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How-To: Poach an Egg


You don’t need to be an expert to perfectly poach an egg. Follow these helpful tips to wow your guests!

Getting started:
Fresh eggs are the best for poaching. The fresher the egg, the less likely they’ll spread and you end up with scraggly whites.

Crack your eggs into small ramekins so you have more control when you slip them into the simmering water. Add a few capfuls of white vinegar, and a pinch of salt to the water. The vinegar helps to firm up and set the egg whites so you don’t get those scraggly strands of whites. Use a medium sized saucepan that is deep enough to completely cover the eggs in water- a depth of 5 inches will help create a pretty teardrop-shaped poached egg. If you’re making a large batch of poached eggs, use a bigger pot, and a small pot for smaller batches.

Bring your water up to a very-very light simmer, really almost to the point right before the water starts to simmer. You do not want bubbles breaking through the surface. Use a large spoon to create a whirlpool in the water. Carefully slide your egg into the center of the whirlpool while making sure the yolk does not break. The whirlpool will help to wrap the whites around the yolk making the desired compact teardrop shape of a perfectly poached egg.

Gently stir the water while the egg poaches. Work in small batches so the temperature of the poaching liquid doesn’t lower too much. Cook the egg for about 3 minutes, so the white is set and the yolk is thickened and warm.

Remove the egg from the water with a slotted spoon and drain off on a paper towel. Blot the egg dry and season with salt and pepper. If you’re entertaining, you can make poached eggs ahead of time by just reheating them in barely simmering water for 1 minute.

Now put this newfound knowledge to good use with Paula’s Fried Green Tomato Egg Hollandaise. Yum!

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