Eggs have been on my mind lately and I’m not exactly sure why. Maybe it has something to do with the arrival of Spring and the colorful eggs of Easter traditions. It could be my admiration for the beautiful Ameraucanas chickens belonging to a neighbor. Or perhaps my preoccupation with eggs is a direct result of a recent trip to a garden center that displayed very fancy chicken coops. That got me dreaming of the day when I can have my own chickens. I found myself longing for one of those little dwellings outfitted with automatic feeders and waterers and boasting such luxuries as copper gutters. Never mind the $5,000 (well, $4,999) price tag because it comes with FOUR chickens! What a deal! Unfortunately, my husband quickly nixed my fantasy of a luxury chicken coop. And it remains to be seen if he’s volunteering to build one for us this year. So for now I will have to settle for enjoying the farm fresh eggs offered by a couple of my neighbors.
Eggs from “Easter Egger” chickens are gorgeous and they have been the subjects of many a private photo shoot at our house -the lucky little models! The photo below is enhanced via Instagram (find my photo stream here if you are interested) but these are actual eggs that have not been colored or dyed. Amazing. Beautiful.
So far I have mastered (I think) the scrambled egg, the fried egg “over-easy” and “over-medium”, and hard-boiled eggs. Next up on the agenda is poached eggs. When I was in Austin, TX recently for Paleo FX, I was able to meet up with a friend of mine for lunch at a restaurant called Perla’s Seafood and Oyster Bar. We ordered from the brunch menu which boasted a number of creative and paleo-friendly (with a little tweaking) dishes. We both chose the Crab Florentine Eggs Benedict – without the English Muffin, of course. It was delicious and ever since then I have been on a mission to recreate this dish at home. The problem is it requires the skill to successfully poach eggs and this is something I had yet to master.
In searching the internet for poaching methods I came across one that advocated swirling the water with a spatula prior to slipping in the egg. It sounded like a good idea because it supposedly creates a vortex that helps the egg white swirl into place with the yolk. Unfortunately, this method utterly failed….a few times. It’s a good thing I like eggs because I ate some really gnarly looking “poached” eggs during the trial and error and error and error stage. In spite of the epic failures, by ensuring the water remained still, the fourth time was a charm. MUCH better than the first few tries.
Here’s the basic process I used:
How to Poach an Egg
- Break eggs, one at a time, into individual small cups or ramekins.
- Heat some water, about 3 inches, in a large saucepan to almost boiling and adjust the temperature so that the water remains at a steady state of barely simmering.
- Place a small amount of white vinegar in the water. (This aids in the egg coming together.)
- Hold each small bowl close to surface of the hot/simmering water and, one by one, gently slide the egg(s) into the water. Do NOT stir.
- Cook the egg(s) for 3-5 minutes. The whites should be set and the yolk thickened with a warm center. You may choose to turn the egg over for more even cooking.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove the egg(s) and drain on a paper towel.
- Serve immediately.
My youngest boy, Nathaniel, enjoys eggs and it makes me really happy that he appreciates good food. He was definitely excited about the simple poached egg with salt and pepper on a couple of slices of fresh tomato. He’s such an adventurous eater. Next thing you know he’ll be eating duck feet. Oh wait, he already did that!
He’s looking forward to the Crab Florentine recipe yet to come. Stay tuned!
Have you had success making poached eggs? Do you use the “swirl” method or the “still water” method? Vinegar?