Many people who know me are endlessly amused by my penchant for putting poached eggs on things. On food, to be specific. I can’t help it: once I learned how to properly poach an egg, it became the perfect topper for almost anything. Plus which, I don’t cook a ton of meat for just myself, and a poached egg on top of anything — cooked greens like spinach or chard, grains like quinoa, beans and rice, or even spaghetti (uh huh, I did that) seems to turn it into an actual meal. With protein and everything. Plus, poached eggs are happy – their bright white and creamy yellow colors are like a sunny day on top of whatever left-overs you have in the fridge!
Perfect Poached Eggs
1) Get your eggs to room temperature. A cold-from-the-fridge egg is going to lower the temp of the simmering water and screw things up.
2) Bring a sauce pan of about 4 inches of water to a simmer. What’s a simmer? Think of lively club soda. Bubbles on the bottom of the pan, but NOT a rolling boil. RESIST the urge to put an egg into boiling water … again – disaster lurks. I have heard that adding a tiny bit of vinegar helps. I’ve tried it and seen no difference. Up to you.
3) Crack an egg into a small dish (like a ramekin)
4) Once your water is simmering, gently – but somewhat quickly – pour the egg into the water.
5) Set a digital timer for 2 minutes, 15 seconds.
6) Stand back. Do not walk away. Do not stir. Just wait. Have a sip of wine. If you answer the phone, keep your eye on that timer. Reminder: do not walk away!
7) When the timer goes off, remove the egg with a slotted spoon.
8) Set atop just about anything – asparagus (clearly a favie of mine), left-over beans and rice, a salad of any type, sauteed Swiss chard, spinach, toast, roasted potatoes, spaghetti (what the hell? it was pretty good … eggs, tomato sauce, pasta – what’s not to love?)
Here’s a little montage for you: