Saturday, February 6, 2010

Poached Perfection

Well, maybe not perfection.

I was out of fruit yesterday morning. I usually have a bagel and a clementine or banana or berries for breakfast, and without fruit I knew I'd get very hungry before lunch.

So I needed a little something extra. I looked in the fridge and saw we had one organic egg left. Why not poach an egg?

I'd never done it, but I've seen it done on Food Network. And I poach chicken breasts every week for my lunch so I'm familiar with the technique.

I put water in a large sauce pan and turned the burner to seven. In about five or six minutes, I had slow simmer, the bubbles just barely rising in the liquid. I cracked the egg and dropped it in the water. Luckily, the yoke didn't break.

I then did something stupid. I forgot to turn down the heat to a little under five, as I always do when poaching chicken. By the time I realized (I was reading the paper), the water was boiling furiously. I took the pan off the ring and lowered the heat. Luckily, only part of the white had separated from the yoke.

Eventually, I got the water back to a gentle simmer. In total, I poached the egg about three to four minutes before removing it with a skimmer.

It looked a little ragged, but it was basically intact. I cut into it and it was perfect, the white fluffy, the joke just a little runny.

I have to say, there was something about the egg that was deeply satisfying. I found myself thinking about it off and on all day.

It occurred to me as well that poaching is about the healthiest way to cook an egg. One egg has just 6 percent of the recommended daily saturated fat (according to the package) and obviously if you cook it water, you are not adding fat in the form of butter or oil.

A wonderful, simple dish. I highly recommend.

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