Poached Eggs

This morning I had poached eggs for breakfast. I don’t use a egg poaching pan, simply a pan of simmering water.

Bring a pan of water to the boil, I then stir the boiling water into a “spin” and crack the egg into the spinning vortex. Turn down the heat to a simmer, put the bread into the toaster, when the toast pops up, usually the eggs are done, firm white and soft yolk.

A lot of books I have read (and seen on cookery programmes on the TV) say that you should add vinegar to the water to “stop the egg from breaking apart” as you cook it. Personally I don’t add vinegar as I find it has a minimal or negligible effect (in other words I have seen eggs break apart even with vinegar in the water) and it has to be said it adds a vinegar flavour to the egg. I certainly noticed this when I last had poached eggs in a hotel recently.

I find that actually the best thing is to use really fresh eggs, it is old eggs that fall apart when poaching and not the use of vinegar that keeps it together, as you can see in the picture of my eggs above, still nice and whole! Just some freshly ground black pepper and serve.

Breakfast for dinner

I don’t normally have breakfast for dinner, but with what I had in the fridge and having little time after getting back from work I wanted something quick to eat.

A couple of slices of black pudding were fried in a pan, I prefer it grilled, but time was of the essence, so fried they were. It is worth seeking out some good quality black pudding.

I also scrambled a couple of eggs. My technique is to put a knob of butter into a pan and then add the beaten eggs. Low heat and stirring a lot with a fork. Turn off the heat just before you think they’re done and let the residual heat cook the eggs off.

I took a ciabatta roll and sliced it in half and popped one half in the toaster.

To serve I took the toasted ciabatta, cut it into two, placed on it a slice of black pudding, topped it with the scrambled egg and freshly ground black pepper. The plate was finished off with half of a fresh tomato.

Yes this would also make a nice breakfast, but it makes a nice dinner too.

Poaching Eggs

When poaching eggs I use to use one of those poaching pans, you know the kind a frying pan that has four little “cups” into which you break your eggs over boiling water. The eggs come out as though they were a top sliced football.

Having once asked for poached eggs in a hotel and getting those that had been done in just a pan of simmering water, I knew that I would have to attempt to do it.

I was surprised by how easy it was and since then I have always poached my eggs in this way.

Simply put, bring a pan of water to the boil, I then stir the boiling water into a “spin” and crack the egg into the spinning vortex. Turn down the heat to a simmer.

Poaching Eggs

At this point I put my halved bagel (or slices of bread) into the toaster when this is done then I know my eggs are done.

Poached Eggs on Bagel

A lot of books I have read (and seen Chefs on the TV) say that you should add vinegar to the water to “stop the egg from breaking apart” as you cook it. Personally I don’t add vinegar as I find it has a minimal or negligible effect (in other words I have seen eggs break apart even with vinegar in the water) and it also adds a vinegar flavour to the egg. I certainly noticed this when I last had poached eggs in a hotel recently.

I find that actually the best thing is to use really fresh eggs, it is old eggs that fall apart when poaching and not the use of vinegar, however I may be wrong on this. Though as you can see in the picture of my eggs above, still nice and whole!

Breakfast in Bloomsbury

I had really enjoyed the breakfast I had at the Ambassadors Hotel in Bloomsbury back in 2008.

It was a splendid affair, and though there was an element of self-service, what was nice was the staff took your cooked breakfast order and brought it to the table. 

Beautifully served, it consisted of an excellent meaty sausage, some very nice grilled bacon, a small bowl of baked beans, grilled (and skinned) tomato, mushroom, bubble and squeak, black pudding and egg. You had a choice of eggs (chicken or duck) and cooked to your liking, I had a poached duck’s egg. It was also garnished with lettuce, not sure about the lettuce.

So when I was lucky enough to stay at the Ambassadors Hotel in Bloomsbury again recently, I was really looking forward to coming down for breakfast. 

I wasn’t expecting to get an identical experience, but it was pretty close.

breakfast

The eggs were cooked well, the sausage was nice, as was the bacon. I liked the grilled mushrooms. The tomato wasn’t as good as before and there was a solitary small hash brown.

Luckily no lettuce, just some parsley.

There was quite a choice of other cooked items as well, such as boiled eggs and kippers.

Along with the cooked breakfast, there was also a (self-service) selection of toast, bread products such as croissant and panettone, fruit, yoghurt, juice, cold meats, cheese and smoked fish.

Excellent service and great food. A good start to the day.

