The Basics: Poached Eggs

Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Poached eggs, if you've never seen them made, can be quite intimidating, especially when not using the little egg-poaching cups. However, I didn't want to buy an egg poacher and I used to hate cleaning the little cups in the one at my parents house, so Paul and I had to learn how to poach eggs. Thankfully, I have a 1946 copy of The Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book! Here are photos of Paul doing the honors so I could take the photos.  He's a much more patient egg-cracker than I am and somehow manages to almost never break a yolk. That's why he's the egg-poaching master. No worries--you can be, too.*

Poaching eggs 1
1. Using a 13" covered skillet, bring salted water to a boil. It should be enough water to fill half the skillet and enough salt to be about 1/2 tablespoon per 1 quart of water. Just estimate.

2. Carefully break an egg into a saucer (be sure this is a saucer that can withstand boiling water). You need to be sure to keep the yolk in tact.  Very fresh eggs with hold together better.  (You can use the older ones for boiling.)

Poaching eggs 2

3. Slip the egg into the salted water.
Poaching eggs 3

4. Repeat until all eggs are in the water (you should be able to poach 4 to 6 at a time).

Poaching eggs 4

5. Turn the heat down to medium, cover the skillet and cook the eggs 3 to 5 minutes. We usually only do three minutes if the eggs are going into a dish that is cooked after the poached eggs are added.

6.  Place a cloth over a plate. Remove the eggs from the water with a slotted spoon and drain on the cloth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

*If you do happen to break a yolk, you can use that egg to make:

Yesterday on The Past on a Plate: Salmon with Lemon-Dill Butter and Life This Week: August 22, 1938

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