Poaches eggs with feta and yogurt sauce is a Bulgarian comfort food recipe which is mostly prepared and served at home. Due to its rustic appearance this dish rarely appear on restaurant menus which leaves it largely undiscovered. It is traditionally prepared with poached eggs but I must confess, I often fry the eggs sunny side up, instead of poaching them and it tastes great as well. The combination of flavors and textures is essentially Eastern European, you have the paprika and the feta which are the most popular spice and cheese in the region as well as the slightly sour natural yogurt binding them together in a spoonful of garlicy goodness. Serve it with a lot of good bread as the sauce is the highlight of this dish.
1Tbs white vinegar
4 heaped Tbs of crumbled feta cheese
2 cups of Balkan or Greek style yogurt
2 garlic cloves crushed
pinch of white pepper
4 tsp of canola or sunflower oil
1/2 Tbs of paprika
2 tsp sea salt plus more to taste
Make the yogurt sauce: Place the yogurt in a medium bowl add the crushed garlic, 1 tsp of salt and a pinch of white pepper and mix to combine. Set aside to allow the yogurt to come to room temperature while you are poaching the eggs.
Poach the eggs: Pour approximately 2 cups of water in a medium nonstick pot and heat until it is about to boil but not quite, this is the temperature you need to maintain while poaching the eggs. Add 1 Tbs of white vinegar to the water. Crack each egg in small bowl and then gently pour them into the water. Let them cook without touching them until ready to take out. If you are a new in eggs poaching, do one egg at a time. In the beginning the egg white will spread through the water and it will look like a mess but in a few minutes the vinegar will help it coagulate and your poached egg will slowly come together. Lift the eggs gently with a slotted spoon and place 2 eggs per person in the dishes in which you be serve them.
In a small sauce pan gently heat 4 tsp of canola or sunflower oil. Add the paprika and stir for a few seconds until you can smell the aroma of the paprika. Take it off the fire and set aside. Make sure you don’t burn the paprika as it will turn bitter and unpleasant.
Assemble the dish: Sprinkle some salt over the poaches eggs. Add 1 heaped tablespoon of feta cheese per serving and cover with about half a cup of yogurt sauce. Drizzle 1 tsp of the paprika oil on top.
Serve with toasted baguette or good sourdough bread. The combination of the different temperature and textures of the warm poached eggs, covered with the feta and yogurt and topped with the hot paprika oil give a unexpected dimension to this rustic but highly satisfying for the senses meal.