This dish is heaven on a plate. I mean, really, how could you possibly go wrong with anything involving pancetta, eggs, &/or avocados? The slow-poaching of the eggs caused the yolks & whites to become almost creamy & sauce-like. Mixed with the rich avocados, the tangy dijon mustard, & the crisp, salty bits of pancetta…. it was out of this world. This dish takes a little longer than most egg dishes, but it is well worth it.
This dish wasn’t actually made for a brunch. It was actually the product of one of those nights where you only have the energy to make dinner or go to the store, but not both. So, near the end of the work day, I thought about what I already had lying around the house, & came up with this dish. However, even though I am a big fan of breakfast-for-dinner, I think this would make a much better brunch dish.
My regular avocado toast recipe is adapted from here. I usually prefer spreading the avocado & dijonnaise mixtures on slices of a roasted garlic loaf, but white bread is what I had in the house, & the size was probably more beneficial for holding the egg, as well.
I initially thought I would just poach an egg, but then started doubting the texture, especially if the eggs over-poached at all. I remembered reading about a Japanese technique where the egg is poached slowly, over a long period, at a consistent, low heat. A little internet research led me to find out about onsen tamago. It seemed a lot of people had their own techniques, so I settled on David Chang’s recipe because, well, he’s David Chang. (If you don’t know who he is, start here, & then here.)
Near the end of the eggs’ cooking time, I started crisping the pancetta & prepared all the ingredients to assemble the final dish. Right after the eggs were done, I toasted the bread, quickly assembled the ingredients, & I couldn’t even wait to take pictures! I had to try it. Luckily I still had more eggs, as well as a little more patience, after that.
Slow-Poached Eggs & Pancetta, on Avocado Toast
Serves 2-4 (depending on how hungry you are!)
Prep Time: 10 minutes (most of the prep can be done while the eggs cook.)
Cook Time: 55 minutes
- 4 large eggs (you only NEED 4, but I recommend making a few extra, just in case***)
- 4 slices of bread (i used white, but whatever kind you prefer)
- 1/4 cup diced pancetta (or bacon) (or leave this out to make it vegetarian!)
- 2 avocados
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 4 tablespoons olive oil mayonnaise (or regular, if you prefer)
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
- EXTRA SUPPLIES: kitchen thermometer, 4 ramekins or other small cups/dishes
- In a large pot, place something at the bottom of the pot that will keep the eggs from sitting directly on the bottom. I used a small metal cooling rack, but really, anything that fits in the pot, will stay at the bottom of the pot, & is heat proof will do (chopsticks, the lid of a smaller pot, a Pyrex dish, etc.).
- Fill the pot with about 3″ of water. Position the thermometer so that it is touching the water & can be easily read. Turn the stove on low, & heat the water to 140*F. You may have to play around with the heat settings, according to your stove.
- Once the water reaches 140*, place the eggs gently in the pot, making sure they don’t rest directly on the bottom. Let the eggs cook for about 45-55 minutes (a lot of recipes say 45, but mine took closer to 55), paying attention to the thermometer to make sure the water stays approx. 140* the entire time. If it gets to cool, turn the heat up a tiny bit. If it gets too warm, add ice.
- When the eggs have about 10 minutes left, start assembling the rest of the ingredients.
- Heat a small frying pan on med heat. Once it’s heated, add the diced pancetta, stirring occasionally. Cook until the pancetta crisps & browns, & then remove the pancetta with a slotted spoon onto a plate lined with paper towels.
- Cut the avocados in half & remove the pit (the easiest way is to whack the knife firmly into the center of the pit & pull it out with the knife). Add the olive oil, lemon juice, a pinch of kosher salt & some freshly ground pepper. Mash everything, leaving the mixture a little bit chunky.
- Whisk the mayonnaise & dijon mustard together.
- Once the eggs are done, remove one egg from the pan, first to test. The best way to crack the eggs is to crack & pour each egg into a ramekin first, instead of directly onto the toast. This is because there will likely be some extra runny whites. I found they were easy to discard by gently tipping the ramekin over the sink. The main egg will stay, & the extra whites will easily run off.
- If the egg is done, turn off the pot, & start toasting the bread. If not, let them cook another 5 minutes & test again. (This is one reason to make extra eggs!***) While the bread is toasting, remove the rest of the eggs from the pot & crack them open.
- Once the toast is done, quickly assemble so the toast & eggs are still warm. Spread about a tablespoon of the dijonnaise onto each slice of toast. Then, using a fork, spread 1/4 of the avocado mixture onto each piece of toast, mashing it down gently. so the egg has a flat place to sit. GENTLY place an egg on top of the avocado mixture. (Don’t get discouraged: they break easily, another reason why to make extra!***) Sprinkle with the pancetta & a little bit of freshly ground pepper.
*** If you made have extra eggs at the end, according to many recipes, you can keep them in the fridge for a day or so, & reheat them by placing them in a bath of hot water for a minute or two.