Poached egg on toast
Poached egg on toast not only makes a very fine, quick meal in its own right, but a perfectly poached egg is also an excellent addition to many other dishes. The absolute most important thing is to make sure the egg you use is fresh.
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 slice of bread
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pour a 4–5cm depth of water into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Meanwhile, break the egg carefully into a mug or small jug, taking care not to damage the yolk.
When the water is at a rolling boil, stir it fast in one direction with a wooden spoon to create a vortex or whirlpool in the centre. When you have a distinct vortex, remove the spoon and immediately tip the egg straight into the centre. Turn off the heat, put a lid on the pan and leave it for exactly 2½ minutes. Meanwhile, lightly toast your bread and butter it.
Remove the lid. Use a slotted spoon to carefully scoop up the egg. Check that the white is set, with no jellyish clear bits left – if there are, return it to the water for 30 seconds. Give the egg half a minute in the spoon for the water to drip and steam away. You can dab carefully with a piece of kitchen paper to help get rid of the water.
Slide the egg carefully on to the hot toast, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, and serve.
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Recipe adapted for Newcastle Can from River Cottage Veg Everyday! by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (Bloomsbury)
Photography © Simon Wheeler