If you thought a book about pickled and fermented stuff would be all Greek yogurt and kombucha, you might be right. But if you pick up Cultured Foods For Your Kitchen by culinary specialist and cookbook author Leda Schientaub, you’ll be presently surprised by meaty soups, hearty pastas and delicious fried stuff…all enhanced by the cultured ingredients in your pantry and fridge (or the ones you make yourself).
Did you know that the word yogurt is neither Greek nor Russian in origin but in fact Turkish? Turkish cuisine is big on strainer yogurt, aka Greek yogurt, and this style of serving eggs with yogurt goes back to the time of the Ottomans. For us it’s something a little different yet easy to put together for breakfast, with the silkiness of the poached eggs playing against the sourness of the yogurt and the garlic and smoked paprika giving your taste buds something stimulating to savor early in the day. A simple handful of fresh arugula would round out the dish, or for heartier fare you might serve it with a side of millet porridge or a couple of slices of crisp farmhouse bacon.
Make your own cultured butter for this recipe with our foolproof step-by-step technique.
- 1 cup Greek yogurt, homemade or store-bought, at room temperature
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
- large pinch of freshly ground white or black pepper
- 4 large farm fresh eggs
- 2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons cultured butter
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- pinch of cayenne (optional)
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped (optional)
- 2 tablespoons pistachios, finely chopped (optional)
- Put the yogurt in a small bowl and whisk in the garlic, salt and pepper.
- Divide the yogurt mixture between two shallow bowls or rimmer plates.
- Break an egg into each of four tea cups or small bowls and line a plate with a paper towel.
- Fill a wide shallow saucepan about two-thirds full with water.
- Bring to a boil over high heat and add the vinegar.
- Lower the heat to very low so the water is jus tbarely simmering.
- Using the straight end of a wooden spoon, stir to create a whirlpool in the water and gently add 2 of the eggs by lowering the bowls one at a time directly into the water into the center of the whirlpool and gently tipping in the eggs.
- Cook for about 3 minutes for a soft yolk, about 5 minutes for a hard yolk, creating another whirlpool around the eggs if the whites start to spread out (you'll know the eggs are ready when the white is set and the yolk starts to thicken).
- Lift the poached eggs out of the water using a slotted spoon and place on the paper towel-lined plate to drain.
- Repeat with the remaining 2 eggs.
- In a small skillet over medium heat, quickly melt the butter with the smoked paprika and cayenne, if using.
- Let it sizzle for about 1 minute, until the butter just starts to brown.
- Place 2 eggs atop the yogurt in each bowl and pour the spiced butter on top of the eggs.
- Top with a generous pinch of salt and the mint and pistachios, if using, and serve.
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