|The holy grail of egg and no slugs|
When I was younger (I normally say little, then hilarious people say 'But you're still little!') I thought mushrooms = slugs. I was once given mushrooms on toast, and the slimy, squishy, soggy, quite frankly revolting mushrooms that somehow didn't slide off the toast they were slopped onto, basically put me off for life. Well that's an exaggeration because I love them now! Not being a foragey knowledgeable type, I have a preference for what is classed as a wild mushroom (surely they can all be wild somewhere in the world?) and a particular devotion to oyster mushrooms. The mushroom is another foodstuff that falls into the category of things The Boyfriend would rather stab his own eyes out than eat, which makes them all the more special for me. Like a sordid sneaky love affair that is neither sordid or sneaky when I come to think of it. I digress. To wrap it up, as soon as I realised mushrooms didn't have to resemble homeless snails, they became a true love of mine, and I love this little recipe for breakfast/brunch/hungry times. I'm afraid Hovis won't do it here, you need a handsome but dense slab of rye or sourdough for your base, at the very least some chewy ciabatta.
Feeds one indulgent person, cheating on her other half with erm, mushrooms. Toast, or if, like me, the Little Dinner Lady, your kitchen is as small as your stature, and can't fit a toaster in it, grill a slice of sourdough bread so it's good and crunchy. Get a small saucepan of water at just about ticking over at a gentle simmer. Add a dash of vinegar. Meanwhile, melt a little butter in a small frying pan on a gentle heat and add half a clove of sliced garlic (save the other half). Fry gently for one minute, DON'T let it burn. Add a hand-full of cleaned mushrooms of your choice, stir so the butter gives everything a lick and gently crack and drop an egg into your pan of water. Make sure the water is just about simmering, nothing more. Stir the mushrooms around for a couple of minutes and don't forget your toast. Rub your toast with the saved half clove of garlic. Squeeze a few teaspoons of lemon juice into the mushrooms and season, and by now your egg should be poached to perfection. Pile the mushrooms onto the toast and gently lift the egg out of the water, let any drips erm, drip off, and gently place on top of the mushrooms. You are a sprinkling of chopped parsley and a drizzle (yes I hate that word too, suggestions for a new word please) of extra virgin olive oil away from perfection.
I am 30 years old and I have only just realised the key to a good poached egg is a gentle touch and faith (and fresh eggs and a drop of vinegar). Be gentle with it and believe it will be ok. You with your cling film and your weird poaching cups and your witchcraft can bugger off because I have finally figured it out.