Monday, 17 January 2011

Poached Egg Breakfast

My grandmother used to make perfect poached eggs. And she didn't hold with this namby-pamby buttered-bowl nonsense. She broke an egg into boiling water, scooped them out with a perforated spatula (it's called a chhyanta), and served them with crisp, hot, butter-oozing toasts made over an ancient Jonota kerosene stove. And they all had perfect, semi-liquid, piping hot sunshiney yolks. Sooo delicious!

I wish I could say I haven't had a good poached egg since I was thirteen, but her illness banned my grandmother from the kitchen years before she left us. So till last week, all I had was a vague memory of perfect golden yolks on a sunlit table, surrounded by petals of richly buttered toast cut into narrow slices (soldiers, I think they're called). And of my grandfather on the other side of the table, his cuppa and the morning papers between us, lying cheerfully through his teeth about the biggest egg every poached by a shipwrecked sailor on a mythical island on a hot lava rock. I was probably six, fresh out of Sindbad, and as susceptible to 'histories' of whale-back islands as I was to Robinson Crusoe.

It's hard to compete with a memory like that, but just because no one can make eggs quite the same way, or dare put that much butter on toast, doesn't mean one should go through life without poached eggs. One must, in fact, venture forth bravely and without fear, and introduce fresh eggs to boiling water with clockwork-regularity.

Even if, as it turns out, they need a lot more practise to even approach The Family Standards of presentability. Still, the proof of an egg is in the eating, and what an eating it is!

How to Make Poached Eggs for Breakfast

 Grease a bowl with butter. Don't stinge.

Break an egg into the bowl.

 Now put the bowl in a saucepan of water. 

I put far too much water. Just put in enough for the bowl to float an inch or two above the base of the pan.

 Bring the water to a bubbly boil. Notice the butter lining melt and help cook the egg.

 But now, the happy bubbly water begins to get into the bowl. Not good. Less water next time.

 The egg is being steamed and butter-cooked quite well, BUT it is also being boiled by the water, which is not what one wants from a poached egg.

 This happened when I tried to scoop the water out with a spoon. I nicked the yolk and broked it :-(

 Transfer onto plate. It is a buttery, gooey, delicious poached egg. And since that is the point of a poached egg, I don't want to hear a word about its unfortunate deformity, you evil shallow lookist!

 However, since it IS a shallow, evil, looks-dominated world, I compensated for my utterly delicious but... unconventional-looking poached egg with a purrfect fried egg. Fried. In. Butter.

 Yum yum yum.

 Transfer onto a plate, sprinkle salt and pepper.

Serve with hot toast with enough butter to feed an army. Well, a quarter of an army, anyway :-)


Abhishek Mukherjee said...

Yes! Yes!! Yes!!!

Apamor jonota jake poached egg bole sheta ashole fried egg, poach noy! Yes!

Magically Bored said...

Aah, poached eggs. No one makes them quite like grandmothers, eh? My Dida used to make fabulous poached eggs too!
Sunny side up all the way!

Rimi said...

Haha, glad you like Abhishek!

Tuna, yes! Sunny side up always. Not a fan of the other type at all.

kaichu said...

I cannot have eggs unless entirely cooked, that is, yolk has to harden. So no sunny side-uppyness for me, thank you. I like 'em fried both sides. And then too, I have egg like once every 3 months. I had one today, coincidentally, fried on bacon grease, with bacon and jam-cheese paunruti to go with it :-)

But, that last picture made me want to howl. I am not a big fan of paunruti, but sometimes all you want is the only kind of paunruti you (that is, I) can have -- the fresh-baked-small-bakery-quarter-pound kind, slathered with warm golden butter like ma does it best.

Rimi said...

That is SO totally my favourite kind that I suffered withdrawals for the first month in the US. Fancy bread abounded, but no soft, plain white quarter-pounders. I almost couldn't believe it.

Rimi said...

Wait. You had jam-cheese sandwich with a fried egg? Kaichu, please go kill yourself THIS VERY MINUTE.

kaichu said...

shutup. i happen to like combinations that other unenlightened individuals cannot appreciate the majesty of. *turns nose up high*

(like miranda and bhaat. konodino kheyechhish? huh, huh?)

and my breakfast was deeelicious, thankyouverymuch.

Rimi said...

Awww, Kaichu. *pulls cheeks. hard*

EZ-Recipe said...

I tried poaching eggs that way but always had a few problems. Decided that using cling film is the best method, I get perfect poached eggs every time.