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Posts posted by stef

  1. I've seen techniques where the egg is very briefly poached in vinegared water, then quickly switched to pure water once the egg has coagulated to prevent o much vinegar taint....But I like the taste of vinegar in my eggs! probably how I was brought up with them - my Mum who was a master at poaching eggs used quite a lot of what I guess what malt vinegar (i doubt we had any other kind). If there hasn't been any vinegar involved they just don't seem like poached eggs to me.

    I'm with you on this one, I was brought up on the same and I tend to add lots of Sarsons.

    Went to Asda yesterday and bought the Clarence Court Old Cotswold Legbar eggs.

    Breakfast this morning was fantastic, stuck to the traditional method having decided that clingfilm might not be by cup of tea.

    Can it get any better

  2. No one's actually talked about the actual "egg" portion of this thread. Or is that a whole new thread?

    If not, I've always wondered how you get the perfect poached egg. I've failed miserably at it, yet it remains my favorite way to eat eggs. I've heard people say you do it in a pan, others say a pot, some say swirl the water into a whirlpool effect before you crack the egg in, others say crack it on a plate then slip it into the simmering, not boiling, water. Still others say to add a tablespoon of vinegar into the water to hold the egg's shape.

    It's all so daunting I've given up, and yet it's such a (seemingly) simple dish. But I know it's not just me. Restaurants routinely get the poached egg wrong. To my mind, it should NEVER be hard. The white should be firm, the yolk runny. If they can do it for the Benny, they  can do it for a plain poached. In fact, I've taken to asking for my poached eggs that way -- tell the cook to pretend he's making eggs Benny...

    Your thoughts on how to make the perfect poached egg? (To hell with the toast; I'll eat it on cake if I can get it right!)

    Ok here is the way I do it and the results are great.

    I use a size 20 Creuset pan, whatever that is, pour in a glug of vinegar and bring to the boil.

    I crack an egg into a cereal bowl, when the water is boiling I stir the water and pour the egg into the centre of the tiny whirlpool. This keeps the shape of the egg. I then turn down the heat and just have a little prod and a poke with the slotted spoon until it looks done. Clean the cereal bowl and lift the egg out and put it in the bowl. The reason is that there is always some water in the crevices of the egg and by using the bowl it ensures that there is no water to soak into the bread.

    On the buttered toast, break the yolk, add a little fresh cracked pepper and light fluffy salt.


  3. Stef - Go to any Supermarket or Polish Deli and try to get a Polish Bloomer. You could kill someone with one those things, but the flavour and hearty texture is the best for poached eggs (And keeping the yolk from spilling all over the place.)

    I live in Southampton where there is a large Polish population - and a couple of Polish bakeries so i'll have to give it a go.

    I will be doing the same, I have also located a bakery that might be ideal.

    I have to say that I try my best to prevent the yolk running on the plate.

  4. Many thanks for some great replies.

    My biggest problem is that I live in the Midlands of England a little bit of a culinary desert.

    So far the best bread has been a high street generic long life bread, I hate to think whets in it.

    I will try some of the suggestions here and keep reporting back.

    Hopefully I will have a new bread to try out next weekend.

  5. .....what method are you using for toasting the bread? I've found that most toasters aren't very good at creating toast. They simply brown the outside of the bread.

    Fat Guy, you are a man after my own heart! toasters make such insipid toast! I use the broiler/grill, and use handsliced bread so that the slices are somewhat irregular, giving lots of peaks and little indentations, where the bread can be even more roasty, crunchy, darkly delicious.....it really enhances my whole experience of toast.

    marlena but what about the fact I only use two slices of bread per day so I have to buy bread and freeze it otherwise its a waste.

    Or should I buy it cut it and then freeze it?

  6. The only true toast, for those who know it, is AGA toast, made by putting the bread in a special holder between the hot plate and its lid.

    The hot plate is at about 200C/400F, and effectively acts as a contact grill. The result is thin, crisp, crunchy toast, somewhat dehydrated on the surface, with a characteristic pattern from the toaster's mesh

    Ah yes that brings back memories, however I don't have an AGA anymore.

