My father-in-law cooks the best poached eggs. It’s one of the many reasons why I love visiting Nee and Pop in Boorowa so much. There isn’t anything better to wake up to than a couple of perfectly poached eggs on toast to be washed down with a hot cuppa on a cold and frosty morning.
As much as I love poached eggs, I seem to be so often disappointed when ordering them at a cafe however. So many times the eggs have arrived at the table only for me to find that the egg white is still runny – something I can’t stand. And how many times have I ordered smashed avo and eggs on toast only to find that the toast has gone all soggy on the bottom. Another pet hate of mine.
Did you know how easy it is to poach an egg yourself at home? Everyone does it differently – my sisters boyfriend poaches eggs in the microwave, others have egg poaching machines and many like to add vinegar or salt to the water. I don’t like using vinegar as I really dislike the vinegary taste and love serving poached eggs with asparagus for something a little different.
The addition of the sharp feta and lemon juice works so nicely with the crunch that the toasted almonds bring; it really is a lovely little dish, perfect for breakie, brunch, lunch or a light dinner. See my tips below for poaching the perfect egg and for how to grill asparagus to perfection (par boiling the asparagus first to speed the process up).
Now this meal may not be as good as Davo’s poached egg and bacon breakfasts in Booz but it’s definitely up there.
Give it a try.
grilled asparagus with poached eggs + feta + almonds + lemon (serves 2)
1 x bunch of asparagus
4 x eggs
A small handful of slivered almonds, toasted
A small piece of feta cheese*, crumbled
A squeeze of lemon juice
A drizzle of olive oil
Salt and freshly cracked pepper, to season
Toasted sourdough, to serve
- Add the almonds to a dry fry pan and cook over a low-medium heat until just starting to brown, being very careful not to let them burn. Set aside.
- Prepare the asparagus by snapping off the woody ends; then lining them all up and trimming the ends with a knife.
- Add the asparagus to the same fry pan that you toasted the almonds in and add a good splash of boiling water from the kettle so that the asparagus is just covered. Let it cook for a couple of minutes to take the real crunch out of the asparagus.
- Dry the asparagus with a clean tea towel and then transfer to a hot griddle pan with a drizzle of olive oil. Grill the asparagus for a few minutes until you start to see charred lines on the outside and until it’s cooked to your liking.
- Whilst this is happening, poach your eggs. See my tips below on poaching the perfect egg.
- When ready to serve up, plate up the asparagus, placing the eggs on top. Scatter the almonds and crumbled feta over the top. Add a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and season with salt and a good amount of cracked pepper.
- Serve with hot buttered sourdough toast.
how to cook the perfect poached egg
In my opinion, the key to poaching the perfect egg is to get the water temperature just right. You want to cook the eggs over a very low heat. So many people will tell you to add vinegar or salt to the water but I don’t think you need to. Others use shallow fry pans to cook them, swirl the water with a spoon and dump the cooked eggs in cold water to stop the cooking process. I don’t think any of this makes a difference.
To make a good poached egg, follow the simple steps below:
- Fill a medium sized saucepan to 3/4 full with water from a freshly boiled kettle, over a very low heat. (You don’t want the water boiling). You can see in the picture below that there are very slight bubbles starting to form.
- Simply crack in the eggs, one at a time (I cook 4 at a time) in the four corners of the saucepan. I know it looks like one giant mess at this stage but surprisingly – the eggs will stay intact. Trust me.
- Now don’t touch the eggs, leaving them to cook for approximately 4 minutes for a soft centre or for a little longer if you like them harder.
- Using a slotted spoon, scoop out an egg to see if it is cooked to your liking. Using your index finger, give the egg a little push to see how well the egg is cooked. The picture below is still a little underdone for my liking (see how the egg white is still a bit translucent?) You will get used to the ‘feel’ of the yolk – I like the eggs when the egg yolk pushes in easily – not too runny, not too hard.
- Scoop the eggs on to a plate and you’re ready to roll. (NB: there also isn’t anything better than a piece of hot buttered toast with a smear of Vegemite topped off with a poached egg. Add a generous amount of white pepper and Viola. Delish!)
And you know what they say?
Practice makes perfect.
- *I prefer to use Danish feta here.
- You could also use pine nuts as opposed to almonds if that’s what you have in the cupboard.
- You could drizzle a touch of caramelised balsamic vinegar over the top too if you like.
If you make this dish, please leave your comments below. xx