Saturday, October 24, 2009

Perfect poached eggs

I've been going through some changes in my personal life and with that comes distractions, headaches, and the somewhat fun task of relocating a cat. Through this whole time I have either lost my appetite or been eating complete crap-for-you food to make myself feel better. Slowly though, I'm coming around to old habits. My ideal Saturday morning breakfast has always been the perfect poached egg, slightly runny, with buttered toast for dipping. And that's just what I made myself this morning

To poach an egg you need a shallow pan (ie. not a tall pasta pot) and even a large frying pan works. Fill it with water and put it on to boil. When it boils, turn it down to simmer and add a sprinkle of salt and a couple dashes of vinegar. Some egg poachers out there debate over the vinegar thing - but I say as long as it's not boiled in a vat of the stuff (or enough to make your eggs taste vinegary) why not use the help? The vinegar will help keep the proteins in the egg together while it cooks so you're less likely to chase a runny mess around your pan with a slotted spoon.

Once the water is going, break an egg into a shallow dish or mug. This will help avoid shells, breaking the yolk, and make pouring the egg into the water easier. Then take your spoon and swirl it around the middle of the simmering water until you get a cyclone effect. Then slide your egg into the middle of this little cyclone/tornado. The egg should swirl around and collect itself. Any loose bits can be spooned back onto the egg and re-shaped. Simmer like this until you can see the white is firm around the edges. I love a runny yolk so usually only keep it in there 4 minutes tops.

Carefully remove the egg with a slotted spoon and put on a plate. I have heard the trick of using the heal of a loaf of bread to rest the egg on so it's not soggy but that's up to yourself. Poached eggs are yummy and probably one of the healthiest ways to make an egg. Make some toast and start dipping! Now, don't you feel better?

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