Salt and Paper: eggs poached in white wine

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When I was a kid, I was allergic to eggs. Growing up, I never had scrambled eggs, toad in the hole, or eggs-over-easy — I was strictly a bowl of cereal kind of gal. Eventually, I grew up and grew out of the allergy, along with my allergy to grass-clippings. Now, I seem to be making up for the lack of eggs in my early life.

I love eggs. I have them, in one form or another, almost every morning when I have the time; breakfast has become one of my favourite meals of the day, especially when it comes to experimentation. Breakfast is important, as every mother and nutritionist will tell you, as it sets the tone for the rest of the day — why not set that tone in a decidedly delicious and adventurous way?

I also love wine, and life doesn’t get much better than combining two great loves. The sweet, sweet romance between wine and eggs may seem unexpected, but these two were meant for each other: the dry, refreshing acidity of the wine and the versatility of the egg marry beautifully, creating the best breakfast I’ve made yet.

There’s something about this recipe that feels decidedly south of France. It’s simple yet incredibly flavourful, and it’s truly a sight to behold. I like mine on a bed of sliced avocado and toast, but it’s also good on a potato stew.

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• 1 cup dry white wine

• 1 cup water

• 2 shallots, minced

• A pinch of thyme

• 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

• 2-4 large eggs

• 1 tablespoon butter, room temperature

• 2 teaspoons flour

• to serve: toasted bread, avocado, chives

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In a medium skillet or pot, combine wine, water, shallots, thyme and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for five minutes. Dial the heat down to medium and carefully crack in eggs. Depending on the size of your pot, it will likely be a shallow poach. Simmer for about five minutes, or until eggs are cooked to your preference. Remove eggs and place on a covered plate to keep warm. Cook the liquid in the pot down a bit more, until you have about half of what you started with.

While wine mixture is bubbling away, melt butter in a pan and stir in flour. Add the liquid to this pan and simmer on medium-low until it thickens up a bit. You can toast your bread and slice your avocado now, too. Gently place your egg on the toast and smashed avocado, then add as much of the white wine sauce as you’d like. Top with chives. Never look at eggs the same way again.

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