“Poached” Eggs

So here’s an idea: take an already bland-ish food and cook it by submersing it in plain hot water.  Did I miss something here?  I love eggs, but really, they need some help in the seasoning department.

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This method of poaching eggs isn’t new, and it isn’t really poaching.  True poached eggs are cracked carefully over barely simmering water and allowed to cook, then fished out gently with a slotted spoon.  The only time I ever see them served this way is for Eggs Benedict, where the eggs are placed on top of a chunk of salty ham that is resting on a buttered English muffin slice, and all of it is gloriously crowned with lemony hollandaise sauce.  See?  Seasoning.

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Using an egg poacher takes away all the need for nervous delicate handling and allows you to keep the entire egg intact.  No matter what, you will lose some of your egg to the cooking water if going the traditional route.  Better yet, an egg poacher lets you add the one thing poaching water can’t: SEASONING!  Really, there’s just no excuse for bland eggs.

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I learned this method of preparing poached eggs from my dad.  He had the timing down just right for firm whites with runny yolks, perfect for dipping pieces of toast (my sourdough bread makes excellent toast!) or bacon in.  I’m not sure whose idea it was to season them with herbs, but it was something we always did.  You really need to do it, too.

Poached Eggs Recipe

For each egg cup:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch dried herbs (good options are basil, Greek oregano, thyme, sage, and rosemary)
  • 1 blop of olive oil (roughly 1/4 tsp.)

Put water into the base of your egg poaching pan.  Use enough to cover the bottom of the pan, but not enough to cause your cups to float.  Some pans may not require it so check your gadget’s instructions.  Place cups in their holders and add everything but the eggs.  Use your finger to smear the oil and seasonings around.

Crack one egg into each cup**.  Place your pan on the stove, cover, and turn to high.  Once the water starts to boil, turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer until the eggs are done to your liking.  Keep in mind that they will continue to cook after you remove the pan from the heat.

**I usually am making other food items to eat with the eggs.  I will prepare things like bacon and toast in advance and keep them hot in the oven (about 225 F) and then do the eggs at the end as they cook very quickly.  You can prepare the eggs and then have them sit until you are finished with everything else, then start them on the stove.  This way your other food isn’t sitting in the oven too long, either.

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