Evil, thy name is egg. Poached egg, to be precise. As of today, I have, in my life, made these 3 times. You'd think that dropping an egg into water and letting it sit for a few minutes would be easy, but it's not.
What you expect: Nice little jiggly blobs with a yummy, runny yolk sliding onto a clean, shiny plate, and sitting down to consume with some nice toast.
What happens: You follow the instructions as well as you can, but the white gets stringy, the yolk separates entirely, and the spoon breaks the yolk in the water before trying to fish out any possibly edible remains. Then you scrape the egg bits off the bottom of the pan, and plop down in the middle of the 7:00 p.m. chaos that usually turns up in a house with 6 people. It's underdone.
If you can't think today, (or are especially lazy) my endeavor was an epic fail. In order to spare others from the same horrible fate, here are my egg poaching tips:
- Use fresh eggs. As an egg ages, it begins to separate and weaken, inevitably resulting in a less-than-desirable egg.
- Find a reliable recipe, and follow the instructions as closely as possible, especially if you have never done this before. I know what you're thinking- a recipe for eggs? Yup, there are rules. FOLLOW THEM.
- Use a slotted spoon. Why? Your lovely chicken balls have been submerged in water for a few minutes. When things get in water, they tend to become wet. Even if the eggs weren't wet, they are hot, so vapor will condense on the plate. By using a slotted spoon, the egg will get all the support it needs while giving water an exit point.
- Serve on toast. Coming back to the previous point, a nice piece of toast will soak up the egg water. Don't worry, it will still be, strictly speaking, edible. :)
- Saved the best for last: Cheat! You can go out and buy some fancy poaching cups that will clunk around your cupboards for several years and then end up re-gifting. You can wrap it in plastic wrap. This method is quite strange, and unless you are absolutely confident in your pan, then I do not recommend it. You can go back to our old friends, the cleaned out tuna cans. They cost about three dollars, and you can just wipe 'em out after consuming said tuna. Just place in the simmering water, and put each egg in its own little circle. The resulting eggs will not have the same rustic, blob-like shape, but you can pretty much be sure of success.