Monday, May 3, 2010

poached eggs

a few years ago i don't think i'd even heard of poached eggs. the word 'poach' didn't really seem appetizing in the least and made me think of hunting or poking or something unrelated to good eating. and then i discovered them through eggs benedict. (undeniably one of the top 3 breakfasts there are. the other 2? pancakes. and roti prata.) but i would only eat poached eggs in a restaurant, 'cuz those people know what they're doing. me? either fearful to mess it up or just too impatient to eat breakfast to even bother trying.

but over the last few months i've decided to give it a shot. the first time was a bit messy, and we ended up using metal poaching dishes and consequently overcooked them. the second time wasn't half bad, but still messy and the resulting eggs were ugly and the whites were undercooked. this last time, however, i followed some good advice and not only did the egg turn out perfectly in a perfect shape, but it was super quick too (unlike past experiences). apparently a good trick to keeping a good shape is to stir the water around (a 'whirlpool' of sorts) right before you slide your egg in. the swirling seems to keep the egg together instead of having a rattail hanging off your egg. ew.

for a good rundown of how to poach eggs, check out smitten kitchen's post.
but i'll give the basics as i know it:

1. heat a few inches of water in a saucepan or pot. with a tablespoon of vinegar. the vinegar helps the whites coagulate. (gotta love the word coagulate) you don't want it to be boiling excessively, but you want a few tiny bubbles for sure.
2. crack your egg into a separate bowl or cup or dish or something.
3. stir the water so it is swirling. and slide the egg inside the water. you can also use a spoon to kind of 'push' the egg together if that makes sense. you'll get what i mean when you practice this whole poaching thing.
4. after a few minutes (3-5?) remove the egg with a slotted spoon. you want the white to be solid, but the yolk to be runny, so you kind of have to guess when its ready.

isn't it pretty? :)


*i apologise for the crusted yolk in my photo - not the most appetizing. but it really was delicious. next time i need to be quicker with the photo taking. stupid oxygen.

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