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Recipe: Deep-fried poached egg with mushroom risotto

May 26, 2014

Some stuff happened at work in the past couple of weeks which has meant that at least a quarter of the work on my jam-packed schedule has been stopped or put on hold. At first I was a little dismayed by this, especially as I was very passionate about seeing a lot of it through to a successful conclusion. But now that I can see that it’s freed me up to concentrate on all the other things on my list that never saw the light of day, I can actually see what a great opportunity it is and it’s made me reflect on my home life too.

I spend so much of my time giving myself grief about not having done all the things I think I should have done, I often forget to enjoy the things I’m doing. Why is it that we do that? Why do we put undue pressure on ourselves to always be doing more? Or is it just me? I do love to be organised and to think that I’m not wasting time when there’s so much I’d like to achieve in my life, but I do think I need to achieve a better balance and be more comfortable with a slower pace at times. After all, is there anything wrong with just sitting down, relaxing and doing nothing for a little time each day? I think not; I’m just not very good at it. And if the amount of times I’ve heard the word ‘mindfulness’ in the past month is anything to go by, I’ll assume that lots of other people think this is a good idea too.

So, I’ve reviewed how I spend my ‘me’ time and decided I want to spend more time in my kitchen, doing what I love most; cooking and reading up about food, planning menus and capturing ideas. And I’ve made a pretty good start this week, as I’m cooking my way through a pile of old food magazines, so that I can pass them onto my recently-enthused cooking Father (Hi Dad!).

One of the favourite things I’ve cooked this week was a deep-fried poached egg, paired up with a flavourful mushroom risotto. I know it was good because my husband, who usually moans relentlessly when there is no sign of meat in his dinner, gobbled up the lot and told me how delicious it was. A very lovely thing, indeed.

Here’s how I made it:

– Two Eggs, poached for no longer than 3 minutes and placed straight into iced cold water to stop them cooking any longer. Trim off any excess whites to get them to a shape you’re happy with.
– 2 heaped tablespoons of Plain Flour, seasoned
– 1 Egg, beaten
– 50g Panko Breadcrumbs

– Oil for deep-frying

For the risotto:
– 7g dried Porcini Mushrooms
– 500ml Chicken Stock
Unsalted Butter, approx. 50g
Onion, finely chopped
– Sprig of Thyme
Garlic Clove, finely chopped
– 120g Chestnut Mushrooms, sliced
– 150g Arborio Rice
– 100ml dry White Wine (plus more to drink whilst you’re cooking!)
– Squeeze of Lemon Juice
– Tablespoon Flat-Leaf Parsley, finely chopped
– 1 – 2 handfuls of grated Parmesan Cheese
Sea Salt and freshly ground Pepper

1. Start by breadcrumbing your poached eggs. Place the flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs in three separate dishes. Dry your eggs off gently with paper towel and one at a time, dip them in the flour, shaking off any excess. Then into the egg, again letting any excess drip off. Then coat thoroughly in the Panko breadcrumbs. Set aside until ready to fry.

2. Soak the Porcini in 150ml boiling water, ensuring that all the dried mushrooms are submerged. Heat the chicken stock up gently in a small pan.

3. In a sauté pan (with a lid), melt approx. 15-20g of the butter, adding the onion and thyme to fry gently for five minutes. Season lightly with salt. The onion should soften, but not brown.

4. Remove the porcini from its soaking liquor, but reserve the liquid. Roughly chop the porcini and add it to the pan, along with the garlic and chestnut mushrooms. Cook for another five minutes.

5. Now tip in your rice, coating it all in the buttery juices. Cook for one minute then add the wine and porcini liquid. Turn the heat up to high and boil away the liquid. When it’s almost gone, add the first ladle of stock. Stir every minute or so. When that’s been absorbed by the rice, add the next ladle. Repeat until you’ve used all your stock up. This will take approximately 10 minutes.

6. Heat your oil to deep-fry the eggs. I set the temperature to 180 degrees Celsius on my deep-fryer.

7. When all your liquid has been absorbed, check a piece of rice. It should be more or less cooked, but just have the smallest amount of ‘bite’ (firmness) to it. That’s good. If it’s not yet at this stage, add a bit of hot water and let that absorb and test again. When it’s ready, fish out the thyme and chuck it away. Turn the heat off. Add the lemon juice, parsley, most of the cheese and the extra butter. Pop the lid on and leave it for five minutes.

8. Meanwhile, fry your eggs carefully for about 30 seconds, until the breadcrumbs are golden. Drain on kitchen paper.

9. Stir your risotto, add seasoning to taste the way you like it and serve it with the eggs on top and sprinkled with the remainder of the Parmesan.

Mushroom risotto with deep-fried poached egg

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