Thursday, August 09, 2007

Firsts

I just poached my first egg.

Some people are scared of souffles, baffled by baking. I have three cooking 'challenges' (fairly basic ones) that I've always been daunted to try.

One is preparing an artichoke.
One is making pasta.
One is poaching an egg.

The artichoke I tried a few months ago according to Mark Bittman's instructions but they didn't quite work. It was a breadcrumby mess. I've yet to make my own pasta, which is crazy since pasta is my favourite thing in the world.

But tonight, I poached my first egg.

I adore poached eggs and probably order them more than any other menu item at weekend breakfasts. A good poached egg is a delight, but often ruined by too much vinegar.

But it looked complicated, delicate. I just knew the raw egg would go everywhere, boiling to a mess. Why try and fail when fried, scrambled, boiled are guaranteed delicious?

My beloved Gordo whipped up a watercress soup with poached egg on The F Word and it looked gorgeous. He makes everything look so easy on that show, and between the cookbooks, and that kiss, I realised I'd never even tried any of his recipes! I love the peppery sharpness of watercress, and picked up a huge bunch at the markets on Saturday, so it was now, or never.

Turns out - incredibly easy! I'm a bit excited because I've turned down so many recipes with poached eggs and now they'll definitely be a regular.

How to poach an egg:
Leave the egg/s to get to room temperature. Crack each egg into it's own ramekin.
Fill a saucepan 3/4 full with water, and add one teaspoon of white vinegar. Do not salt.
When the water starts to boil grab a whisk and create a whirpool. Carefully slide the egg into the whirlpool. The egg will wrap around itself and form a nice little ball. Some of the egg white might ribbon away or the egg might be a funny shape; you can trim the egg white afterwards.
Poach for 1.5-2 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon.
If not using immediately carefully wash it with a little cold water to stop it cooking (don't bung it under the tap or it will break the yolk).
That's it!

Gordon Ramsay's Watercress Soup With Poached Egg (serves 1 for an easy, luxurious dinner, what, you don't deserve it?)

1 big bunch of watercress
1 potato, peeled and very thinly sliced
1 Ts butter
1 cup boiling water
1 poached egg

Heat a little olive oil in a frypan and add the watercress. When it starts to wilt, add the potatoes and butter and cook for a few minutes until the potatoes are soft (the thinner the potato slices the quicker this will take). Pour in the boiling water (you may not need all of it, depending on how thick you like the soup. It's best to add about half and then add more at the next step if it's too thick). Puree with a stick blender until completely smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Place a poached egg in the centre of a flat-ish bowl and carefully pour the soup around the egg. Drizzle a little olive oil over the soup, or dress with chopped chives like I did.
So easy, healthy even, and very delicious!

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6 Comments:

Blogger Sarah said...

hmmm..I need something for tonight. This cooking for one thing is a bit depressing.

I've got a tiny little half leg of lamb, some spinach, fetta and most other salady veggies and even the last few sheets of filo pastry.

4:29 PM  
Blogger Julia said...

It's not depressing, you just have to deal with leftovers (occassionally) :-) Knowing you you'll make something divine out of that.

4:34 PM  
Blogger The Gourmand said...

Hey Julia
Try my Acquacotta. The poached egg makes it heaven.
I'm going to do a post on homemade pasta soon. I've trained Mike to make the perfect pasta and he's Russian. If he can do it, you can too. X

9:48 PM  
Blogger Julia said...

I saw your post on that the other day and your rave alone made me bookmark it. Haha I'm Russian too, you can teach two Ruskis the art of pasta :-)

8:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why don't you go to culinary school.....let's say in Paris? Just think Chef Julia. It has a nice ring to it, non?
Delphine

12:20 AM  
Blogger eurobrat said...

Congrats. I have poached eggs whenever possibe... my favourite Canadian breakfast.

4:46 AM  

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