TIP: To tell if an egg is fresh without cracking it, shake it close to your ear – a bad egg will produce a
4 medium eggs 10ml white wine vinegar Salt, to taste 150g sliced ham* 4 thick slices brioche or English muffins*, toasted Chopped chives, for the garnish Paprika powder, to taste
DIRECTIONS 1 Working with one egg at a time, crack an egg into a bowl, taking care not to break the yolk. 2 Fill a deep saucepan with water. Add the vinegar and a generous pinch of salt, then bring to the boil over medium-high heat. 3 Lower the heat to lowmedium so the water is just simmering with small bubbles rising from the bottom of the pan and small ripples across the surface. 4 Using a wooden spoon or whisk, stir the water in one direction to create a whirlpool (this will help give the poached eggs a neat teardrop shape). 5 Gently slide the egg from the bowl into the centre of the whirlpool. Cook for 2-3min for a runny yolk or 4min for a slightly firmer yolk. 6 Use a perforated spoon to transfer the egg to a tray lined with paper towels to remove excess water. When ready to plate, flip the corner of the paper towel to tip the egg back onto the spoon. 7 Place the ham, then the egg, on the brioche. Top with bearnaise sauce (see recipe above) and garnish with chives and paprika powder.
*English muffins and white ham (milder and softer than regular ham) are available at Cold Storage.
Brioche is available at gourmet bakeries like Paul (#03-16/17 Ngee Ann City, tel: 6836-1914) and Maison Kayser (#B1-09 Scotts Square, tel: 6636-3672).