Put the eggs in a saucepan, cover with boiling water, and let them stand about ten minutes where the water will keep hot (180°), but not boiling. The white should be of a soft jelly-like consistency, and the yolk soft but not liquid. Experience will show the exact time to keep the eggs in the water to suit individual tastes. They should be served immediately, as they harden by being kept in the hot shell. An egg, to be cooked soft, should never be cooked in boiling water, as the white hardens unevenly before the heat reaches the yolk.
Cook eggs for twenty minutes in water just below the boiling-point, for use in any receipt which specifies hard-boiled eggs. The yolk of an egg cooked ten minutes is tough and indigestible; twenty minutes will make the yolk dry and mealy; then it may be more easily rubbed smooth for salad or other mixtures, and more quickly penetrated by the gastric fluid. If the shell of an egg be cracked before boiling, pierce several small holes in the large end to keep the contents from bursting out at the crack.
Toast a slice of bread for each egg, and trim neatly, or cut with a round cutter before toasting. Have a very clean shallow pan nearly full of salted and boiling water. Remove all the scum, and let the water simmer. Break each egg carefully into a cup, and slip it gently into the water. Dip the water over them with a spoon, and when a film has formed on the yolk and the white is firm, take each up with a skimmer; drain, trim the edges, and place on the toast. Put a bit of butter and a little salt and pepper on each egg; or make a thin cream sauce and pour it around them. Put a tablespoonful of lemon juice in the water, or poach the eggs in muffin-rings to give them a better shape. An egg-poacher, something like a castor with perforated cups, is very convenient.
No. 2. - Spread the toast with butter and anchovy paste or sardine paste, and serve a poached egg on each slice;, or spread the toast with potted or finely minced boiled ham.
Eggs poached in Tomatoes, or a la Dauphine. (M. L. Clarke.) - Stew slowly for ten minutes half a can of tomatoes and one small onion, cut fine. Season highly with salt and pepper and butter. Break six eggs into a bowl without beating, and when everything else is ready to serve slip them into the hot tomatoes. Lift the white carefully with a fork, as it cooks, until it is all firm; then prick the yolks and let them mix with the tomato and white. It should be quite soft, but with the red tomatoes, the white and yellow of the egg, quite distinct. Serve at once on toast.
Beat four eggs slightly with a fork; add half a teaspoonful of salt, half a saltspoonful of pepper, and half a cup of milk. Turn into a hot buttered omelet pan and cook quickly, stirring all the time till the egg is firm but soft. Serve on toast or with hot minced ham or veal. Any of the ingredients given in fancy omelets may be mixed with the beaten eggs before cooking.
No. 2. - Put a tablespoonful of butter in an omelet pan: when hot, add three whole eggs; stir quickly till the mixture is firm but soft. Add a little salt and pepper, and serve at once.