Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Poached Eggs


I do this on a regular basis: at about 10 o'clock on a night before I'm going to spend the day working from home, as we're getting ready for bed, I'll turn to the husband and say, "I'm going to get up early tomorrow and go for a run."

The next morning, I'll still be languishing in bed when he comes to kiss me goodbye.

Two hours later, I'll still be languishing in bed. Probably snuggling the dog.

This morning, after going through my usual morning-run-that-is-not-a-run routine, I woke up and made myself a breakfast as if I had gone for a run.

I know. Bad.

But, see, yesterday, Dara shared Kitchen72's breaded poached eggs on Twitter. And I was fascinated. Then, I realized I've never even made a poached egg.

Ever.

So, this morning, I pulled out my trusty copy of The Joy of Cooking, and proceeded to ruin my first egg. And then, I thought I had ruined my second egg too.

The problem I was running into was that my pan was not full enough of water. Irma tells you to put 2-4 inches of water in your pan. I think my 2 inches may have been a little lacking and, despite trying to add more, my eggs were landing on the bottom of my pan. The top of the egg yolk remained glistening and yellow as the whites firmed up around the yolk.

Surely, I thought, I can save this. I took my slotted spoon and gently, gently tried to flip the egg over. The first egg had stuck firmly to the bottom of my pan. My hand jerked against it, the yolk broke and I ended up with a thorough mess. The second egg trembled, slid, and slipped over on its face. I breathed a sigh of relief and gently, gently scooped it up with the spoon and flipped it over onto my bed of shredded potatoes and green peppers.

It was tasty. Delicious, really. And if you like eggs, especially runny eggs, this is a far healthier way of cooking them than in a tablespoon of oil. But definitely more finicky.

(Will I still be saying this in a couple years if this becomes my standard egg-cooking method? Is poaching an egg something that becomes foolproof and easier the longer you do it?)

Poached Eggs




Fill a pot or a skillet with 4 inches of water. When it doubt, use more than you think you need. Bring to a boil.

Add 1 tbsp of vinegar and 1/2 tsp of salt. The vinegar will allow the egg whites to firm up and set more quickly than the yolk, which is exactly what you want.

Reduce the heat so the water is just simmering.

Break an egg into a bowl. Bring the bowl to the level of the water and gently slide the egg into the water.

Watch the whites turn magically white.

If necessary, don't be afraid to nudge the egg onto its other side in the water as the whites get firm and the yolk on top remains bright yellow.

Scoop the egg out with a slotted spoon and make sure it's well drained before serving.

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