August 17, 2007

Egg Poaching - "How to"

What exactly is a poached egg? you ask.
Have you ever had Eggs Benedict? - its a poached egg served with bacon and an English muffin. layman terms; poaching an egg is to cook an egg without its shell in boiling water.

How do you do that? you wonder... isn't as complicated as it sounds.

We often spot perfectly poached eggs at fancy breakfast places, neatly positioned on crisp slices of toasts. Perfectly circular and sprinkled with a beautiful dusting of salt and cracked pepper.
You'd think; of course breakfast kitchen staff have special utensils to aid them in making these flawlessly shaped poached gems! That is true...but can you make these yourself at home?
I didn't think so...until I tried it out myself!

Egg poaching is marvelous! No oil; perfect eggy-flavour...etc..etc...
Requires a fair bit of practice and skill...but I got it at my second go.
What's a good poached egg then?
Well...most would agree; the 'perfect' poached egg has a runny 1/2 cooked yolk, a thin white protective eggwhite crust over the yolk and no raw white remaining around the rim. This might seem a little hard to achieve while you picture yourself breaking a raw egg into a pan of boiling water...but trust'll work!.....eventually...*laughs*
*shrug* It worked well for me..and I'm no skilled chef!~ You don't waste much...i screwed one up; and still ate it! Not very pretty...but yummy none-the-less!

I wish I could have taken more pictures while I was making the eggs on the stove. But being double armed, stressed, excited and was quite hard to maneuver the camera over the pan. I hope my explanations are details enough though.

2 eggs
3 tsp salt
1 medium sized deep thick based pan

enough boiling water to come up 3/4 of the pan
vinegar (optional)-some believe dropping a couple drops of white vinegar helps with firming up the egg whites; but I feel it just ruins the taste

Fill up the pan with the boiling water and turn the heat on to high to create a boil. Lower the heat to a fair simmer and swirl the water around the pan to create a tiny whirlpool in the center. Not too vigorous though; just a smooth flowing circular motion in the water.

Crack the eggs into a small saucer and slip the eggs in one at a time into the center of the whirlpool. Some of the egg whites will go crazy and start flaring up all over the place at this point; but calm will loose some...but you have plenty left! *laughs*
just allow the egg to sit pretty in the hot water until the whites around it begin to firm and a tiny film of white covers the yolk to form a firm crust.

At this point; remove the egg VERY gently with a slotted spoon and gently tap out the excess water from the egg. You can use a paper towel to drain out the water like I did; but I wouldn't do that again....its too risky! The eggs are too fragile to be moved from one plate to the other. I'd just plate them straight out of the pan if I can get most of the moisture out next time.
Serve with hot toast, a thin slice of good butter and sprinkle on some salt and pepper!

Pop the yolk...dip in the crusty bread....Oh breakfast ever!!!!!

*sigh* pictures are making me crave eggs right now!


Anonymous said...

I love you. Looks SO good! Need to make me some, right now <3

Graeme said...

Beautiful. Known affectionately as "Egg porn" if I'm not mistaken?

Susie said...

I hope this comment goes through this time *crosses fingers* and if it did before I apologize for the double comment and feel free to delete one.
The perfect poached egg still eludes me and this post is inspiring me to try again. And yes, best breakfast ever! Your blog is awesome.

daphne said...

oh so yummy! I'm going to try poaching a egg fairly soon I think. You have a great blog! It's an inspiration.

Katherine said...

my god... its 3 50am here and being a big egg lover, this entry is driving me crazy totally!!! look at how the yolk is flowing out! omg!!!! XD

Ria said...

oh no! you left off the most important part [in my opinion] of eggs benedict! the hollandaise sauce is a premier part of the dish. i don't like eggs, i LOVE cooking them though, oddly enough. when i make eggs benedict for my fams, i poach their eggs, but just have the muffin, canadian bacon and hollandaise sauce for myself. =)

Ali-K said...

Well done! I just figured out how to poach eggs too. I don't actually eat eggs but wanted to cook them for my boyfriend...he has previously failed miserably at poaching. I used a shallow fry pan so you can get the egg nice and close to the water. I had the water boiling then took it off the heat, added the egg and put on the lid. There must be so many ways to do it.

lyn said...

hey just a little tip for this
get some cling wrap and make it into a little bag.. drop the egg in and tie it up
then put in the boiling water..
it helps from losing so much of the egg and retains the shape.. =)

Su-Yin said...

They were certainly yum...thanks guys for all the great new ideas on making does seem alot easier with the clingwrap and shallowpan idea.

Ria: I intially intended to do eggs benedict..but decided to save the fuss and just make the eggs...I love poached eggs on their own..only the fres tasty ones of course ;)I might make one with the full on muffin, bacon and sauce one of these mornings...maybe when i'm not too lazy :P hehe

The ArchiCook said...

Love the eggs! I wonder why would people not like or not eat them! No offence! Just one thing Su, don't toast the bread so much, though they taste better, it's not good for health... lol. Sorry if that is lame. Still love the eggs and your blog! >.<

Esther said...

I made poached eggs two nights ago with much success too. And I didn't use vinegar either. Also, guess what? Cos I don't have a slotted spoon, I used a potato masher - cos its has holes - to get the egg out and it worked!! Haha!

I had my poached egg over tomato-based ham pasta.

Love your blog. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear.. I tried and failed.. :( my egg white are all scattered and I've to eat it like a half-boil egg.. Urs look so wholesome..

I guess I'll just try again another time...

Anonymous said...

Hi Su,

Thank you so much for getting this out there for others to try. I have always loved poached eggs. I'd like to share a little something my wonderful Mother shared with me. Instead of water to poach the eggs, use just enough milk to cover the egg/eggs in a small pan. Bring it to a simmer, then proceed with your instructions. The only thing is, now you get to use all of the egg/eggs, and you can use the warm sweet milk as a "poor man's" Hollandaise! Toast your bread or English muffin, butter it, put your eggs on top, and then the warm milk. If you want Canadian bacon, or ham, or even sausage or bacon, go ahead! You may even want to put a slice of whatever kind of cheese might suit your taste (or even grate some of your fav cheese). Sprinkle with salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste. Oh wow - YUM! I think this came from when she was a child of the Great Depression and "milk toast" was a delicacy. I hope some of your readers will try this. It's too good not to share. I think I'll go fix some now. It's one of those "comfort" foods.