How To: Make Poached Egg

IMG_7722

Have I ever confessed to you about my love for egg dishes in all shapes and forms?

I’ve always dreamed of hosting a brunch party, serving up a delectable spread of breakfast baked goods, homemade jams and preserves, and hot egg dishes like fluffy omelets and scrambled eggs. That plan has not yet materialized because of one pretty major problem: I’m not good at cooking eggs. Which explains why there is not a single egg dish on here.

Although I’m not good at making fancy egg dishes, I am proud to say that I can make a poached egg without fail, every time. The only hitch thus far has been that it took me about ten tries to figure out how to cook it properly and consistently. Those trial runs, my friend, are totally worth it because I nailed it on the eleventh try. And the twelfth. And every single time since then! The white is cooked just enough so that the center is warm and still runny when you poke your fork into it as you eat. I love to put a poached egg on anything and everything: potato hash, pasta, roasted asparagus, or simply a piece of toast.

IMG_7732

I think it goes without saying that- in my opinion- this is the easiest egg dish to make. Yes, you read my mind.

Okay, let’s begin, shall we?

IMG_7708

Fill a pot with water until it comes up to about three-quarter of the way. Add a teaspoon of white vinegar (it helps the egg white coagulate). Let it come to a full boil.

IMG_7705

Crack an egg into a small bowl as you wait for the water to boil. I like to use jumbo-sized eggs because of the egg white to yolk ratio. And the more egg whites, the lower likelihood that your poached egg will break when it is being transferred from the pot, to the plate, and to your mouth. In that order.

IMG_7709

Once it does, lower the heat to a bare simmer until all of the bubbles subside and gently pour the egg into the water. You want to do it slowly so that the egg white gathers around the yolk as it is submerged in the water. At this point, the egg should be floating in the water. If it is sticking to the bottom of the pan, your pan is either too shallow for poaching eggs, or you need to fill the pot with more water, or both (unfortunately).

Set the timer for four minutes and wait patiently. Patience is the key here. Don’t poke or prod it! Just wait and let it do its thing.

IMG_7712

When the time is up, remove the egg with a slotted spoon and place it on a paper towel to soak up the excess moisture. Trim the loose bits and pieces of egg white (totally optional, I do it just because of my crazy perfectionist tendencies), transfer it to the serving plate, and top it with some salt and pepper. Or hollandaise sauce if you’re in the mood for Eggs Benedict.

IMG_7714

Finally, poke into your perfectly poached egg with a fork and admire the runny yolk as it seeps into the bread and onto your plate. And then take out your phone to Instagram it. Just joking. Go ahead, dig in, and enjoy!

IMG_7725

*Some instructions will tell you to heat the water until it reaches a simmer, but since “simmer” covers a wide range of temperature, the best way for me to gauge whether it is simmering is to bring it to a boil, and then turn the heat down so that it is no longer boiling.

*I don’t use the whirlpool method because I’m a bit accident-prone, especially when I’m told to stir hot water vigorously into a fury.

*In case you want to make it for a group of people, you can keep a bowl of hot (not boiling) water nearby to keep the poached eggs in until you’re ready to serve.

*The egg I used here was directly from the refrigerator, so it took four minutes of cooking. If you’re poaching an egg that is at room temperature, it should take you less than four minutes. Also, if you’re using a smaller egg, your cooking time should be shortened as well.

Advertisements

Holiday in Pictures

I hope you’ve all had a fantastic Christmas and have fun plans for tonight to kick off the new year!  Before I head out to celebrate, I want to share with you a couple of photos I snapped this holiday season:

Counting down to Christmas with an edible advent calendar

IMG_7045
A house in my parents’ neighborhood.  All.  Decked.  Out.
IMG_7049
That might be an understatement, because there were more displays in the back.  They even gave Santa a bedroom!
IMG_7052
Holiday train exhibit at Grand Central Transit Museum
IMG_7038
The Tree at Rockefeller Center
IMG_6534
We attempted to take a couple (okay, a lot) of Christmas lights bokeh photos, and this was the best one (though not perfect) with the Rockefeller tree in the back.
IMG_6465
IMG_7220
My favorite scene at the Radio City Christmas Spectacular: Rockettes as toy soldiers!
IMG_6352
IMG_6426
IMG_6398
IMG_6404
All in all, 2012 has been a wonderful year, and I can’t wait to see what 2013 has in store!  Until then, happy cooking!

‘Tis the Season!

I hope you had an enjoyable Thanksgiving weekend filled with family, friends, delicious foods, and plenty of relaxation (post-turkey coma? check)  Mine certainly included all of those!

Last week, Deb hosted a pre-Thanksgiving potluck with a couple of friends visiting from California.  Everyone brought such yummy dishes to share and to eat, and so it was a huge success!  I wish I had taken pictures of everything I ate, but I was too busy piling things on my plate and subsequently polishing off all those delicious foods.  Turkey, seafood salad, stuffing, mashed potatoes, beef and mushroom rolls, vegetable casserole….

Let’s be honest, Turkey Day is not the time to eat moderately and responsibly.  Lounging in stretchy pants is the way to go!

I’m not a fan of thickened pan gravy, so I made a red wine reduction with turkey drippings.  

We ended the night with an amazing s’mores cake and a variety of bite-sized cupcakes.  They’re so small that you can probably convince yourself that they’re guilt-free.

You see, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows in my kitchen.  Behind those beautifully-plated, delicious-looking foods, there are plenty of recipe fails and kitchen disasters.  Sometimes, my potato pancakes turn out to be gummy,  inedible globs.  Sometimes, the kitchen towel catches on fire.

And sometimes, things break.

As I was scurrying back and forth an hour before the potluck, a pot lid slipped from the stove where I had precariously left it and broke into a million pieces!  Accidents happen in real life.  Thankfully, I handled the mess with poise and resumed cooking.  Disclaimer: no human beings were harmed in the preparation of this meal.

On Thanksgiving Day, I spent time with my family and relatives in New Jersey, and later headed to my friend Tom’s for a second meal with his family.  Tom’s mom served a wonderful spread of delectable dishes, which included a cranberry sauce flavored with orange blossom water.  I love its delicate, floral note!  Remember this cranberry sauce?  Instead of using orange juice and orange peel, I urge you to try adding a splash of orange blossom water instead.  You’d be surprised at the difference it makes!

And let’s not forget about the pie!  The apple pie was served with scoops of homemade French vanilla ice cream.  Tom raves about this particular ice cream flavor all the time and I never understand what it’s all about.  But now I do!  It is creamy and rich with the flavors of Tahitian vanilla.  So special and so addicting.  I may or may not have had seconds…

What about you?  What are some of the delicious things you’ve eaten this Thanksgiving?