Cucina Pasta-bilities - Gourmet Utensils: Poacher Alternatives December 28 2016, 0 Comments

Poached eggs are a delicious, simple, but elegant dish. The eggs are cooked in low heat water (lower than simmering) until the egg white is solidified, but the yolk is still runny. These can be used in Eggs Benedict, Eggs Florentine, or the Middle Eastern Shakshuka made with a spicy tomato sauce.Poached Eggs breakfast

Traditionally, the egg is cracked into a cup or bowl then gently slid into a pan of water at just under simmering heat. A difficulty with this method is keeping the egg white from spreading all over the pan. One method to minimize this is to swirl a vortex into the almost-simmering water just before placing the egg in the water. However, there are different tools such as special pans or cups  that would be a great addition to any gourmet kitchen.

Alternatives:

Now you don’t really need a special pan or cups to get perfectly poached eggs. You can achieve the same results with individual custard cups or ramekins, biscuit cutters, cookie cutters (think themed breakfasts like heart cookie cutters for Valentine’s Day), or even mason jar lids. Follow the instructions below to get started on your elegantly gourmet breakfasts!

Instructions:

  • Fill a saucepan about 2/3 full with water and bring to a boil.
  • Turn the heat down and let the water relax into a brisk simmer. You should see bubbles coming up to the surface, but it won't be rolling. (It's easier and quicker to control the simmer if you bring it to a boil first, then reduce the heat rather than trying to get it to the perfect simmer from the get-go.)
  • Crack the egg into a small measuring cup, preferably one with a long handle. This will help you ease the egg into the water. Tip: To help your eggs retain shape, submerge the ramekins, cookie cutter, or jar lids into the water and cook the egg inside the form. See below if you’re poaching multiple eggs.
  • If you want to poach multiple eggs at once, make sure your pan is big enough to accommodate all your eggs without crowding them; poach in batches if necessary. Crack each egg into its own measuring cup before you start and slip them into the water one after the next. Add an extra 30 seconds or so to the cooking time for each extra egg.
  • The final cooking time for a poached egg is very much up to you, and it depends on how well you like your eggs done and how hot the water is. But 4 minutes, give or take, in lightly simmering water, will give you a firm white and a gooey but still runny yolk.
  • Remove the egg from the water using a slotted spoon.
  • Optional: pat the egg dry lightly with a paper towel.
  • Enjoy with toast, on a salad, or however strikes your fancy!