Winter has been dragging on, and sadly I’ve been neglecting this blog. Don’t worry, I’m still accumulating new cookbooks and advertising pamphlets, but I’ve just not been blogging. Today, though, is the first day of spring, and the first Monday of a 2 week spring break, so time for a blog post, and hopefully a few scheduled to come out in the coming days and weeks. The weather has even been springlike this past weekend. I spent yesterday afternoon shopping in Sidney, BC, and had a visit to Butchart Gardens, where the bulbs are really starting to come to life. I’ll be back again towards the end of next week, and I’m excited to see what changes a week and a half will make to the gardens.
Anyhow, back to the point of this post – poached eggs. I’ve been making poached eggs most of my life, since other than scrambled, they are my favourite way of eating eggs. My time-tested usual method involves heating some lightly salted water to a boil, and then just breaking the eggs straight into the boiling water before turning down the water and letting the eggs cook until they are nice and hard, right to the middle. I don’t like runny yolks!!
The recipe in the November 1903 edition of Cooking Club Magazine (which you may remember from Thanksgiving) has instructions for poaching eggs. Very detailed instructions that struck me as a bit over the top, but then I thought, who knows, maybe my raggedy poached eggs have been turning stomachs all this time, and I never knew, so I decided to try poaching eggs for breakfast yesterday using three different methods.
I was planning to make 4 eggs for the two of us, and so I took them out of the fridge to warm up slightly while cooking the bacon. More about the bacon in the next post. While the bacon was starting to sizzle, I filled a large sauce pan with water and turned on the burner, then poured about a tablespoon of salt into the palm of one hand, and stood there for a moment, wondering just how one “heaves” salt into a pot without making a mess,then just dumped it in. I used a glass to hold the egg while waiting to add it to the water, but I don’t think that would make a difference from using a saucer. When the water was boiling merrily, I stirred vigorously with a slotted spoon until there was a nice whirlpool effect, then slid the egg gently into the middle of the whirlpool while continuing to stir for a few seconds. The second egg I broke into a silicone egg poaching cup to poach alongside the first egg.
When they were done, I used a slotted spoon to take out the “whirled” egg, and then fumbled with the egg poaching cup, which may account for that egg looking less than perfect. Here are the stunning results below:
As you can see, the whirled egg is lopsided, but acceptable. The one poached in the silicone cup is not as nice, but I will admit that was due to clumsy removal from the pan. These two were fed to my other half, who assured me that they both seemed fine, and the appearance didn’t turn his stomach, not even the ragged one. He does have a pretty tough stomach though.
My two I cooked using my old, tried and true method. Just toss ’em in and hope for the best. The results are below:
I actually think my eggs looked better than either of the other methods! There may have been a little raggedness, but no more than the others – less, even than the poaching cup egg! – and my stomach was not turned at all!! They were delicious, and looked perfectly presentable despite no whirling at all.
I think that unless I find an even weirder method to poach an egg, I’m just going to stick to my old method. What’s your favourite way to cook an egg?