How To: Poach An Egg

I have an obsession with poached eggs (or oeufs poches as Julia Child likes to say).  The soft, white protein and the runny yolk minus all the grease that frying adds makes it perfect by itself or on top of warm toast. With the right tools, a poached egg can add a little pizzaz to your morning.

slotted spoon
paper towels

fresh eggs
1Tsp. white vinegar or red wine vinegar.  Because I refuse to take out my measuring spoons to add more dishes to wash I just add a splash of vinegar enough to make a "ploop" sound.

1. In a sauce pan, bring about 3 inches of water (enough to cover the egg) to a simmer, not a boil.
2. Add the vinegar to the simmering water. This helps keep the proteins of the egg together once you drop them in so that you don't end up with egg drop soup.
3. Crack the egg into a bowl for two reasons: to check for a bad egg, and to gain control of the drop into the simmering water.  Very fresh eggs have tighter proteins and the whites will stay together when dropped into the water.
4. Slowly slip the egg into the water. Once in the water, gently scoot the whites over the yolk with your spoon for a few seconds.
If you are cooking more than one, repeat steps 3 and 4 for each egg.  Make sure the water stays at a low simmer.

5. For a runny yolk and firm white simmer for 4 minutes.  For a firmer yolk, simmer for 5 minutes.  You can check the doneness of the yolk by carefully picking up the egg with a slotted spoon and gently pressing the yolk with your finger.

6. Drain the egg on a paper towel.  No one likes vinegary, watery eggs.  You could even place the eggs in a bowl of cold water to completely rinse off the vinegar and to stop the cooking process.  Patting it with a paper towel is enough for me.

As complicated as it seems, it's all very simple.  Try it a few times and soon you'll become a pro.  I like to simply enjoy mine in a small bowl sprinkled with s+p and with toast for dipping into the rich yolk.

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