Tuesday, August 18, 2009
First off, I must apologize for the lack of (a) the promised new feature last Friday and (b) no new Smoothie Sunday this week. Plus, I like to sometimes post something in addition to Windy City Cooking on Mondays, and that didn't end up happening yesterday, either. I was out of town and just super-busy. I don't foresee this becoming a recurring problem, but if I think it's going to happen again, I'll try to give you all a heads-up in advance next time.
Today's post is all about poaching eggs, because I finally am feeling more confident with the process. I first attempted to poach an egg a little over a year ago, in April of 2008, when I was living in Northampton, MA. I saw this great tutorial on The Pioneer Woman Cooks and while I'm still positive it works well--TPW's recipes always have worked perfectly for me otherwise--personally, I just couldn't get it to work. The eggs would disintegrate into little wisps, and the whole thing was just kind of gross and weird-looking. I tried a few times that night, with no progress, and ended up eating the eggs benedict I was trying to make with a fried egg. Fried eggs are great, but when you're trying (and failing) to make poached eggs, they feel like poached eggs' decidedly less cool counterpart.
I've tried poaching eggs a few times since that fateful night, with varying degrees of success, but never with the degree of success that I've really wanted to achieve. Finally, though, I've figured out the method that works best for me, and I'd like to share it with you. I got this recipe from foodwishes' YouTube video on Poaching Eggs.
The poaching process sounds simple enough: bring some water to a simmer in a pan, add vinegar, slide in an egg (that you'd already cracked into a small cup or ramekin), and let cook for a few minutes, depending on how cooked you like your poached eggs.
See how the white's formed up around the yolk nicely? This, for me, was the biggest sticking point when trying to improve on my poached egg-making skills. This is also my only real deviation from the above-linked video's excellent and very useful instructions. The problem I was previously encountering in making poached eggs was that the white wouldn't form up well enough around the yolk--it would all just kind of float apart. I was getting drifting-apart eggs that resembled our current continents, but I was looking for Pangea. The solution, for me, was to add a little more vinegar than the video suggests: not just a little splash, but a nice, relatively lengthy pour. With the help of this new alteration to the recipe, my poached eggs have improved dramatically.
I'd be remiss not to mention here a couple suggestions for what to do with your poached eggs. Personally, I love poached eggs plain on a piece of toast or half a bagel. Poached eggs have such an assertive flavor and consistency that I sometimes like to enjoy it in such a simple way. A little grated cheddar and a sprinkle of cayenne help to improve the diversity of flavor in this dish with relative ease.
I got the recipe for this salad from Serious Eats, and while I wouldn't make it often, it is an extremely comforting dish to eat, and requires little effort. Crumble up some bacon, toss with greens, and top with your poached egg. I wish I could just poke through the computer screen and crack into that egg. Cutting into a poached egg is infinitely satisfying, because who doesn't love to play with their food?
Thanks for stopping by Beach City Cooking, and I'll see you all tomorrow for another edition of Wednesday Brunch. Have a great night, and stay cool!