  7. Stef, what are you trying to get from the bread? Do you want it to have an independent, complementary flavor? Or do you want it to be essentially invisible?

    Also, what method are you using for toasting the bread? I've found that most toasters aren't very good at creating toast. They simply brown the outside of the bread. The oven, at a moderate temperature, does a much better job of gently toasting bread all the way through, removing much of the moisture in order to give the toast a proper texture. It's kind of a pain to pre-heat the oven just to make a couple of slices of toast, but it greatly improves the texture of your toast.

    I happen to like toasted challah (or brioche or another egg-based bread) a lot as a substrate for poached eggs. But that assumes you want your toast to bring flavor to the table. You also have to toast challah low and slow or it burns.

    Fat Guy you have asked a question that is causing the dilema, do I want it to be invisible, no I would like it to be an independant complementary flavor.

    I will try the challah if I can find it locally.

  8. Jackal no, infact I try to keep everything on the bread, for some strange reason I don't like to spill the yolk on the plate

    I think that it was the Pitou's thread on butter that started this all off, I bought some beurre cru d'Isigny and then looked at ways of incorporating it into the food I cook.

    I take it out of the fridge and cut it so that it lays in thin blocks on the bread and melts slowly, then I add the egg and the light sprinkling of salt.

    Helen the eggs I get from a local butchers who sells local reared eggs. He also supplies some great meat including genuine wild venison.

  9. I have over the last few months been trying to make the perfect poached egg on toast.

    I have the eggs, the butter is beurre cru d'Isigny, with its rock salt it is fantastic. I even have a wonderful light fluffy French salt to apply to the eggs, but I think there could be an improvement on the bread.

    I have tried various types of bread for the toast and surprisingly the best two have turned out to be "supermarket industrial bread" form the Co-Op in first place with Aldi in second place.

    All the so called "Finest" "taste the difference" type brands from other supermarkets have been disappointing.

    I have tried local baked on the premises bread but the latest one was worse than the supermarkets.

    I have tried wholemeal etc. but basically I'm a white bread man for my toast and also bacon sandwiches.

    Can anyone recommend a bread suitable that is sliced and can be frozen? I only use two slices a day.

  10. My classic dish includes a "gravy" based on garlic, shallots, red wine stock and finished with butter. Any recommendations for the butter?

    Hi stef,

    I would recommend an unsalted butter (doux) with a fresh and creamy taste. A Norman like the "Isigny doux" or Charentes-Poitou butter would do the job.

    Many thanks for the advise I will be trying it out this weekend.

    I did buy some butter beurre doux which I presume is unsalted butter

    It say " Loyez Woessen Phalempin"

    It tastes ok to me but not as good as some of the others I am trying

    Looks like it will be Venison with my "gravy" tomorrow night.

  11. President an "industrial butter" is what I quoted a friend, and I did feel a bit smug.

    Anyway a recent trip to France and I bought various butter of which I know nothing as the man said.

    Anyway on my recent trip I bought Isigny Ste Mere demi sel and beurre doux, both of which taste great.

    My classic dish includes a "gravy" based on garlic, shallots, red wine stock and finished with butter. Any recommendations for the butter?

  12. This is a fantastic idea.  I look forward to coming, and hopefully, with a newly found delicious salted butter! 

    Great idea to restrict this to salted only ... not necessarily because salted is better; but, because it's much harder to compare salted to unsalted.

    Hi everyone as a UK based guy who likes butter especially salted, I have just heard that salt is added to inferior butters ti improve the taste.

    I aslo have to find the butter thread as I have loads of questiuons.


  13. Well I live less than 10 miles from Sat Bains and have eaten there 4 times over the years.

    I have in fact eaten at Hibiscus more times.

    The food is fantastic, however the wine list is a bit over the top price wise.

    In fact its cheaper for us to go to Ludlow, eat at Hibiscus, stay at the Travel lodge, taxi there and back than eat at sat Bains and get a taxi 10 miles home.

    However now that Hibiscus is gone we might eat more often at Sat Bains.

    We certainly will not be staying there as with most locations we would rather spend the money on food & drink rather than a bed.

    It's location is strange but when you have lived in the area for a long time it's not that bad, reminds me of my childhood.

