Recipe: Poached eggs
- 4 50g free-range eggs, at room temperature
- Pinch salt
- Hot buttered toast, to serve
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- Bring the eggs to room temperature. This way, when they are added to the poaching water, the temperature will be maintained.
- Crack 1 egg into a small dish or bowl. You will need a slotted spoon, whisk or wooden spoon, large metal spoon and a few pieces of paper towel. Fill a medium bowl with cold water and set aside. Fill a medium saucepan with about 8cm of water and add the salt. Bring the salted water to the boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low.
- The water is at the right temperature for poaching when it is just quivering and there are tiny bubbles on the bottom of the saucepan. Use a whisk or wooden spoon to stir the water vigorously in 1 direction until it forms a whirlpool. This helps the egg set in a neat shape.
- Slide the cracked egg into the centre of the whirlpool as close to the surface of the water as possible. Cook for 3 minutes for a soft yolk or 4 minutes for a semi-set yolk. Do not stir the water again. To test whether the egg is cooked, use a slotted spoon to lift the egg out of the water and gently press the yolk with your finger. For a soft yolk, the white should be set and the yolk should yield.
- For a firmer yolk, the yolk will only yield slightly. Use the slotted spoon to carefully lift the poached egg out of the saucepan and slide it into the bowl of cold water. This will stop the cooking process. Return the water to the boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low. When the water is at poaching temperature, use a large metal spoon to skim any foam from the surface. Repeat steps 1-3 until all the eggs are poached, skimming any foam from the surface after poaching each egg.
- Eggs can be poached up to 2 hours before serving and kept at room temperature in the bowl of water until ready to be reheated. If you are poaching more than 6 eggs at a time, rinse the saucepan and use a fresh batch of water and salt, as the poaching water tends to become cloudy with threads of egg white. To reheat the eggs, refill the saucepan with fresh water and bring to the boil over high heat. Turn off the heat.
- Use the slotted spoon to carefully transfer the eggs to the saucepan. Cover and set aside for 1 minute. Use the slotted spoon to lift the eggs out of the saucepan, resting the spoon on folded paper towel for a couple of seconds to absorb any excess water. Slide the eggs onto hot buttered toast and sprinkle with pepper.
Number of servings (yield): 2
Meal type: breakfast
Culinary tradition: USA (General)