Yesterday I posted about poaching an egg. That is to say cooking an egg in water, not stealing an egg. Some of the commentators chimed in with methods of preparing eggs in water which involve keeping the egg within a container placed in the water. A commentator commented that that (groovy, “What… enallage, no?”, he asked anacoenosistically.) method is really coddling rather than poaching. That is not to say that you spoil your egg by coddling it, as you do children, unless you coddle it too long, of course. You can’t be too easy on eggs, after all, or on children. Otherwise, they aren’t very useful for breakfast purposes. The eggs, that is, not the children. You know what I mean. You have to break eggs. Pierce or break them. The shells, break the shells not their spirit to resist, as you would with horses. Sorry… I am just horsing around with these word games. I’ll rein it in.
I happen to have some egg coddlers… which are contraptions, not people. Sorry.
I had one two-egg coddler from my grandmother, was given another by an old lady from Philadelphia I met in Florida who was surprised that I knew what it was, and I bought the two one-egg coddlers for a song in the box at a flea market. They are all Royal Worcester Evesham. You can buy two, simpler, one-egg coddlers here.
The one-egg coddlers are probably best for people of French extraction, since in French one egg is un oeuf.
Here’s whatchya do.
- It is a good idea to wash farm fresh eggs.
- Place the coddler in the pan and fill the pan up to just below the metal rim. Remove the coddler and start heating the water.
- Coat the inside of the coddler with a little butter, including on the threads of the metal rim (so you can more easily open it). The butter inside will make clean up a lot easier!
- Put in spices or finely chopped ingredients, such as a little ham, cheese, mushroom, herbs, etc.
- Carefully crack your egg into the coddling cup.
- Screw down the cover, leaving it a little loose.
- By the ring, lower it into the nearly boiling water. You will lift it out of the water by something through the ring. I use a chop-stick.
- The cooking time depends on the temperature of the egg, the size of the coddler and number of eggs, and your preference for the yolk. It can take several minutes.
- Don’t forget to make toast. You will already have made Mystic Monk Coffee from your newly refreshed supply and ground this minute with your little Mystic Monk Coffee Grinder. Otherwise, you will have heated the water to “hot the pot” for your Mystic Monk Tea.
- Open by the coddler’s ring without burning your fingers – I use the chop-stick for this too. Okay, burn your fingers if you want. The coddler will wait for you.
- Devour with a small spoon and/or with toast “points”, that is, toast cut into narrow strips which you can dunk, as you might with a soft-boiled egg.
Some action shots!
Butter the inside and the threads. I am using one of the larger coddlers, even though I have only one egg. The egg is simply too large and that provides more room for goodies!
Add your goodies to the egg. In this case, I have a little, fresh ground pepper, cheddar cheese, and my own blend of dried herbes de provence. A meltier cheese might be better, but this was pretty darn good. Because cheddar is salty, I omitted salt.
This is a merciful method if you are doing many other things. The cooking process, depending on the eggs and the coddlers, is fairly slow. That means that even if you have to ignore your timer, your eggs won’t be spoiled (though they will be coddled).
This, by the way, is an excellent way to prepare eggs for a breakfast tray.