Growing up, poached eggs (like oatmeal) never made my breakfast list. If we had eggs for breakfast, they were scrambled with bacon or breakfast sausage, not poached, or hard-boiled, or any other way you can make an egg. That just wasn’t something we did. Yet even if my mom had randomly started in on a poached egg making frenzy, I’m not sure I would have tried them – at least, not unless it was hard poached. The runny texture factor would have made me squirm. And actually, I’d be lying if I said that certain textures don’t still freak me out a little. But hey, what’s this blog for if not confronting some of my prior issues with food? With that said, tonight’s meal was my first time ever making this, so take all of my instructions with a grain of salt (i.e. what I did, not necessarily the correct or best way).
Part of my inspiration for tonight’s meal was I had seen two separate blogs (The Bitten Word and Smitten Kitchen) mention poached eggs along with pictures – one with a poached egg laid across spears of asparagus, and the other with a piece of dry toast dipped in the runny interior of a poached egg. It looked pretty. Also I had conveniently found a video from Rouxbe Cooking School on how to poach an egg (very handy since I had absolutely no clue) and another blog (Acquired Taste) with poached eggs and asparagus. And the most important reason of all: I already had all of the ingredients in my apartment – a big deal when it’s been raining since yesterday and the sidewalk is more a cement river than a place to walk. I knew I didn’t want to drive in it, and it would take a lot of convincing to get Hubby out in it either. Thus, this meal.
I started by rinsing and drying the asparagus and breaking off the woody ends to toss in the trash (I read in several blogs it is better to break the ends off than cut them because it breaks where it is no longer woody so you aren’t cutting it too high or low). I then put the spears diagonally in an 8 x 8 Pyrex baking dish and added about ¼ of an inch of water. I used two combined sheets of paper towel to tuck under the dish and put it in the microwave for 2 or 3 minutes (until fork tender). When it was done I dried them off and put them on the plate.
I used a medium pot, salt, distilled white vinegar, water, and an egg.
I filled the pot about ¾ full of cold water. Then I added the salt (about 2 tsp.) and distilled white vinegar (a Tbs. or so). I let it reach a gentle boil and then lowered it to just below a simmer then added the egg, sliding it from a small dish I had broken it into earlier. The video had said let it cook for 3-4 minutes for soft poached (the yolk is jiggly and runny but the white is firm), 5-6 for medium poached (the middle is not runny but not completely set either), and 7-8 for hard poached (cooked all the way through the yolk).
I set the timer for 6 minutes, hoping for a medium to hard poached egg but okay with a soft one. I ruined my first attempt by trying to scrape it off the bottom too soon and too rough. My second attempt got me a soft to medium poached egg as shown in the picture. I pulled it out with a slotted spoon and put it on a paper towel to drain.
Putting it All Together:
The picture of this is at the top of this post. I placed the poached egg on the asparagus and cut it open so the yolk slipped out. I then sprinkled salt and pepper and parmesan cheese over it. I also made dry toast from the wheat bread I baked yesterday (a recipe I plan to post here at some point in the future). Overall it wasn’t too bad for something I have never tried before. I was surprised to find the yolk tasted good, but I wasn’t very fond of the egg white. I do think next time I make this I will poach the egg longer and mix the yolk and egg white together more or maybe I’ll just regress to scrambled eggs. Any suggestions?