Mr F and I spend three days away from home last week, most of the time on the road. We visited Memphis and it was the first time for me. It was a eight hour drive and traveling makes me hungry (like everything else too). We ate a lot BBQ ribs and fried chicken in Memphis and as we arrived back home I was carving for a homemade down-to-earth sandwich and to make it a whole meal I put a poached egg on it. What would the King say? Are you lonesome hungry tonight?
I love poached eggs, they are delicious and a quick fix for many dishes. I top salads, soups and sandwiches with them but never thought about how I could improve my poaching skills. Let’s face it they can look odd with their white skeins all over. A few days ago I found the answer to this problem in a cookbook. Where else?
It was Alice Waters “In the green kitchen: techniques to learn by heart”, she is well known for her restaurant “Chez Panisse” and as a member of the slow food community . A book rather for beginners with cooking hints and tips from her colleagues and friends like Thomas Keller (The French Laundry etc.), David Chang (momofuku) and Lidia Bastianich (she got a restaurant here in Kansas City Lidia’s-KC).
poaching an egg
adapted from Alice Waters “In the green kitchen: techniques to learn by heart”
In a pan bring about 6 to 8 cm / 2 to 3 inches of water to simmer, you need enough water to cover the eggs. Make sure that your pan is wide enough that the eggs won’t stick together.
Reduce the heat until the water just stopped boiling, no bubbles should break the surface. The right water temperature (70 C – 80 C / 160 F – 180 F) is tricky if the water is too cold the eggs might fall apart and if it is too hot the whites can get tough and the yolk might overcook.
Salt the water and if you like add some teaspoons of white vinegar, it helps the white to hold its shape but leave it out if you don’t like the taste of vinegar.
The trick is to cook the whole egg in the water for 10 sec (make it 30 sec if the egg is cold) that helps to let the egg white just sit a little bit and prevent it from running. After this carefully crack the egg in a cup or a ramekin and let it slip into the water by lowering the ramekin 1 cm / 1/2 inch under the water level. Let the egg cook for 3 to 5 minutes, you can check the doneness by lifting the egg with a slotted spoon and gently pressing a finger on the egg yolk. If the egg is done remove from the water and let it drain or set it on a paper towel for a few seconds. Serve immediately.