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Cooking tip of the week: Poached eggs

This week’s recipe list includes a dish with poached eggs. We know that poaching eggs for the first time can seem complicated and scary. Cooking science guru Harold McGee has spent years researching perfect cooking techniques, Heston Blumenthal called McGee’s works “the book that has had the greatest single impact on my cooking”. So to allay fears and get an in depth account, we give you a reading from the Book of Harold:

“The tricky thing about poached eggs is getting them to set in smooth, compact shape. Usually the outer layer of thin white spreads irregularly before it solidifies. It’s helpful to use fresh Grade AA eggs shelled just before cooking, which have the largest proportion of thick white and will spread the least, and water close to but not at the boil, which will coagulate the outer white as quickly as possible without turbulence that would tease the thin albumen all over the pan…An unconventional but effective way to improve the appearance of poached eggs is simply to remove the runny white from the egg before poaching. Crack the egg into a dish, then slide it into a large perforated spoon and let the thin white drain away for a few seconds before sliding the egg into the pan.”