Approximately 90% of weekends (and other days with a lie-in) we have the same breakfast (you might have seen it on Instagram). And although not groundbreaking in any way, it’s a really good one: toast with poached eggs and pancetta.
And there are two reasons I would like to share it with you. Firstly, because I get the impression that poached eggs are something mainly had in restaurants; not at home, and since it is (in my opinion) the best way to eat eggs, I find that a bit sad. Secondly, I think everyone should try pancetta instead of bacon for breakfast. It’s so so good!
But why IS this the ultimate breakfast for me? Since I have chronic stomach pain eating in the morning is always tricky for me (I only really have breakfast on the weekends) and sometimes fried eggs are just a bit harsher on the tummy and scrambled eggs, although delicious can feel a bit heavy. Whereas poached eggs are just soothing and delicious. It’s just the egg, with nothing added, cooked in the most gentle way.
And I assure you that poaching eggs isn’t difficult at all. Whoever gave you that impression wasn’t telling the truth. And with my tips below I hope to prove that to you!
Egg poaching check-list:
1. Use the freshest eggs you can find. Why? Because the white is firmer and keeps the egg together more than in older eggs. Also buy good quality eggs – they taste so much better! Organic free range is the ticket. Personally I love Clarence Court’s Burford Browns the best.
2. Add a little vinegar (approx a tbsp for a whole saucepan) to the water. It also helps holding the egg together.
3. The water should simmer – not boil. Small bubbles.
4. Crack the eggs one at a time in a mug and lower it into the water to pour out the egg. Gently does it.
5. If using medium or large eggs put the timer for 3 minutes. Remove the eggs in the order you added them to the pan.
6. Remove the eggs from the water with a slotted spoon. I find a plastic one best but a metal one works too.
7. Have a bowl of cold water ready to put the eggs in when removing them from the pan. Why? To stop the cooking.
8. Lift the eggs one by one from the bowl of water using the slotted spoon. Pay dry with kitchen towel before plating.
9. Add salt and pepper (and maybe tabasco) to the eggs. It elevates them a lot!
And pancetta vs bacon? It’s just a lot lighter, in every way. It’s cured instead of smoked so a much gentler taste which complements the eggs rather than over powering them. Also the slices are thinner so they crisp up nicely but feels airier and lighter and doesn’t leave you feeling heavy full. I hope you try it!