Egg and Chips with a nice mug of tea

Egg and Chips with a nice mug of tea

Food and class. Great article from the BBC Magazine on Egg and Chips with a nice mug of tea!

For a lower-middle class boy from Liverpool, a plate of egg and chips at five o’clock was not the done thing.

Read more.

Being middle class I would never have tea at 5pm, more likely  we would have “supper” at 7pm. For me tea was a birthday tea with cakes, biscuits, crisps and sausages on cocktail sticks. I remember being very surprised when a working class friend invited me home for tea and we didn’t have a birthday tea, but had supper!

Photo source.

How do you make 40m Easter eggs?


Easter Eggs

Really nice and interesting video from BBC News on how Cadbury make their 40m Easter Eggs (50% of the UK market).

Easter is one of the most popular times of year for chocolate-makers and it has been revealed that despite the current economic downturn, confectionery sales in 2009 have continued to rise, with predictions of record sales this Easter.

Watch the video.

Interesting is how in other markets, the US and Europe, they prefer chocolate bunnies and chicks, whilst in the UK market we prefer chocolate eggs.

Photo source.

In order to make an omelette you need to break some eggs

If you read this blog you will know that I am a fan of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s recipes (and his books as well).

However I did not think much of his recent breakfast column in the Guardian today.

Fruity, nutty bread, herby baked eggs and savoury drop scones invite you to linger, put on another pot of coffee, read all of the paper, throw more logs on the fire. Perhaps you’ll enjoy it so much you’ll make a date with yourself to do it more often.

Sorry didn’t appeal to me.

I do agree with Hugh over rushing breakfast, it is important not to eat a hastily spooned bowl of cereal or a slice of toast nibbled as you walk to the car.

As I got a decent pancake pan for Christmas, I have been using it to make omelettes for breakfast.

In order to make an omelette you need to break some eggs, whisk together. Some people add water, others add milk, I add nothing. I also use organic free-range eggs as they taste much better than cheap eggs.

Heat the pan, add a little oil or butter. Add the whisked egg (three eggs if you must ask). As the eggs set add a filling if you so choose. I normally grate a little cheese on, sometimes some lightly cooked mushrooms.

Once the eggs are nearly set (they will continue to cook on the plate) slide and flip onto a plate.

Serve with some granary toast and fresh coffee.

Now that’s what I call a breakfast!

Breakfast at Bloomsbury

I was recently up in London and stayed at the Ambassadors Hotel in Bloomsbury. I generally dislike having breakfast in hotels, as more often than not they are overpriced and though have extensive choice are not really value for money. For example a month or two back I stayed at the Thistle Barbican Hotel and breakfast (though included in my room rate) would have cost you £15.95. For that you would have to queue up unless you got up really early. Having sat down in the Thistle, if you were lucky, the waiting staff would bring you some coffee and toast. Then it was self-service for the cooked breakfast, which was not very inspiring.

So I was well pleased with breakfast at the Ambassadors Hotel in Bloomsbury. It was about the same price as the Thistle, but unlike that place, at the Ambassadors they served you your cooked breakfast at the table, and what an excellent cooked breakfast it was.

breakfast

Beautifully served, it consisted of an excellent meaty sausage, some very nice grilled bacon, a small bowl of baked beans, grilled (and skinned) tomato, mushroom, bubble and squeak, black pudding and egg. You had a choice of eggs (chicken or duck) and cooked to your liking, I had a poached duck’s egg. It was also garnished with lettuce, not sure about the lettuce.

There was quite a choice of other cooked items as well, such as boiled eggs and kippers.

Along with the cooked breakfast, there was also a (self-service) selection of toast, bread products such as croissant and panettone, fruit, yoghurt, juice, cold meats, cheese and smoked fish.

Overall I was well impressed and would recommend the breakfast, though still not sure about the lettuce.

Gala Pie

How on earth did pork pie with egg come about?

Did a baker one day, go oops…. dropped an egg into that pork pie mix, ah well maybe no one will notice…

Special request perhaps?

Are there other variations which didn’t work, and as a result never saw the light of day…

Ah pork pie with strawberry yoghurt, hmmm nope that doesn’t work for me.

And why is it called a Gala Pie?

Really, really, is this real!

I did a double take when  first saw this kitchen gadget in John Lewis recently.

I could not believe that such a device existed.

Well it does and here is the photograph to prove it!

Egg Toaster

It is a toaster which you can use to also poach an egg!

Bizarre!