Julia Child once offered to teach me to poach an egg. And I declined. I had my reasons; I was in labour. But I regret the opportunity missed.
I know how it's supposed to work: the steaming water, the splash of vinegar, the swirling vortex.
Nonetheless, I end up with something that looks like a supernova, surrounded by nebulae. A mess.
I daydream of smoked salmon Benedict smothered in hollandaise but all I ever achieve is a nightmare of egg strands.
So recently, I decided to try something different: learn.
I opened a big reference book and peered at it anxiously while my teens rolled their eyes.
They sighed: try YouTube. There I found a new technique, involving a fine mesh strainer. Which worked. The strainer drains off pre-straggle. And it makes egg handling easy.
That's the thing about motherhood: ut's always an education.
THE PERFECT POACHED EGG
NEED TO KNOW
|Type of dish||Quick and easy|
|Cooking time||<30 min|
|Special options||Low fat|One very fresh egg
One tablespoon vinegar (white, wine or cider: all delicious)
1. Calibrate: Fill a large saucepan with water. Add vinegar. Bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer. Lower to less than a simmer: tiny bubbles will be visible on the bottom of the pan, but none will break the surface of the water.
2. Strain: Set a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl. Crack in the egg. Gently rock the sieve back and forth - some white may seep through.
3. Poach: Lower the sieve into the water. Rock the sieve back and forth a couple of times. Tip out egg; remove sieve. Let egg poach 4 minutes, turning once with a soft spatula.
4. Drain: Use a slotted spoon to scoop out egg. Set on a clean kitchen towel to dry, briefly. Serve at once or hold in a bowl of warm water up to 30 minutes.
5. Serve: Nice on a buttered English muffin half, perhaps with a strip of smoked salmon underneath and a spoonful of hollandaise on top.
- Chicago Tribune
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