Just when I was having a pretty rubbish day, Northampton Life went and put a big smile on my face by publishing my guest blog! Check out my recipe and the Northampton Life website here.
The above recipe is pretty straight forward but in order to make it even easier, let me let you into a few little secrets….
How to poach an egg
Poaching an egg isn’t always as straight forward and easy as it would seem. God knows I’ve had enough disasters in my time! I make my own chocolates from scratch, am always in the kitchen, have mastered making my own pastry but sometimes poaching an egg defeats me! There are a few different methods and everyone has their own tips. I have used Lakeland’s ‘Poach Pods’ but although a clever invention, I find they tend to overcook the egg and give it an unnatural shape. I have also used the technique of putting a drop of vinegar in the pan but a top chef told me the vinegar really is pretty pointless and doesn’t do anything at all to keep the white together. On my cookery course at Bridge 67, the chefs recommended the technique of poaching the egg in clingfilm.
First take a small ramekin and line it with clingfilm making sure there is plenty of clingfilm overhanging the edges. Next, crack an egg into the clingfilmed dish. Twist the clingfilm so that it is sealed and no water will escape into the parcel. Use a small sandwich bag tie to make sure the parcel is really secure if necessary. Drop the egg parcel into a pan of boiling water and poach as normal. Use a slotted spoon to take the egg out of the pan and use scissors to carefully take the egg out of the clingfilm.
Mr MAC and I actually used the above technique for our last dinner party. We poached the eggs in advance, took them out of the clingfilm and popped them in a bowl of cold water. Just before serving, we put them in some warm water for 20 seconds or so to warm up. It really takes the pressure off to be able to do such things in advance!
Facts about foam
‘Foam’ is one of those things that is seen as a bit poncey and a bit flashy but I’m not really sure why, it isn’t that difficult to do really! It is very very tasty though!
Saying that, the foam in the above picture was not ideal. Firstly, I put a bit too much of it on the plate which took away from the presentation which is what foam is all about in the first place! Secondly, I used light margarine instead of full fat margarine or butter. This is a no-no when making foam; fat is essential to the frothiness of the mixture and so that the foam can hold its shape so don’t try to make substitutions!
Another tip is to not make the foam too hot. This is important otherwise the foam will not ‘froth’ and could spoil. Keep the pan on a smaller hob at a medium temperature when cooking. Burnt cheese is not a nice taste after all!
Ferran Adria developed the technique of using foams, airs and espumas in the 1990’s and the ideas soon became very popular in the culinary world. Although foams aren’t seen in as many restaurants today, I would urge you to give the technique a try! You may well be pleasantly surprised!
I hope you enjoy the recipe – asparagus is in season at the minute so I would get stuck in any enjoy while you can!