A Perfect Egg

I have to say that I love a perfectly soft-boiled egg.  It’s such a treat, especially since it generally involves cooking just one egg at a time, right before eating it.  It also involves a stopwatch and a delicate ballet of preparing the rest of the meal.  Did I ever tell you about when I did ballet as a tiny child?  It did not end well.

Anyway, this is my beautiful, real, nourishing, traditional breakfast: homemade soaked-grain bread, pastured butter, yogurt with fresh, local blackberries, and one, perfect, soft-boiled egg.


To soft-boil an egg, you will need: an egg (preferably at room temperature), a pot containing enough water to cover the egg completely plus a generous grab of salt, a burner, a pin (preferably clean), a stopwatch, an implement with which to transport your egg to and from the boiling water, and a final resting place for your egg.  A shot glass works amazingly well, though I used an adorable Vietnamese tea cup that my sister gave me as a gift.

Poke your egg with a pin.  Not just anywhere, but rather on the big end of the egg.  The purpose is to pierce the air sac in the white to allow expanding hot air to escape, or something like that.  Boil your salted water.  When it’s boiling, reduce the heat to hearty simmer and lower your egg into the water.  Start your stopwatch.  After 5 minutes, remove your egg and run it under cold water for a few seconds, until it is cool enough to handle.  Place in final destination.

Smack it on one end (I’m a big-ender) and peel back the shell to get at the gooey, golden, amazing treasure within.  Savor that first plunge of spoon into egg.  Dip pointed triangles of buttered toast into the yolk.  Spoon up jiggling blobs of egg onto the toast.  I suppose bacon would work as well, if you don’t do bread.  Scrape the last remnants of egg from the shell and survey the carnage.

Kind of like that.

It is absolutely possible to adapt this recipe to make more than one egg, though you might want to wait until after adding your eggs to lower the burner heat to give the water a chance to return to a boil/simmer.  Also, you will have to be quite swift and remember which egg went in first so you can take them out in the order they went in to avoid over/under-cooking.

If you’re having toast and yogurt and such with your egg, make the toast while the egg cooks.  Unless you know your toaster takes longer than 5 minutes to toast.

Also, check out my new tumblelog, A Little Wild.  It’s a place where I can share mostly random pictures, and maybe other random, food- and wild-life-related tidbits.  Mostly pictures right now.  I’ll be sharing a few random things from Rome over the next week or so.

This post is part of Real Food Wednesday at Kelly the Kitchen Kop.


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