New skillz

January 26, 2016

A plateful of breakfast yum, right here.

A plateful of breakfast yum, right here.

I have poached an egg.

This is noteworthy, because I am 60 years old, and I have never, until last week, poached an egg. I have fried, scrambled and boiled a few thousand, and baked a few hundred, but I have never poached one. Mostly because it seemed to me to be a pretty much guaranteed way to make a helluva mess.

What it is, is, a way to get a perfectly cooked egg, runny yolk, with a set white but a minimal amount of it, without cringing at the critical moment when you’re flipping it and breaking the yolk, which immediately turns the consistency of soft toffee. At which point you curse.

egg poachersAnd it’s due to these little babies, right here. These are silicone egg poaching cups. (Yes, they look like falsies. Get over it.) They are one of the finest inventions known to modern man.  To poach the perfect egg, one merely butters said cup, cracks an egg into it, and eases said cup down into a pan of simmering water. (If one is me, one nestles the cup in a small ramekin, just to make it stable and also enable fetching it out of the simmering water with your canning jar tongs.)

When one lowers said egg into said pot and covers it, one then waits for exactly three minutes, and fetches it out. One can then pop it out onto one’s toast, or English muffin, or latke, or whatever other bearer-of-egg-deliciousness one wishes. One cuts into it with the side of a fork, and sighs contentedly as the lovely, gooey yellow oozes over its base.

And one digs in.

Hardcooked eggs. Not desirable.

Hardcooked eggs. Not desirable.

I’ve done these twice, so far. First ones, these, I overcooked. Learning curve, don’t’cha know. That’s fried grits cakes they’re on top of, if you were curious.

This time, I did a couple of things differently. First, I separated the eggs, draining off the majority of the white. I just don’t care for egg whites, never mind they’re the healthy part of the egg. Fortunately, I have been blessed with good genes and good cholesterol. Bring on the egg yolks. Since it cut down on the volume, I just went ahead and put two in one cup. Worked.

The other difference was using just a saucepan on the stove, vs. my Instant Pot. The IP does not live on the counter top, but the first time I did this, it was already out because I’d used it the night before and hadn’t yet put it up. I steamed them for a minute, as instructed, but then got sidetracked and did not quick-release the pressure and turn the pot off, meaning they continued to cook, albeit at a lower temp, for another 3 or 4 minutes.  Plus, if I’m just doing one cupful, it’s just easier to use a saucepan than to drag the pot out.

This time, not being in the notion for grits, I decided to just toast a slice of homemade bread, and use the last three chunks of bacon from the package. Other than the fact my toaster managed to burn one side of the toast while cooking the other side perfectly — and I haven’t figured out HOW that happened — it was just pretty damned excellent.

And so was breakfast. I suspect there’ll be many a poached egg coming out of those little cups in the coming weeks and months. A poached egg is a protein powerhouse with relatively little fat — I may have used a quarter-teaspoon of butter to grease the pod, and if you wanted, you could use a spray and use less than that. It’s simple, it’s easy. And it’s about foolproof, to-wit:

  • Bring a couple of inches of water to boil in a saucepan.
  • Set the pod in a ramekin for stability; crack the egg into it.
  • When the water boils, set the ramekin down into the saucepan, and cover it.
  • Three minutes later, take the ramekin out. (Note: Do not do this barehanded, if you were thinking about it. Push comes to shove, you can, barehanded, pick up the pod by a couple of its corners.)

And there you have it. The pods come four to a package so you can cook breakfast for y’mama ‘n ’em, and they wash up just fine in the dishwasher.

I’m calling them worth the ten bucks.



2 Responses to “New skillz”

  1. Toy Lady Says:

    I love those egg poaching pods! Try mixing a bit of sriracha with your butter in the pod. . .

    As an aside – excellent idea about the ramekins and canning tongs. I usually just use the tongs to grab a corner, but that’s none-too-stable.

  2. I love poached eggs. I think of them as being more healthy than fried and they’re actually quite good. I cook them just to add more variety to my breakfast choices. Thanks to your post, I think I’ll go cook up some for breakfast!

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