I remember when I first learned to cook on my own. I was seven or eight and working out of our narrow alleyway kitchen. Gray Formica counter tops, oak cabinets, and pink and gray tiles.
I made eggs on the stove next to a large window that looked into the backyard and garage.
Fried, scrambled, poached with ample squares of melted butter. But, for a few years, it was the poached egg that I loved.
We had an egg poaching pan which I timed to turn the whites just firm and the yolks slightly runny. This was how I learned to poach or really steam an egg since that’s what actually happens inside a poaching pan. Looking back I think part of the novelty was the pan itself and the other was that the eggs were perfectly done every time.
When we lost the pan in a move, I went back to my frying and scrambling and forgot about poached eggs.
A few years ago, I thought about replacing the pan until I opened the Joy of Cooking and poached my first egg in near simmering liquid (I used water but you can use stock, wine, cream, etc) with a pinch of salt and splash of vinegar.
Forget the poaching pan, I’ve moved on.
Jenn and Jill have challenged The Daring Cooks to learn to perfect the technique of poaching an egg. They chose Eggs Benedict recipe from Alton Brown, Oeufs en Meurette from Cooking with Wine by Anne Willan, and Homemade Sundried Tomato & Pine Nut Seitan Sausages (poached) courtesy of Trudy of Veggie num num.
Poached eggs with Toast and Greens
Yield 4 servings
2 heaping handfuls fresh salad greens (washed and dried)
1 batch homemade red wine vinaigrette
4 pieces of bread (cut each piece in half)
4 eggs (the fresher the better)
1 tablespoon vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Wash and dry the salad greens; chill until ready to serve.
Prepare the red wine vinaigrette.
Butter and toast the bread on a baking sheet in a 350F oven until golden brown; set aside.
Fill a large nonstick skillet with 2 to 4 inches of water and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat to just under boiling. Add the vinegar and salt. Crack one egg at a time into a small cup or bowl. Hold the bowl level with the edge of the water and gently slide each egg in. Simmer until the whites are set and the yolk is still soft about 3 minutes. Remove the eggs with a large slotted spoon and drain.
Mix the greens with a few tablespoons of the vinaigrette recipe, just enough to coat each leaf without becoming soggy.
Place a handful of greens on a serving plate, top with toasts then a poached egg. Drizzle a bit more dressing over the egg and serve.