On my first New York morning, I meandered into the kitchen in my flannel polka dot pajamas to explore what sofa girl had bought for breakfast.
“Do you want poached eggs?” I asked, my head still inside the fridge.
“Sure” was the uncertain response that came from the living room. “You know how to make them?”
Do I know how to make them??
“I like mine really well done.” Sue has an aversion for wobbly and undercooked eggs, maybe for most wobbly foods, while I love the intense and eggy taste of runny yolk, which, to me, is the whole point of poached eggs.
In fact, I love them so much I even thought of investing in a poacher – then discarded the idea of yet another gadget cluttering my kitchen cabinets, when poached eggs can be successfully had by using a regular small pot.
A few years ago, during a trip to Miami with a posse of Italian girls, I volunteered to make poached eggs for everyone, and my four friends, in their stylish pajamas, all crowded around the stove to watch how to make them. It’s such a simple dish, that can be dressed up with hollandaise sauce, or down with just a buttered piece of toast, yet most people are a bit afraid of making it but order in restaurants with abandon: every single joint in the country serving brunch will have poached eggs on their menu.
Every morning, before heading out into the city, Sue and I have breakfast in our sunny lavender living room, our laptops open on the marble table, and a now routine food rotation: oatmeal with fresh fruit, toast with butter and jam or poached eggs. On our second go around, we decided to add roasted tomatoes and some arugula to the eggs – we cut in half the (overpriced and anemic) tomatoes bought at Dean and De Luca in a moment of weakness, drizzled them with olive oil, a sprinkle of salt and pepper and put them in a low oven the night before, for about 90 minutes, while we were watching Netflix. We turned the oven off before going to bed but let the tomatoes in.
I briefly woke up at 4:30 and, before falling back asleep, I noticed the flat smelled deliciously of tomatoes. And because tomato season is over and the slim offerings are bound to be even more flavorless than usual, the only way to eat a tomato between now and next Summer is roasting it until it is lightly charred and swimming in its own juice, thus concentrating its flavor.
The following morning the eggs were poached and slid on a piece of buttered (artisanal) bread, dressed up with roasted tomatoes and arugula, accompanied by a strong cup of black coffee to get us ready for another marathon day around New York.
- To poach two eggs, all you will need are eggs, some white wine vinegar and a pinch of salt.
- Place a small pot filled with water to boil.
- Break the eggs on a small plate, making sure the yolks don’t break.
- When the water comes to a boil, add a quarter teaspoon of white vinegar and lower the heat to a simmer.
- Slide the eggs, very gently, from the plate into the pot.
- Set a timer for 4 minutes, if you like runny yolks – 7 to 8 if you like them very firm.
- When ready, scoop them up, one at a time, with a slotted spoon or spatula, letting the water drain and place them on your toast. Salt and serve.