minute it is ready to peel.
A simple poached egg on toast is near perfection. It’s the crowning glory in many everyday recipes such as
DUNGENESS CRAB EGGS BENEDICT
This post is linked to FOODIE FRIDAY at Rattlebridge Farm.
- 1 large egg
- 1 slice of bread, toasted and buttered
- Sea salt and freshly gound black pepper to taste
- Heat an inch of water in a small saucepan over medium, high heat until boiling. Carefully add the egg, reduce the heat to medium, and cover with a lid. Let the egg cook for 4 minutes (for very soft, still a little runny whites and runny yolk), 5 minutes (for set whites and runny yolk, or 6 minutes (for set whites and set yolk with a slightly runny center). If you use extra large eggs add 30 seconds to each cooking time. With a slotted spoon remove the egg from the boiling water and place in a small bowl of cold water until slightly cooled (about 1 minutes). Using a knife, gently crack the side of the egg and gently peel the shell, making sure not puncture the egg. I have done this many times and can't remember breaking a yolk. Once the egg is peeled, place it on a piece of buttered toast, slice down the center with a knife, and season with sea salt and pepper.