Grill Hills: It's no yolk
When I got married I could not boil the proverbial egg.
I've mastered that but don't ask me to poach one as it is always a disastrous stringy mess. Any tips? - Egg on my face, Durban
.Poaching is a French term (pocher) for a method of cooking food in a liquid at just below boiling point. Tips abound, but a method I picked up from a French chef works every time. The trick is to use really fresh extra-large eggs, which means the white is thicker and clings to the yolk.
Pour at least 10cm of water into a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil.
Crack an egg into a ramekin and add 10ml (2 tsp) white vinegar. Don't stir.
Whisk the boiling water around the edge of the pan, creating a whirlpool.
Gently drop the egg and vinegar into the centre of the whirlpool and, using a spoon, scoop the white towards the yolk.
Reduce heat and cook for 3-4 minutes for a soft egg - longer if you prefer your eggs harder. Using a slotted spoon, gently scoop the egg out of the pan.
POACH IN ADVANCE
If you want to prepare eggs beforehand, poach them for 2 minutes until just set and remove from the water using a slotted spoon. Place in cold water. Just before serving, gently place the egg back into boiling water for a minute or two.