How to make the perfect poached egg
Everyone has their own way, but this is how I do mine.
- First and foremost, get yourself some fresh eggs so that they hold their shape — older eggs have a watery white. Secondly, relax. It’s not that scary. It’s only an egg after all.
- Get yourself a deep saucepan, fill it with water and bring to the boil with a generous pinch of salt. Turn the heat right down till the water is just barely quivering.
- With each egg, crack it into a small shallow cup and slowly slid it into the water. As the egg falls to the bottom, it will curl around into a ball. Some people like to create a vortex with the water, so the white encapsulates the yolk, but I find this only works for one egg at a time.
- Allow to cook for 2–4 minutes, depending on how soft you like them, or if the eggs were stored in the fridge.
- Using a slotted spoon, gently remove the egg from the water and give it a little prod with your finger. If it seems ‘jelly like’, or too soft for your liking, pop it back in for another few moments.
- When your eggs are ready, place them on some kitchen paper or a tea towel to drain off any excess liquid — you don’t want a watery egg sliding all over the place.
As the eggs cook, get on with making the hollandaise (recipe here) and wilted spinach.
To wilt the spinach, heat a pan over a low-medium heat and melt a knob of butter. Add the spinach, put the lid on and allow it to wilt down(or disappear). This should only take about 3 minutes, but check it half way though and give it a stir. Season with salt and pepper.
Assemble To serve, place the spinach on a plate, creating a little nest. Top the spinach with eggs and hollandaise, and serve alongside the smoked salmon. The hollandaise will have some acidity, but if you would like more, you can squeeze a bit of lemon.