The simple things in life – eggs!
Wow, how did I come out of this side of January still vaguely humane? It has been a tough month, emotionally. Not that anything specific is wrong in my life. But I suppose after almost a month spent away from the cold misery that is London, and in the warm embrace that is family and friends in Malaysia and Singapore, it was always going to be tough coming back to the daily grind of work and life here again.
Then I started channelling my excess emotions and energy (??!!) into this wee corner of the www just to see if I could harness what little cooking and baking talent I think I have to perhaps something more in the future. I have surprised myself by how many new recipes I’ve tried out over the last three weeks and how much I have enjoyed noting those experiences here. Perhaps I have also managed to remind myself that life on a daily basis is about small steps that challenge you to bigger and hopefully better things in the future. At the very least, I have reminded myself that I can follow a recipe and feed myself and the husband!
Now, I must admit that I’m normally a right lazy bum on Saturday mornings and leave the breakfast preparation to the ‘man of the kitchen’, my lovely husband K. But over the last month, I’ve wanted to try to overcome my fear of cooking perhaps my favourite item of food in the world in 2 ways – yup, I’ve never poached eggs in my life and I’ve never baked them either! Unbelievable as I probably cook and eat eggs at least 3 times a week – fried, half-boiled, steamed, scrambled, in an omelette, added to soup and in too many other forms to list here.
So here are my first attempts at poached eggs and baked eggs:
How to…poach eggs
1. Boil some water in a wide saucepan until it starts simmering. I waited until little bubbles started forming at the bottom of the saucepan and coming up to the surface of the water.
2. Break an egg into a cup or shallow dish.
3. Give the water a gentle swirl and in one swift movement, pour the egg into the centre of the swirling water.
4. Make sure the water does not bubble too much (turn the heat down a notch if you need). I left my eggs in for 3 minutes each which meant the yolks were just set but still runny. I poached one egg at a time as I was nervous of ruining the whole operation!
5. Remove from the saucepan with a slotted spoon and drain any excess water on paper towel.
6. Season with salt and cracked black pepper and serve on lightly buttered toast.
How to… bake eggs in ham cups
1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
2. Lightly grease a muffin tin and line with a slice of ham. The easiest way to do this is to fold the ham into quarters and allow it to open up in the muffin tin.
3. Break an egg into each ham cup, season to taste and bake in the oven for 18 minutes.
4. Gently remove each little cup from the muffin tin and serve on lightly buttered toast.
Tip: You can add other ingredients to your baked eggs like pesto, baby tomatoes and grated cheese but I like to keep it simple.