This guest post is from our favorite ladies, Natalie and Holly, over at The Modern Proper. Their mission is to reinvent proper for the modern homemaker, one delicious meal at a time. Check out more of their delicious recipes here.
My memory isn’t great. It used to be, and then kids happened, but I guess that’s how it goes. These days I have a hard enough time remembering when my baby popped her first tooth and what we need at the grocery store, much less my own childhood memories. But, there are a precious few that stand out. My Nana was an amazing woman. Mother to 8, grandma to 15, and friend to all. She made some mean ravioli and told the best stories. She had such a way of making the mundane seem magical and she could cook literally anything. (Legend has it she once cooked a four-course meal from just one bag of potatoes.) She worked really hard every day, right up until her passing, so a quiet afternoon with her was a rare and valuable thing.
I’ll never forget one day when I had her all to myself and she wandered into the kitchen and came out with a snack. As a kid, I didn’t like eggs much, but I had never had Nana’s 6-minute egg. She brought the finished egg to me, showed me how to carefully slice off the top and then added a bit of salt and a hearty pad of butter (she loved butter, God bless her soul). Finally, she instructed me to dip my toast into the golden pool of gooey yoke that sat before me. I was shocked at how delicious an egg could be, and when I requested another she proudly obliged. To this day I can’t eat a 6-minute egg without thinking of her, which is why I like to make them as often as I can. They also happen to be the perfect quick breakfast. On mornings when I want to put just a little bit more effort in, I love to add my 6-minute egg to some crusty bread topped with a bright and herby avocado spread, a bit of crisp bacon, and just a touch of salty cheese. My inner child and the grown-up me come together and do a happy dance with every bite and my Nana’s memory lives on one beautiful breakfast at a time. You’ll find the recipe for this morning delight below.
Soft Boiled Eggs With Avocado Toast
½ tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup loosely chopped fresh basil
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh italian parsley
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 loaf crusty bread
3 tbsp butter, softened
freshly grated parmesan
finely chopped bacon (optional)
Begin by making your avocado spread. Place all listed ingredients through the salt & pepper line in a small bowl. Everything following the salt and pepper will be used shortly. Using a fork mash everything in the bowl together, taking care to incorporate all of the ingredients. If using bacon, place ½ pound or so in a cold frying pan. Preferably a cast iron. Take care not to overlap bacon, ensuring an even crispness to the entire batch. Turn on heat to medium.
While your bacon pan is heating up, get started on your toast. Slice crusty bread loaf into ½ inch slices. Butter one side of each slice. Place on a baking sheet, buttered side up and broil for 1-2 mins each side until slightly browned and crisp. If you want to dip your toasts into the egg yolk, cut each slice into strips about 2 centimeters wide.
Flip bacon if you haven’t already!
Find a pot large enough to fit 6 eggs and cover them by about an inch with water, comfortably. Place a folded dish cloth in the bottom of the pot to protect the eggs from hitting the bottom while boiling. Fill the pot with water and place over high heat. Get your eggs out of the fridge and leave them on the counter to start warming up while the water heats, this will help them be ready for the shock of the boil without cracking. Once your water starts to boil, lower eggs on a slotted spoon one at a time into the water. You can also reduce the heat temporarily to a simmer while you insert the eggs to avoid any bouncing or cracking, and then immediately return it to high heat once the eggs have landed safely.
Set your timer for 6 mins. To get that soft, golden yolk, it’s important to follow the timing as almost an exact science. Leaving your eggs in the heat even a couple minutes after your timer goes off will affect how cooked they get and can result in pale yellow centers, sometimes with a green tinge around the edges. (This exact timing is also why you’ll want to add the eggs to already boiling water, and not to place them in the pot as the water heats, that also adds cook time.)
While eggs are boiling, prepare the all-important ice bath. Fill a medium bowl with ice water, make sure it will be large enough to hold all 6 eggs under water. Grate your parmesan cheese and crumble your bacon. As soon as the timer goes off, carefully remove eggs from boiling water with your slotted spoon and place them immediately into the ice water. Leave submerged in ice water for 5 minutes. This will stop the eggs from cooking any longer and give a bonus of helping the eggs to peel easier. (Some people swear that peeling the egg underwater makes for even easier peeling.)
Note: You can experiment overtime with how long to cook your eggs before submerging them in the ice bath. Some people love 7 minute eggs or even 8 minute eggs, it’s all personal preference based on your favorite tastes. As you get closer to the 10-12 minute mark, you will get more of a hard boiled egg, great for egg salad, cobb salads, or just snacking, while the softer boiled egg is great for dipping and fresh flavor. The time it takes your eggs to cook will also be affected by the size of the egg. This recipe is created around a standard, large egg. In all instances, however, you’ll want to end with an ice bath to stop the eggs from continuing to cook off the stove.
While eggs are in the ice bath, spread each toast stick with the avocado mix. Top with crumbled bacon and freshly grated parmesan cheese. Carefully crack the tops of each egg, by lightly tapping around the top of the egg. Peel back the top part of the eggshell and slice off the top of the egg white revealing the still runny yolk. Place in an egg holder. The egg holder is not completely necessary, but super fun and convenient. If you do not have an egg holder, peel the entire egg, place on a plate along with avocado toast, slice lengthwise, and fold open revealing the runny yolk. Dip toasts in nature’s delicious gooey sauce! Enjoy.