The mystery of poaching eggs is lifted.
I love poached eggs. My mom and dad used to have them with toast just about every Sunday morning. It’s a fond food memory for me.
I think more people would eat them at home were it not for all the mystery of how to actually make a perfect poached egg (and that most people think it’s almost impossible!). Ask a dozen people and you will get a dozen answers. The problem is a lot of people are just guessing and the reality is, there’s no real “recipe” for the perfect poached egg. It’s like boiling potatoes – you either do it this way or that.
I found this idea from Epicurious.com. They call it their “foolproof” method, and I have to agree. It’s so simple and works every time. Check my video to see how easy this is.
- First step, pour water into a large wide pan. Add salt to the water. I use Kosher salt because it’s not as salty tasting as table salt and it helps the white of the egg set a bit firmer.
- Heat up the pan of water—bring it to the point where there are small bubbles on the bottom of the pan. You want it not quite simmering – definitely not with any water movement. If the water is moving, the turbulence in the pan will throw wispy whites everywhere and, I don’t know about you but, I don’t want that.
- Hold a fine mesh spider (sieve) over a bowl and crack an egg into the spider. Tip- the fresher the egg the better it will hold together. Let the looser part of the whites drain off. This will remove most of those unwanted wispy whites that you can get when you poach the other way (e.g., drop the egg into a pan of near boiling water). Scrape the bottom of the spider on the edge of the bowl to remove as much of the loose whites as possible.
- Gently lower the spider into the pan of water until the entire egg is submerged, but keep the egg on the spider.
- Set your timer to 3 ½ minutes. This will give you a perfectly runny yolk with whites that are tender soft, but firmly set. A little tip: as the whites start to set, gently scrape the white toward the yolk with a spoon to keep the egg loose so that it doesn’t stick to the spider.
- At about the 1 minute mark when you can really see that the white is setting up, GENTLY slide the egg off the spider so that it is fully immersed into your hot but not bubbling water. Gently move the egg around a couple of times with a slotted spoon as it cooks so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. If the water is hot enough, it shouldn’t stick, but sometimes it does.
- When the timer goes off, lift your poached egg out of the pan with your slotted spoon and let the water drain away. If you want your egg to be free of water, carefully and briefly place it on a paper towel before serving. You’ll want it fairly dry it if you plan to serve your poached egg over toast.
A few serving tips. For one or two servings, take your dried/drained egg and place it on a SLIGHTLY oiled plate and hold it there to wait for another egg before moving it to a serving plate or toast. Cooking for a crowd? Take your cooked egg straight from the pan and place immediately into a bowl with iced water (an ice bath) to hold until you’ve cooked all the eggs you need. You can keep cooked poached eggs in the ice water in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
To reheat your refrigerated eggs later, simply put hot tap water (as hot as your tap gets) into a bowl, transfer the eggs from the ice water into the hot tap water and let them sit for about 2 minutes. They won’t cook more and will be warm for serving.
And now, you can enjoy perfectly poached eggs any time!
Beet and Rye Panzanella Salad – a Recipe with a Dash of Tradition
I love a good traditional Panzanella Salad and will order it every time at my favorite Italian restaurants. But, when I saw the picture of this recipe in the February 2016 edition of bon appétit for Beet and Rye Panzanella created by Claire Saffitz, I was blown away by the colors of the dish. We all eat with our eyes and I absolutely had to see how this gorgeous salad was made-the photograph was that beautiful. After seeing how truly simple this salad is I’m going to use it for my next get-together and make a perfect food memory from a perfect salad! Serves 4.
- 1½ pounds small beets, any color, scrubbed (about 10)
- ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar, plus more for serving
- Kosher salt
- ½ loaf rye bread, crusts removed, torn into 1-inch pieces (about 6 cups)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for serving
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large orange
- 4 ounces ricotta salata (salted dried ricotta), crumbled
- 1 cup torn fresh herbs (such as dill, parsley, tarragon, and mint)
- Preheat oven to 425°. Place beets in a shallow 2-qt. baking dish and add water to come ½” up sides. Cover dish tightly with foil and bake beets until tender and a cake tester or paring knife easily slides through flesh, 45–60 minutes. Let cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, toss onion, 3 Tbsp. vinegar, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl to combine; set aside.
- Toss torn bread and 2 Tbsp. oil on a rimmed baking sheet to coat; season with salt and pepper. Bake, tossing once, until bread is golden brown and crisp around edges, 8–10 minutes; set aside.
- Rub beets with paper towels to remove skins, then halve (or quarter if large) and place in a large bowl; add onion with liquid.
- Using a small sharp knife, remove peel and white pith from orange. Working over bowl with beets, cut between membranes to release segments into bowl. Squeeze membranes to release juices; discard. Add reserved toasted bread and 2 Tbsp. oil and toss to combine. Let sit a few minutes for flavors to meld.
