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Jan 9, 2015

The Perfectly Poached Egg

After my last post about the Spinach and Bacon Salad with a Poached Egg on top, I had a couple of people ask me, how do you make that perfectly poached egg? You guys, poaching an egg is easier than getting into your jeans after the holidays.

So here's how I do it: 
You will need the following: a pan of simmering water, some vinegar, a whisk, a slotted spoon and an egg. (FYI ~ cold eggs poach up better than room temp eggs.)

Get your pan of water at a high simmer (almost boiling), add some regular vinegar or white wine vinegar. You don't need much, maybe a teaspoon. Crack your egg(s) into a small bowl or ramekin. (If I'm going for the super model of poached eggs, I crack it into a fine mesh strainer and let the watery white drain through, before placing it in the ramekin. Draining that off makes for more perfect edges, but I'm not always an overachiever in the egg department...)
     Use the whisk to get the water swirling like crazy and then carefully slide the egg(s) into the swirling water.
Leave them babies alone until the swirling stops.  If you get some whites or white foam floating to the surface go ahead and skim it off.

I don't move it (them) around to much, at least for the first couple of minutes. When I see they are pretty well set, I lift the egg(s) and gauge the doneness by touching it. Just poke it or pinch it gently with your finger. (Because I only have two hands I couldn't lift the egg out of the water, poke it and take a picture at the same time, so just trust me on this.)
     I like mine with the whites set firm and the yolks soft. I find it's usually easier to under poach an egg than over poach it, so I let it simmer until the white feels nice and tight and the yolk has a nice feel to it; kind of like poking your finger at yogurt or pudding. You should feel some give, but it should still feel soft, (don't poke too hard or you'll break it) about 4-5 minutes total time.

When poached to a perfect doneness the egg(s) are actually quite easy to handle without breaking. The picture below is just after it came out of the water. Keeping it real, I didn't trim any funky edges (because there weren't any) or photo shop it all perfectly round looking.
The pokey-pinch test
Eggs have got to have a little salt and pepper, so here it is all pretty.

And the real test...cut into it. 
The whites are set firm, the yolk is runny, just like I like it.

There you have it! I will tell you that practice makes perfect and a poached egg can be a delicious low calorie addition to many dishes, such as the salad above. At 70 calories it can replace a creamy dressing, which comes in at about 120+ for just 2 tablespoons worth.
      A poached egg is also a great topper on a burger and again comes in at about half the calories of a slice of cheese. Wait....that's bullshit! I like my burger with bacon and peanut butter on it.
     But if your jeans are tight from all the holiday treats, back away from the peanut brittle and Russel Stover's Chocolates and poach up an egg.

Here is a picture of a beautifully poached quails egg. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these little babies and they are only 14 calories each. If you can get your hands on some of these, try them out. Use the same method to poach, but don't attempt to crack them like a regular egg. Use a serrated knife to slice the big end off.
Poached Quails Egg with Bacon-Maple-Bourbon Jam on Toasted Sourdough


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