Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Daring Cooks #15 The art of... poaching!

Jenn and Jill have challenged The Daring Cooks to learn to perfect the technique of poaching an egg. They chose Eggs Benedict recipe from Alton Brown, Oeufs en Meurette from Cooking with Wine by Anne Willan, and Homemade Sundried Tomato & Pine Nut Seitan Sausages (poached) courtesy of Trudy of Veggie num num.

First few handy tips passed on by this month's hosts.

So that poaching an egg can be a success:

• Make sure to use the freshest eggs possible. Farm-fresh eggs will make for the best poached eggs. Old eggs will have a harder time with the whites spreading out all over the place when you place the egg in the water.
• Adding a bit of vinegar or acidic agent to your water will help stabilize the eggs and cook the whites faster, and keeping your water just below boiling point (about 190F) will help keep the fragile eggs from all the boiling bubble action rupturing the eggs. Also make sure to salt your poaching water well.
• The other main key to success is to crack your egg into a small bowl first, taking care not to break the yolk. Then it becomes easy to gently slide the entire egg into the water for the poaching process. Some people will also suggest swirling the poaching liquid into a bit of a vortex before sliding the egg in, in order to help keep the egg whites together. I’ve found it works fine whether or not you do this step.
• A poached egg is done when the whites are fully cooked and the yolk has just started to solidify but is still runny when you cut it open – usually three minutes. It’s ok to go a little longer though depending on your desired firmness. I like mine so the edges of yolks are cooking but the inside is still runny, so I usually let them go 30s longer.
• You can poach eggs ahead of time (about a day). Just immerse them in ice water after poaching, and then keep them in a bowl of water in the fridge. When you are ready to use them, place them in hot (not boiling) water until they are warmed through.

I've decided to make poached egg on toast with some tomatoes, lettuce and cheese - exactly the way my Hubby used to make it for me when I was popping home for lunch. This time I made one for him :) It's nice and I love all the different textures - crunchy toast and wobbly poached egg :)

How to make it...

- slice of toasted bread of your choice
- 1 tomato, sliced
- 1 poached egg
- few lettuce leaves
- few slices of your favourite hard cheese (I used cheddar) or grated one (I used Parmesan)
- salt, pepper
Put the toast in the centre of your plate. Arrange lettuce, sliced tomato, slices of cheese as you wish, on top place carefully your poached egg (poaching instructions above). Sprinkle with some salt, pepper and enjoy! :)

My first egg came out as it should be. Nice fluffy white and soft yolk in the centre, but... the second attempt was somewhat weird... To my pure shock (and amusement) the yolk separated from the white! So I had white on one spoon and yolk on the other one!!! Is that even possible? :P You can see it on the photo above - as the yolk sits on top(!) of the white, I placed it like that ;) World of cooking is... magic :D



  1. wow "magic" indeed! Honestly I have never seen the yolk and white separate like that before. Very interesting! Your open-faced lunch sounds fantastic - great job with this month's challenge!

  2. This dish looks divine! A must try. And I love the separated yolk! The chicken must have laid that egg with the intention of it going to a dieter who only eats egg whites. :)

  3. I love that you made the dish for your husband just as he used to make it for you - makes the challenge just a little more special! :) How bizarre that that second egg separated like that??? Looks really tasty, though! Great job!

  4. hehehe Now there's an idea! I hate slimy whites of the egg.. so I could separate my eggs and just poach the yolks like your egg decided to do! hehehee!

    Your open-face sammich looks DELISH! I want to go home for lunch and have the same thing RIGHT NOW! :D


  5. Looks so light topping a salad, love it!

  6. Excellent save on the 2-piece egg! We got some pretty ugly eggs through this challenge (and historically a whole lot more) but have never been able to separate them like you have. Well done, perhaps?

    A nice simple sandwich we'll have to try and remember. Thanks!

    Stay JOLLY!

  7. That sandwich looks amazing, and it's what I want to eat for lunch right now! I had an egg that did that magic trick a bit too, but not as much as yours. I thought it was because it wasn't super fresh, but I have no idea. I ate it anyway and it was delicious.

  8. Add bacon and another piece of bread and you have one of my all time favorite sandwiches ever.

  9. What a cool sandwich! I'm a huge fan of egg/tomato combos, so this looks just amazing. Great job!

  10. Yummmi ! This sandwich is so beautifull !

  11. Delicious! My older daughter loves poached eggs. We serve pouched eggs sometimes on noodle soup. Also, delicous on salads. Personally, I like red wine vinegar in my water. But my husband likes with chicken boullion in the water. Great idea for lunch.


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Pozdrawiam, Anula.