Wednesday, January 22, 2014
THE PERFECT POACHED EGG
Before I get into that, the proof is in the pudding. Look at those two eggs in this picture. I just made (and ate) those this morning. I didn't use a form to keep them round. And those little bits you see on the eggs are not pepper. Before I made the eggs, I cooked two potatoes and diced them into a hot cast iron skillet with a little onion and browned them nicely. I also cooked up two Sweet Italian Sausages in a small non stick skillet and diced those to add to the potatoes and onions. I let them keep warm in the skillet while I made the eggs. The following method may sound terribly labor intensive. But that's only because I'm giving you so much information and detail. I made these eggs in about 5 minutes. One of the secrets to cooking eggs of any kind, is to take your time. Eggs that are cooked too fast will not render perfect eggs. Even scrambled eggs require slightly lower heat to keep them soft and fluffy, and fried eggs need lower heat to keep them from browning around the edges and getting leathery while the rest of the egg isn't cooked yet.
The first secret to making beautiful poached eggs to buy FRESH eggs. Fresh eggs have the quality of being more firm inside the shell. The yolk and the white will both stand up high. You can see how high they stand in this photo and you can see it in the cooked eggs in the photo above, too. An egg that isn't fresh will have a yolk that is relatively flat, and the white part will be flat and runny as well.
I don't always do this but this time I used the same skillet that I cooked the sausages in to make the eggs. I just added enough water to fill the skillet. The skillet is a smallish one, enough room in it to cook only two or three eggs. When I filled the skillet with the water, naturally, the water was tinted with the browning that was left in the skillet from cooking sausages. Plain water is fine too, but I wanted to cook the eggs in the sausage flavored water. If you don't have a non stick, just put a dab of butter in the bottom of the pan. It will give some aid in removing the eggs from the pan later.
So good luck making poached eggs. Forget the vinegar, forget swirling the water, forget the small saucepan. Use fresh eggs, a shallow pan with plenty of water in it, and simmering water (no bubbles). Add a little patience to let the eggs cook gently, and you'll enjoy the healthiest way to prepare a delicious egg!