Tuesday, August 25, 2009

How to Poach an Egg

My husband is not a breakfast eater, but he will always go for Eggs Benedict (his favorite) or "eggs benny" as he calls it. The element of eggs benedict that can make or break the whole thing, but is also the most difficult part to get right. I had my method for poaching in a frying pan, and had even convince my friend to get rid of her egg poacher after claiming that you really could poach an egg just in water. I had recently started to doubt my egg poaching skills as I was constantly either overcooking the eggs or puncturing the yolks.

Reading Julie and Julie, I became aware that poaching an egg was a valuable skill. Considering that her book is titled "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" I thought, maybe Julia Child has a way to Master the Art of Poaching and Egg.

I was not disappointed. I followed her slightly numerous steps to a tee, of which I was skeptical, and it resulted in a perfectly poached egg. It seems tedious and as though it would be too time consuming (just going through my mental list of excuses), but really it takes the same amount of time, but works every time. So, for those of you who are doubting your egg poaching skills, want to step outside your egg poacher, or haven't tried poaching an egg before, enjoy...

STEP 1. Pick a fresh egg (freshness counts as the white will stick with the yolk better if the egg is fresh)

STEP 2. Assemble your equipment. You will need a medium sized pot of simmering water (not boiling), an egg timer, a few tablespoons of white vinegar, added to the water, a slotted spoon, a bowl of warm water (to rinse the vinegar off the eggs and help keep them warm), a cake tester or other small item to poke the egg.

STEP 3. Poke the smaller end of the egg with the cake tester without cracking the egg. Place the egg (still in shell) gently in the water and let the white set slightly for 15 seconds, remove from the water.

STEP 4. Crack the egg and quickly drop the egg into the water as close to the water as possible. Poach for 4 minutes (trust me, set the timer!)

STEP 5. Remove egg from water with the slotted spoon, and place in the water to rinse it off. It also helps keep the eggs warm , as they tend to cool off quickly.

Enjoy! (trust me on this one too, this is the best poached egg you will ever have)

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