If you love poached eggs, but you've written them off as something to be ordered in restaurants, it's time to reconsider the possibility of making them on your own at home — and given that today's National Eggs Benedict Day, there's no moment like the present. To master this basic kitchen technique, all you need are three pantry staples. Watch the two-minute tutorial to learn the key to perfectly poached eggs, every time.
Poaching may sound like an advanced technique, but it is actually nothing more than gently simmering food in liquid until it is cooked through. Poaching lends itself best to delicate ingredients that risk falling apart or drying out at high heats. Foods such as fish, chicken, eggs, and fruit poach beautifully; the low heat, kept between 140° to 180° Fahrenheit, preserves flavor, allowing for an incredibly tender and tasty result. Never allow the liquid to reach a rolling boil; rather, keep a watchful eye to make sure small bubbles form as the food gently simmers to perfection.
Poaching an ingredient doesn't require too much liquid — just enough to cover the ingredients.
A few ideal poaching liquids include water, milk, stock, or wine (my personal favorite). Depending on what I'm making I like to add whole spices to flavor the liquid, like bay leaf or peppercorns with salmon poached in white wine. What's your favorite thing to poach? Do you have any tried-and-true poaching recipes or tips?
My best friend was in town from Los Angeles over the weekend, and one of the first things she did when she saw me was to proudly proclaim that she had set a cooking goal for herself. "I love poached eggs at brunch, so it's time I learned how to make them at home," she said. Instead of going out on Sunday, we stayed home and made poached eggs with blender hollandaise and prosciutto. For some reason, poached eggs developed a reputation for being difficult to make, but really, the process is easier than waiting in line at a popular city brunch spot. See step-by-step photos when you keep reading.
When we asked you what your culinary resolutions for 2010 were, Filmgirl81 said that she hopes to "cook more fish" because it's way "cheaper to make at home and very healthy." I couldn't agree with her more, and that's why I found this delectable-sounding poached halibut recipe. Thick fillets are simmered in a light liquid of white wine and water. Red bell peppers provide a pop of color and permeate the dish with a subtly sweet flavor. The resulting fish is flaky and moist. For a midweek pick-me-up, serve with mixed greens lightly dressed with dijon vinaigrette and a glass of the leftover white wine. Look at the simple but satisfying recipe after the jump.
It's no secret, I love eggs. I've perfected my fried egg and my hard and soft boiled, but I'm still working on my poached egg. I've read all the tips (and there are a lot of them, a bunch of conflicting points of view as well) and can make a pretty decent egg, even if it does look ragged. Last night I thought I'd give poaching another try (so much healthier than fried eggs) and have a poached egg on top of cut up toast, sliced tomatoes and parmesan cheese. Here's how I went about doing it:
- Fill a skillet nearly full of water (at least one inch so to cover the egg completely.
- Add a pinch (approximately 1 tsp) of salt and about 1 tbsp of white vinegar (this is to help prevent the "feathered" edges).
- Heat on hight until water is boiling. Meanwhile crack egg into a small cup (like a handled cup measure).
- When water is boiled, lower the lip of the cup into the water and slide eggs into boiling water. Remove from heat and cover for 4 minutes. I personally like it when the yolk is super runny, so I stop when the yolk is not completely milked over (about 3 minutes).
- Gently remove from pan with a slotted spoon.
This time it came out okay. I could always trim the ragged edges off (which is recommended by many cookbooks), however it was just dinner for me, so there was no need.
Have you ever made poached eggs? What are your tips? Tell us below!