how to broach the poach

Crystal and I thought it might be fun to take you with us as we attempt things that seem like staples of “adult life.” See: patching your favorite pair of jeans or repotting a plant. For me, this meant poaching an egg.

I’ve always wanted to successfully poach an egg – seems like a pretty simple desire, right? HAH. I consider myself semi-alright in a kitchen, I’ve always been good at following directions anyway, but poaching an egg is a whole other kind of beast (for me anyway, I can guarantee someone will read this post and wonder why I’m making such a big deal about something you can get anywhere you can get brunch). Please drool over this picture with me, and maybe you’ll get it:

salmon-cakes-020.jpg (This beautiful photo is from FoodnessGracious, but you get why I want to be able to make this, right? ALSO, THIS IS ON A SALMON CAKE, LIFE CHANGED.)

The first step for me was consulting my favorite science-y chef, Alton Brown. I used the method described here and even watched the video, which I feel like really helped. Should I make another post about my undying love for Alton Brown? No? Too weird? Okay.

Next, I laid out everything I would need. Cooking shows have taught me nothing if not that mise en place is super important (that’s a fancy ass French term that means to get all your bits together before you start cooking, that way you’re not running around trying to find a slotted spoon as your egg is over cooking). I needed salt, white vinegar (I know this sounds gross, but you need it so that the egg will stay together instead of turning into egg drop soup), an egg (duh), a slotted spoon, a small bowl, a pot and a thermometer. Note: that last one probably isn’t necessary, I’m just a type-A who happened to have one.

egg1.jpg

I added the salt and vinegar to the pot of water, and brought it to a rolling simmer (where it sat nicely at 190°, or so said my thermometer *thumbs up emoji*). Then I went ahead and cracked my egg into the little bowl – AND DIDN’T GET ANY SHELL IN! That was clearly a sign that everything would work out.

egg2.jpg

egg3.jpg

Okay, the next part is weird, but it kind of makes sense? Pretty sure this is also where I messed up on my past attempts. Using the spoon, I had to swirl the water around really quickly (please try not to splash, I’m here to tell you that simmering water hurts nearly as much as boiling water), and when there’s a little whirlpool happening in the middle of the pot, that’s where I poured my egg in super gently. And to do THAT, I had to sort of dunk the little bowl with the egg into the water.

egg4.jpg

All those things seems to work though, because my egg actually stayed together instead of running all over the place!

egg5.jpg

(Great picture, right? I know I’m an amazing photographer, you don’t have to say.) Once the egg was in the pot, I put the lid on, turned off the heat, and didn’t touch it at all. After five minutes I lifted the lid and poked and it, it seemed ready, AND LOOK AT WHAT HAPPENED WHEN I TOOK IT OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!

egg6.jpg

I’M NOT SAYING I YELLED, BUT I YELLED. Now why properly poaching an egg is such a big deal to me, I’ll never know, but I 100% felt like a domestic goddess breaking into that perfectly runny center. I proceeded to tell no less than nine people that I managed to poach an egg (also tweeted about it, so you know it’s real).

Not gonna lie, this successful poach made me feel unstoppable. Should I attempt hollandaise sauce next? Perfect the brunch staple that is eggs benedict?

– Kailyn

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