Saturday, 11 April 2009

the Manchester method

Poaching eggs is much easier than you think. She is celebrating her birthday today, so this morning we've had Eggs Royale, which are like Eggs Benedict but with smoked salmon instead of ham. The combination of the elements - English muffins, smoked salmon, eggs and hollandaise sauce is of course very simple, it's the poaching of the eggs people have trouble with.

There are whirlpool theories which work brilliantly for some, but that method is completely beyond me. Instead I have Jones to thank for this, and by extension Mrs Jones - the originator of the Manchester method.

So here it is ...

Get a saucepan of water on a low simmer - so bubbles are coming up from the bottom, but it's not going crazy.

If you have some vinegar (I've ended up using some cheap white balsamic which turned out to be too acidic for dressings) then add a splash to the water.

This is the moment where you put your toast / muffins in ...

For each egg, crack it onto a saucer, or into a ramekin, or a plastic jug or something which gives you more control of it. Then slide the lip of your vessel just under the surface of the water, and gently slip your egg in. The chief things which make the whites explode everywhere are water boiling too vigorously and the force of the egg yolk sploshing into the water. Guard against these and you're there.

Cover, and make sure they don't start bubbling too much. While you wait stick the kettle on for your tea, and butter your toast. They need 3-4 minutes in total.

On the hollandaise ... we had it from a jar. One day I'll attempt to make it properly, but for the moment life is too short.

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