THESE DAYS POACHED EGGS ARE SHOWING UP ON TOP OF ALL KINDS OF DISHES, ADDING HEARTINESS, FLAVOUR AND TEXTURE TO WEEKNIGHT SUPPERS AND WEEKEND LUNCHES.
With poached eggs appearing atop all kinds of dishes, we’ve jumped on the trend, transforming weeknight suppers and weekend lunches with heartiness, flavour and texture.
HOW TO POACH AN EGG
Have no fear! Poaching eggs is just a matter of knowing what to do. If you’ve never tried it before, make some for yourself a few times before attempting to serve them to a crowd. The key points are getting the white to hold together in a tidy mass and cooking until the white is set but the yolk is still liquid. The versatile poached egg can then transform any number of meals. See the recipes here. Or turn a less exciting leftover from the fridge into a new and delicious meal.
1 Bring about 3 inches (8 cm) of water and 1 tbsp (15 mL) white vinegar to a simmer in a wide pot. Working with no more than 4 eggs at a time, crack into ramekins. Turn heat to low (so there are only small bubbles rising from bottom of pan) and use a wooden spoon to swirl water around in a circle. Slip one egg at a time into the middle of the vortex you have created and poach for 4 minutes or until they have set whites but runny yolks. Remove them from pot using a slotted spoon. Dab bottom onto a paper towel to remove any excess water.
NOTE: If you want to make more than about 8 poached eggs, have a bowl of cold water handy and slip cooked eggs into it. Eggs can be held in cold water in the fridge for up to 2 days if desired. Use your fingers to pull off any stray wisps of egg white. Reheat eggs by placing in a pot of very hot water for 1 minute or until heated through. Drain or blot dry on paper towels before assembling.
POACHED EGG TIPS
Want beautiful poached eggs? Here are a few things to keep in mind.
USE FRESH EGGS! This is a perfect use for the eggs you bought at the farmers’ market. The white in a fresh egg is thicker and fully surrounds the yolk, making it easier to get a beautiful poached egg.
USE A WIDE PAN You don’t need deep water to poach eggs, but if you’re going to poach more than one at a time, you need a bit of space to allow them to keep good shape without running into each other.
ADD VINEGAR Add 1 tbsp (15 mL) white vinegar to about 3 inches (8 cm) of water. Acidifying the water helps to coagulate the proteins in the white more quickly (it’s a bit of an insurance policy against stringy bits of egg white).
REMEMBER that the more eggs you put in the pan the longer it will take to poach them (they will lower the temperature of the water).
CRACK YOUR EGGS into small individual ramekins. It’s a lot easier to slip eggs neatly into swirling water this way.
USE A STRAINER Not a necessary step by any means, but if you have a small fine strainer you can crack your egg into it and let any watery whites strain off before gently transferring it to a ramekin. This step cuts down on the wispy egg-white factor.
AND DO SWIRL THE WATER! Use a wooden spoon to swirl the water in a circle and then slip your eggs, one at a time, into the middle of the vortex you’ve created. This will encourage your raw egg to form a neat and tidy package.
IT’S EASIER to adjust the temperature of a burner quickly with a gas stove than an electric one. If you are using an electric stove you may want to shift your pot of boiling water to a turned off burner, add the eggs, and then return it to the burner you’ve turned down to a lower temperature.