Rediscover poached eggs

March 23, 2009

poachedegg

So often I forget that poached eggs are always there to help out when time is short and protein is needed. Whether you eat them on toast, with a salad or use them to top a vegetarian entrée like the curried lentils and rice pictured above, a poached egg can be a meal saver!

I think poached eggs intimidate some home cooks and I wish that weren’t so. They are actually pretty darn easy to make:

1. Fill a pot 3 to 4 inches deep with water.
2. Add 3 tbsp (45 mL) white vinegar to every 4 cups (1L) of water in the pot.
3. Do not add any salt to the water (it breaks down eggwhite).
4. Bring the water to a rolling boil.
5. Break each egg into a ramekin or small bowl.
6. Stir the water so that it is swirling and pour in each egg, adding up to six at one time.
7. Decrease the heat so that the water is just beneath the simmering point.
8. Poach the eggs for about four minutes.
9. Lift out using a slotted spoon. Press lightly with your finger. The eggs are perfect if the whites are firm and the yolks are very soft.
10. Drain on paper towel for a moment before combining with other ingredients.

See how easy that is? When’s the last time you made a poached egg?

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Try a crispy poached egg

March 26, 2008

Poached egg

I’ve long been a fan of French bistro classic salads that crown frisee lettuce with poached eggs and a warm dressing. Needless to say, I was thrilled to try the lobster salad pictured above when I was in Las Vegas a few weeks ago since it contained not only those salad elements but also lobster and lentils – two of my other favourite foods! Martin and I happened into Tableau in the Wynn Hotel around lunchtime and had a really wonderful meal. It was one of the best meals we were served in LV, to be honest.

For me the panko dusted, crispy poached egg that garnished my salad was absolutely ingenious and totally novel: light and uniformly crisp coating on the outside, creamy soft orange yolk and a firm but tender set white. It was like a crouton and an egg got married and had a salad lovin’ baby. Delish!

Although crispy poached eggs were new to me, it was only a few hours before I saw this garnish on another menu at ultra fancy Joel Robuchon. A quick Google search this morning finds these crispy little orbs of protein showing up on menus in LA (at 3 Square) and a recipe for something similar from Gourmet. I haven’t had a chance to try this technique at home yet myself but I definitely have it on my ‘to do’ list. In the meantime, I’m keeping track of how often I see crispy poached eggs (with or without panko) mentioned on menus and in recipes so that I can decide if this concept is trending up or just a blip on the food radar screen. If you’ve seen crispy poached eggs somewhere recently, please take a moment to let me know.