Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Perfect Poached Eggs

Poached Eggs

Poached eggs are one of my favorite foods, and sick or healthy, they always taste good.  I grew up eating them and even now, my mother makes the best poached eggs on this earth.  For much of my adult life, I’ve eaten a poached egg for breakfast, with toast, on quinoa, on mashed potatoes, on kale, alone it all its glory.

Eggs have gotten a bad wrap in the last few decades for no other reason than they contain cholesterol, which happens to be crucial for both cellular and hormonal function.  Eggs are an inexpensive source of complete protein, meaning they contain all the essential amino acids, and are rich in vitamin K, biotin, thiamine and vitamin B12, selenium and vitamin D.  In fact, eggs can also contain omega-3 fatty acids if the chickens are allowed to graze on grass instead of exclusively grain! 

Poaching eggs appears to be a skill not everyone was raised knowing and I’ve taught a few friends the art.  And it is an art.  When you try this for the first time, imagine yourself as Julia Child and don’t apologize for your broken yolks and lopsided whites. 

One trick of egg poaching is to add vinegar to the water to help congeal the whites faster.  Also, fresh eggs have a thicker white and will cover the yolk more thoroughly than older eggs with a thinner white. 

Below is how I poach eggs.  There is a different technique in almost every cookbook so try out different methods and determine what works best for you in your kitchen.

Autumn’s Poached Eggs

Most recipes require you to poach your egg in a small nonstick skillet, but since I don’t own one, I use a small saucepan.  You can poach several eggs together if needed, just add them using separate bowls.

1 T apple cider vinegar
1 egg, broken into a small bowl

1)      1.   Place enough water in a small saucepan to cover the egg by one inch.  Add the apple cider vinegar.
2)       2.   Bring water and vinegar to a boil.  Using a slotted spoon, swirl the water and gently slide the egg out   of the bowl into the water.
3)       3.  Turn down the heat to between medium and medium high so the water is just simmering but not   boiling outright.
4)       4.  I cook the egg for 2 minutes 45 seconds for a very runny yolk.  I found that setting the timer for minutes didn’t give me enough time to get the egg out of the water and it set too quickly.
5)       5.  Remove the egg from the water using a slotted spoon and let it drain for a few seconds in mid-air.
6)       6.  Serve your egg with toast or on rice or any way you like!

The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray.  2005.
On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee.  2004.
The New Best Recipe by America’s Test Kitchen.  2004.

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