Monday, March 26, 2012

Perfect Poached Eggs

In our house, I do most of the cooking. It's not that T-rav isn't willing, just that I enjoy cooking, and more specifically, eating the things I make. Our cuisine is generally much simpler (and less full of vegetables--he calls it an obsession, I call it healthy) if T-rav is in charge. But there's one thing, however, where T-rav reigns supreme: poached eggs. Growing up, my mom used to feed us poached eggs when we were sick. Poached eggs on soggy white toast. It wasn't until I got married that I ever ate a poached egg just because; they quickly went from being "sick" food to becoming breakfast, lunch, and sometimes dinner.
The trick to a perfect poached egg is three-fold. First, and most importantly, you must not pour the egg into boiling or bubbling water, or you'll end up with a weird, separated, snot-like white with a teeny weeny ball of yolk. Yuck! You want the water to be simmering but not have any sizable bubbles yet. Second, it's very helpful to let the egg hang out in some white vinegar before cooking it. This tightens the white so it's less likely to spread out while poaching. You can skip this step (T-rav usually does), but your egg will look prettier if do it. And third, well, this third point may be a little trickier for most of you. The Best Poached Egg I ever ever ate was one that was cooked literally 5 minutes after being laid by my lovely hen Roger. The egg poached to a buttery perfection with a thick, bright, orangey "barnyard" was heavenly.

If you aren't lucky enough to have your own chickens and fresh eggs, make sure your eggs are fresh: if the egg (with the shell) drops to the bottom of a bowl full of water, it's fresh. If it floats in the middle of the bowl but stays submerged, it's ok, but not optimal. If it floats, they're really really old, and you might want to consider cleaning out your fridge a little more often. ;)

Perfect Poached Eggs
Recipe by Kelly (+T-rav)
Picture by Kelly

Serves 1-2

1/2 cup white vinegar
2 large eggs

  1. Fill a medium saucepan with water and turn on high heat.
  2. Pour 1/4 cup white vinegar into 2 small bowls and crack 1 egg into each bowl, being careful not to break the yolk. Let stand while water heats up.
  3. Just before the water starts to boil (before you see large bubbles) gently pour the egg and vinegar into the water. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 2 minutes (longer for firm yolk and shorter for runnier yolk). 
  4. Using a slotted spoon, gently lift egg from water and place on a plate lined with paper towels; gently blot and trim any stringy bits of white. Season with salt and pepper and serve over buttered toast. 


Caroline said...

I enjoyed a couple of poached eggs on toast for breakfast yesterday. They were GOOD! Thanks!

Kate and Peter Lowe said...

Oh Roger. Can you believe I have yet to Poach eggs. I get 6 a day and still haven't done it. THANK YOU for this post {and Roger might I add}. Breakfast will be delicious tomorrow- 5 minutes after dear Roger lays me an egg.

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