- Just before serving, fold in ricotta salata and herbs, drizzle with more oil and vinegar, and season with salt and pepper.
More than One Food Memory from Carnitas: Delicious Pulled Pork
I love Carnitas on anything – only one problem – you can’t ever make a small amount of it. But, the great thing about bulk recipes is that they can be used in multiple ways and you can make more than one food memory all from one pot! This recipe for Beer-Braised Carnitas is one of those – you can use it for tacos, burritos, nachos, over a simple salad, added to eggs for a breakfast skillet with hash browns– and that’s just off the top of my head! I found this on one of my favorite recipe sites- epicurious. It was published in February 2013 by bon appétit and was created by Chris Morocco. Please note: more than one reviewer suggested cutting the salt in half.
- 2 dried New Mexico or guajillo chiles
- 4 pounds skinless, boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt), cut into 2″ pieces
- 12 ounce lager (such as Modelo Especial or Budweiser)
- 4 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
- 4 teaspoons kosher salt
- Toast chiles in a dry large heavy pot over medium heat until slightly puffed and lightly darkened on both sides, about 2 minutes. Remove from pot; let cool. Stem chiles and halve lengthwise; discard seeds.
- Bring chiles, pork, beer, garlic, salt, and 1 cup water to a boil in same pot. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until pork is fork-tender, 60-80 minutes.
- Uncover pork; simmer until liquid evaporates and pork begins to brown, 20-25 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring frequently and scraping bottom of pot, until pork is shredded and browned, 10-15 minutes.
- Add 1 cup water to pork; cook, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pot, for about 1 minute.
- DO AHEAD: Carnitas can be made 3 days ahead. Let cool. Cover and chill. Reheat with 1/2 cup water in a covered pot, adding more water if needed to keep pork moist.
Spaghetti with Lemon and Olive Oil
This recipe for a light citrusy spaghetti from Smitten Kitchen’s post from February 24, 2011. It looks wonderful and reminds me of a pasta I loved in Florence on my last trip there – a real food memory. In fact, I loved it so much that we ate at the restaurant twice in four days! This would be perfect for a last minute dinner with friends – just add a simple salad, some crusty bread and you’re done! The very short ingredient list and very simple directions are perfect and could be paired with a light white wine – perhaps a crisp Sauvignon Blanc?
- 1 pound spaghetti or linguine
- 3 lemons
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil , plus additional for serving
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 ounce finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup), plus additional for serving
- Ground black pepper
- Small handful fresh basil or arugula (what I used, deliciously, in a pinch) leaves, shredded
Cook linguine or spaghetti in well-salted water to your al dente tastes in a large, wide-bottomed pot. You’ll have fewer dishes to wash if you use this pot to assemble the dish as well.
While pasta is cooking, zest lemons until you have a little shy of a tablespoon of zest.
Juice lemons — you’ll have anywhere from 1/3 to 1/2 cup lemon juice.
Drain pasta, reserving 1 1/2 cups of pasta cooking water.
Dry out your pot, then boil the olive oil, cream, zest and 1 cup of the reserved pasta water together for two minutes over high heat.
Return pasta to pot and stir until coated.
Add the cheese and 1/4 cup lemon juice and toss, toss, toss everything together.
Add more pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time, if you’d like your dish a little looser.
Quickly taste a strand of pasta and see if you want to add the remaining lemon juice (we did).
Stir in basil or arugula and season generously with salt and pepper. Then serve immediately, drizzling individual portions with a bit of extra olive oil and sprinkling with extra Parmesan cheese.
Frittata with Mushroom, Leek, and Fontina Cheese
Eggs are my favorite food and I could eat them all day long for every meal. Frittatas are almost a perfect egg dish because they don’t have to be served hot to be delicious! In fact, they can be served at room temperature so they’re a perfect do-ahead entrée when you have friends over for breakfast or dinner. This recipe for a vegetarian frittata is from the bon appétit test kitchen issue February 2013.
Makes 6 servings
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 medium leeks, whites and pale-green parts only, chopped
- 8 ounces crimini (baby bella) mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 12 large eggs
- 1/2 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 3/4 cup shredded Fontina cheese, divided
- Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
- Place a rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 350°F. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 10″ nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add leeks; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until softened and all liquid has evaporated, 8-10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk eggs, crème fraîche, and parsley in a large bowl; mix in 1/2 cup cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
- Increase the heat to medium-high and add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet. Pour the egg mixture over the mushrooms, shaking the pan to evenly distribute mixture. Cook the frittata, without stirring, until its edges begin to set, about 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup cheese over eggs and transfer skillet to oven. Bake frittata until golden brown and center is set, 25-30 minutes.