    Once again the food is great, in fact Hibiscus had their staff do there last year, and the price is great considering what you get. Just watch the price of the wine.

  14. I will be buying it this year. The last one I bought was 2004 and I use it regularly so it makes sense to get an updated version.

    By the way what happened to Paris? I remember when it first opened and I ate there the guy was pretty certain it would only be a matter of time before he had his first star.

  15. The Salt Box on the A516 at Hatton in Derbyshire, it’s legendary. At one time it was extremely busy on the main road from Derby to Stoke on Trent but the A50 by pass meant that passing trade has decreased.

    The good thing about that is that you can now get a seat without waiting ages.

    Still full of regulars though and I think it once won the title of the best cup of tea in England.

    It is split into two parts one for truck drivers and one for motorist. Last time I called in for breakfast it was still busy. Had the "Tatties Breakfast" very satisfying. The strange thing about this greasy spoon/truckers stop is that breakfast ends at 11:30 and its lunch, none of this all day breakfast lark. Plus the chips are real.

    Someone once called it a "conservatory built by a double glazing salesman who had retired"

    I found a review about it which just about sums it up perfectly.

    The Salt Box originally sat on the old A50 from Stoke to Derby. The new A50 dual-carriageway cut a high speed gash through the countryside, leaving the Salt Box behind...

    But it survived.

    I moved to this part of the world about 5 years ago and discovered the Salt Box for myself. My dad remembers it from the 50's as a classic greasy spoon, and an occasional long distance, exotic destination for pottery folk.

    It's a classic diner of that era and hasn't changed in it's approach or style.

    The staff look like a troup of dinner ladies in their overalls and hats. Pleasant, and extremely fast. Don't expect to stop and natter - they really shift! You order, get your mug of steaming tea and get to your table - your meal is usually ready for collection in under 5 minutes. And it's hot, fresh and home cooked.

    Whether you need a Full English hangover cure or quick bacon sandwich, you'll not be disappointed. Or you could join the mobile business cognoscenti who have discovered the Salt Box and detour off the A50 for the classic business lunch and go for the "Pie Dinner only £3.75". Why go to the Shell or BP Service Station for a £3.99 Ginsters plastic sandwich, when you're only 5 minutes from bacon paradise.

    This place looks like a greasy spoon, but isn't. I love it. If you're ever heading along the A50 between Derby and Stoke, take the A511 to Hatton and Tutbury and follow your nose!

    I normally call in when I take my quarterly trip to Ludlow. Makes a great start to the weekend.

  16. What pisses me off about GR is that he takes the Mickey out of Ainsley but he doining exactly the same.

    He presents programs.

    Watched Ramsay's Boiling Point this weekend (easy to download from www.torrentspy.com if anyone's interested)

    Ramsay kept going on about not being a celebrity chef; he was a cook and never wants to be out of his kitchen. Well, given his TV ubiquity, this now seems somewhat farcical. Hell's Kitchen is prime Celeb chef fodder and he really cannot deny this.

    Having said that, Ainsley Harriot is a total tool and deserves everyone's criticism.

    Yes but have you ever seen Ainsley add salt to a dish?

  17. I have done, or currently are doing, work for every supermarket group in this country.

    I try not to shop at any of them, except for wine. (Just bought 2 bottles of Aldi Champagne and 2 bottles of Cremant)

    I once bought a seafood cocktail from Asda, it was so bad I guess it must have been harvested from just beyond the sewage pipe at Clacton.

    Tesco wants to rule the world; they would like us to get paid in Tesco vouchers so that they control every penny of our spending.

    I did buy 5 pairs of socks and 3 pairs of pants from Tesco for £10, how do they buy them and sell them at a profit? I hate to think. A friend likes clothes made by children, such delicate little stitches and so cheap.

  18. I eventually enjoyed the program the realisation that he should leave the past behind and move on was the best part.

    It's a lesson many people should learn but usually can't let go.

    What pisses me off about GR is that he takes the Mickey out of Ainsley but he doining exactly the same.

    He presents programs.

    I expect we will see a complete range of Ramsey programs, gardening, antiques room makeovers, property renovation the potential list is endless.

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