While you couldn’t get me to eat hard-boiled eggs at the point of a gun, I love them this way.
The Perfectly Poached Egg
2Tbls white vinegar. NOT flavored
3, smallish saucepans, about 2 quarts each
1 slotted spoon
Instant read thermometer
2, 3oz. shot glass-type glasses or small bowls
Put about a quart or so of water in each saucepan, add 1Tbls of vinegar to two of them. Put those two on the front burners of your stove, the 3rd pan, aka the holding pan, on a back burner.
Crack an egg into each of the two shot glasses; set aside. This, and the vinegar, will help the egg hold its shape once in the water.
Turn your heat on high. Bring the temp of the holding pan up to about 125. Turn off the heat, move it to another burner. Bring the temperature of the other two pans up to about 160 and try to hold it there.
Once at temp, use the handle end of your slotted spoon to gently swirl the water in the pans in a clockwise direction until you get a whirlpool going. Slowly slide the eggs into the center of the whirlpool. Gently, insert the same end of the spoon directly down into the water outside the whirlpool and hold it there to slow the action…the egg whites will wrap themselves around the yolks. Cool, huh?
Refill the shot glasses with the other two eggs; set aside.
Everything from this point on is relative. If you like your yolks “over easy” style, set your timer for 4 minutes. For harder yolks, a bit longer. Keep your eye on the water temperature…you don’t want a boil. Be ready to either take the pan off the heat or use ice cubes to control the temp.
When done, use the slotted spoon to gently transfer the eggs to the holding pan. Repeat with the remaining two eggs. Using this method, you can poach, and hold, as many eggs as you like. If the eggs cool too much before service, simply put them back into one of the saucepans for a bit to rewarm. When ready to serve, use the slotted spoon to remove the egg from the water. Momentarily rest the spoon itself on a clean towel to drain as much water as possible from the egg, then plate.
I like mine on top of a toasted, buttered English muffin. With lox, strong coffee and the Sunday paper.
How do you like yours?
Kent McDonald is a Certified Personal Chef, living and working in Phoenix, AZ.