Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Perfect Soft-Boiled Egg (or) Eat Your Vegetables! ... for Breakfast

It's high time I let the secret out...David pretty much makes the best soft-boiled egg you've ever nestled your fork into. What I love about his eggs are that you get the experience of a poached egg without all the fuss of chasing little tails of egg white through a pot of just-simmering water using a spoon that's slotted but not-too-slotted and gauging exactly when to take it out so it's runny but not raw... I'm getting worn out just thinking about it. David's eggs are perfect every time. Get your pencils, people, he's agreed to share his method.

The Perfect Soft-Boiled Egg

1. Start with a small pot of water. You want to bring it to a nice rolling boil with enough water to cover the egg.

2. Once you hit the "roll" (his term--for translation, insert "ing boil"), turn off the heat, wait for the big bubbles to settle, and carefully set your egg in the water using a spoon. Cover with lid.

3. Set a timer for 7 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath with cold water and a couple of ice cubes in a small bowl. When the timer goes off, scoop your egg out and carefully place it in the bath for less than a minute--just to shock it to stop cooking. (David says you can run cold water over it, though the bath works better. The idea is that the shock of cold shrinks the egg, separating it from the shell.

4. Take the now-boiled egg and turn it fat-side-up. Gently tap in a circle around the fat end, then pry the shell off. Using either a knife or a spoon, slip your utensil between the shell and the white, gently loosening the shell. Once a decent bit of the shell is off, you can slip a spoon in there and scoop the egg out.

5. Voila! A sprinkle of salt, a piece of toast, and you've got breakfast!

Part 2: Eat your vegetables FOR BREAKFAST

As you'll notice, there's a hefty dose of spinach in my breakfast, pictured above. We've been trying to incorporate veggies into more of our meals lately, and I discovered this 5-minute breakfast technique that I genuinely look forward to. It's great with David's soft-boiled eggs, but if you've only got 5 minutes and one pan, this will do ya:

1. Take a generous handful of raw spinach and wash it. With the rinsing water still clinging to the leaves, toss them in a hot pan. Cover with a lid and allow to steam 1-2 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Once spinach is sufficiently wilted, take it out and put it on a plate.

2. With a wet paper towel, swipe the pan and spray it with pam or drop a small pad of butter in it. Crack and fry an egg to your liking. Place on top of spinach, season with salt and pepper--and my personal favorite--grate parmesan cheese over top.

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