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While talking over a couple of beers and some red wine on Saturday night, I had a flutter of renewed energy about my blog. I always have thoughts and energy to cook and write but I feel I may have strayed off course as of late. I know the basics of cooking. But the idea of this blog was to push me to learn more and to grow. I need not only to try new recipes but to actually try things I know about but have not actually made, so that if by any chance I ever  finally open my own little cafe, I want to have the knowledge to actually succeed.

I am not an egg lover as I have said before, but I am however finding myself increasingly ordering them on our weekly treat of a Sunday breakfast out. I can boil and egg and fry an egg but poach? Not very neatly. Yesterday I started to poach. I want to master the art of egg poaching! Yes yes, I know this may be a simple task but I have never been very good at it. Usually I boil my water, add my vinegar and swirl the water but when the egg is dropped in it goes everywhere. It’s not a total mess but I can improve and in fact I know now that the water should only have a few bubbles and not be the flurry of bubbles it has been. Also to use the freshest egg is the way forward instead of my old eggs from the fridge.

Crack the egg open and place it on a tray. If the white swims away and is flat and lifeless, then it is not a good egg. If the white clings to the egg in a nice plump cushion shape, then you are on to a winner…

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 Bad egg

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Good egg

After several boxes of eggs, tears and days, I am happy to report…. (I lie, I’m not happy at all) that I am somewhat better at poaching eggs. I’ve boiled, simmered, stirred, added different quantities of vinegar, used really fresh eggs and nearly had a breakdown. They are a little neater and would suffice if served up at a breakfast, but I wanted perfection. So to anyone who has fool proof or tried and tested poaching techniques, please do share your tips.

Having made a lot of eggs, not to waste all of them, we have been eating a lot of poached eggs on toast. For dinner yesterday I made more of a breakfast thing. Poached eggs with tomato fondue and crispy pancetta. Rather tasty actually!

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POACHED EGGS WITH TOMATO RAGU

  • 5 tomatoes
  • 1 big garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 1 tsp rosemary, finely chopped
  • 4 pieces thin pancetta
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 eggs ready to poach
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • toasts

THE HOW

Skin the tomatoes and roughly chop. Heat the oil in a pan and add garlic and rosemary. After 30 seconds add the chopped tomato. Leave to simmer on a low heat. Season the sauce before serving.

In a pan or under the grill, heat the pancetta till golden and crisp. Leave to cool on paper towel and once cool, chop or crumble into small pieces.

To poach your egg, boil your water and then turn to a simmer. Add vinegar and gently swirl the water around the edge. Gently drop your egg in the center and leave for 4 minutes.

If you are making lots of eggs, take them out after 3 minutes and plunge into a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process. When you are ready to finish the eggs, pop them back into the hot water for 1.5 minutes.

To finish the dish, place the tomatoes into a bowl, top with the egg and the pancetta pieces and serve with toasts.

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