We have a friend, a very dear friend, who is, at the moment, very poorly indeed. Despite this there is not a conversation we have where there isn’t laughter at some point. I know of very few people who have such a positive attitude to life. This has always been one of her many endearing qualities. My admiration and love for our girl only continues to grow.
Alongside all the usual unpleasantness, my wee pal, who is a lover of food, has become afflicted with the most awful reaction to almost all foods that were her usual ‘go to’ ingredients. And as a consequence has had to exist on what she describes as the most bland of foodstuffs, just so that she can keep something down. Most of it revolving around mashed potato.
Anyway, I saw the combination of avocado and poached egg a few days ago and immediately sent the lovely one a message, thinking this may be delicious, and, moreover, something she may be able to keep down.
Now the thing about recommending something is that really, you need to have given it a go yourself, if only to point out any pitfalls or tweeks that may need to happen. So today, being mindful of my own advice, I gave it a go.
Firstly, unless you are using a ginormous avocado or a very tiny egg, you will need to ditch quite a bit of the egg white and secondly, I presumed you would need to bake in the oven, and as we all know, avocado’s are wobbly things, so it needs something to sit on. I plumped for a bun tray and consequently most of the egg white drained out of the avocado into the tray, so perhaps a mound of gravel or rice would work better. This all became irrelevant after tasting though, as it was bloody awful.
So after quickly texting my gorgeous girl, asking her to hold fire on the avocado until I’ve experimented a little more, I have given the whole thing some thought.
Sometime in the ’70’s my mum went through a phase of making oeufs en cocotte for almost every guest that came for dinner. Obviously we were too young to stay up for the meal, but they always looked delicious, and the yolks, especially, were always rich and runny looking, unlike the shrivelled stone affair that greeted me. And this is when I remembered that she would always cook them in a bain-marie, (a hot water bath) which tempers the heat of the oven whilst gently cooking the eggs allowing the white to cook, whilst the yolk remains runny.
I have also been thinking about another method of cooking avocado which I was taught many years ago. It’s the most simple but effective starter imaginable. Halve the avocado, take out the stone, cover in a beautiful blue or goats cheese and place under the grill until the cheese has melted and is bubbling. It is divine. And what makes this so successful? The ripeness of the avocado.
And that is where the beauty of learning lies. Mistakes are always going to be made, but it is when we learn from them that we begin to truly succeed. So, I am going to try this again using a ripe avocado and putting the whole lot in a bain-marie.
I’ll let you know how I get on.