Thursday, 12 March 2015

Poached eggs, chard and pancetta on toast

Ask me about how I feel about the Husband travelling.

Go on. 

I'll shrug, perhaps give you a wry smile, say something like "Well, to be honest I get twitchy if he hasn't been away for a couple of weeks"

A hang over from the fact that we pretty much had a long distance relationship from the day we met, perhaps, that he was often away for weeks, or, even, months at a time, so I was just used to it. I'd miss him, but it was OK. 

The fact is that whatever I say, these days, when he goes away, it's not OK. I miss him, the kids miss him, even the dog misses him. Things always seem to happen the weeks he's away. Busier than normal after school schedules, a car needing to go to the garage, admin to deal with. And then on top of the general busy-ness, we're trying to fit phone calls or facetime in - usually before school & work at the same time as we're finding PE kits and assembling packed lunches - so that we can stay in touch.

Whereas before I could use the opportunity to watch trashy TV too late into the evening, these days, I'm competing with Blue, his new found assertiveness over bed time, and his desire to watch such gems as Top Gear (the irony of mentioning this yet keeping my counsel as to recent events when everyone else has an opinion is not lost on me) or - worse - Extreme Fishing with Robson Green. What is it with 11 year old boys??

He's been away this week, the Husband, and, as usual, it's been a busy one. I feel like I've barely caught breathe let alone eat properly: this week has mostly been a tale of toast for me (not the kids, of course). Sometimes I think that if you got me on the right (or wrong, depending on your point of view) day and asked me what I'd choose for my final meal, it would be toast. Sourdough for preference, spread generously with salted Welsh butter and marmalade. Or perhaps some marmite. Peanut butter and avocado (yes, really. Don't knock it till you've tried it). Mushrooms sauteed in butter. 

This evening, though, I managed something more approximating a proper meal, and truly, this is on the list of possible last suppers. And so what if I didn't get to sit down with it till 9, having chased the 11 year old up to bed. This week's veg box revealed a lush bag of 'bright lights' chard leaves, slices of pancetta - and a free range egg on top. Nothing more than a slice of buttered toast underneath and a grind of pepper on top and you have a meal fit for a king, queen, or knackered working mother. And no, the toast wasn't sourdough, but it was still mighty fine.

This isn't a real recipe, more an exercise in timing; an assembly job - steam the chard, fry the bacon, poach the egg, toast the bread and serve. The perfect meal for a multitasker juggling kids, dogs and day to day life... You can of course use spinach for this instead of chard, and bacon instead of pancetta. One egg or two, it makes no odds, but I insist on free range, soft and poached.

Poached Eggs, Chard & Pancetta on Toast

A couple of handfuls of chard (or spinach), any big stalks separated and roughly chopped
2-3 pieces of streaky bacon or pancetta
1 or 2 organic free range eggs
1 or 2 slices of bread of your choice and butter, ditto

Start off with the chopped stalks in a steamer. Steam for a couple of minutes before chucking in the leaves.

Heat a small non-stick frying pan and start frying the bacon.

Boil a kettle and fill a small saucepan or frying pan. Bring the water back up to the boil and pop the toast on.

Crack the egg (or eggs) into the boiling water and poach for 3-4 minutes till cooked but with the yolk still soft.

When the bacon is cooked to your liking, remove from the heat and drain on kitchen paper. Set aside.

Butter the toast, squeeze the chard to get rid of excess water and pile on to the toast. Top with the egg(s) and add the bacon to the plate. Finish with a grind of black pepper and some peace and quiet.

I'm submitting this to the lovely Dom's new linky, Simply Eggcellent - a great celebration of eggs on the Belleau Kitchen blog.


  1. It is clearly the perfect comfort food and happens to be stupidly healthy. I'd happily pop my clogs after eating this! Beautifully eloquent post. I miss your husband now! Thanks for entering into the Simply Eggcellent linkup. X

    1. :-) don't miss him too much for me - he's home tonight!

  2. That sounds delicious. Mr R is also away quite a bit, and happens to pick weeks when something happens - do you think they know? My secret love is for simple suppers when he's away though, beans on toast, fishfinger sandwiches etc. all the good stuff! :D


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