Tag Archives: eggs

How to Poach an Egg

For me, a poached egg is all about the yolk. Don’t get me wrong. I’ll eat the egg whites, but even at their perfectly plump and supple best they can’t hold a candle to my precious yolks. There’s not much better – where food’s concerned – than a warm, buttery poached egg yolk oozing like a river of creamy, golden lava over baby greens or a toasted English muffin with bacon or a pile of roasted asparagus sprinkled with crispy, crumbled prosciutto. Perfection on a plate.

Here’s how to make it happen:

1. Fill a skillet or sauté pan with enough water to cover the egg, about two to three inches.

2. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer, about 200° F (tiny bubbles instead of the big, rolling bubbles that come with a boil).

3. Stir in a teaspoon or so of white vinegar to help the white set faster. (Darker vinegars will also work, but you’ll be left with a darker colored egg that tastes like your vinegar.)

4. Crack your egg (make sure it’s still cold) into a small bowl or ramekin and gently slide it into the simmering water.

5. Leave the egg alone to cook for three minutes.

6. Carefully lift the egg from the water with a slotted spoon, draining any excess water onto a paper towel.

7. Enjoy!

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How to…Boil an Egg

The most basic of culinary tasks is actually a bit more complex than you might think. For starters, the very phrase “boiling an egg” is all wrong. According to the American Egg Board (and who would kow better, right?) boiled eggs should be called “hard cooked eggs” because boiling them makes them tough and rubbery and can make the yolks turn green. Who knew?

For years, boiling eggs for me meant putting them in a pot of water and boiling them ’til the water had nearly evaporated. If I was really off my game, the sound of eggshells cracking in a dry pot would be my not so subtle signal that it might be time to turn off the heat.

So, what’s the right way to boil…err, hard cook an egg?

First, place the eggs in a pot in a single layer. Add enough water to cover the eggs by about an inch, and then bring the eggs to a boil. Cover the pot, take it off the burner and let it sit for 15 minutes. Run the eggs under cold water. Crack, peel and you’re in business with perfectly ‘hard cooked’ eggs.

Perfectly hard-cooked eggs on the left. Telltale green ring resulting from overcooking on the right.

Perfectly hard-cooked eggs on the left. Telltale green ring resulting from overcooking on the right.

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