Perfectly Poached Oeufs

I love a perfectly poached egg with a runny center.  It makes for the perfect topping on hash, breakfast sandwiches, asparagus, and certain salads.  It’s also, of course, much healthier than scrambling or frying eggs in butter and oil.  However, those were my methods of cooking eggs because I was so intimidated with the process of poaching eggs for a very long time.  In fact, I was horrible at poaching eggs.  My eggs would separate as soon as I dropped them in a vat of boiling hot water.  I realized recently that I was doing it all wrong… ditch the big pot of water and don’t crack the eggs into the water!

Prescription on how to make a perfectly poached egg:

Medium-sized skillet (1o-inch diameter) with a lid
4 eggs
1 tablespoon vinegar

Fill the skillet with about 4 inches of water, and put the skillet on high heat.  Cover the skillet with the lid to speed up the boiling time.  Meanwhile, crack the 4 eggs into four small cups or bowls.

When the water boils, remove the lid, and add one tablespoon of plain vinegar and a dash of salt to the water.  The vinegar helps hold the shape of the poached egg.  Without it, I’ve learned that the eggs will become threads of protein tangled up in the water.  The salt helps flavor the eggs, but also raises the temperature of the water.

Swirl the water with a spoon, then tip the bowl or cup containing the egg just above the water and let the eggs flow out.  I don’t know why swirling the water, but it’s just a technique that I’ve come across through several food blogs.  I think the process also helps create/hold the shape of the poached egg.  Immediately return the lid to the pain and turn off the heat.  Set a timer for exactly 3 minutes for medium-firm yolks.  Adjust the time up or down for runnier or firmer yolks.  Remove the cover when the timer goes off.  Remove each poached egg from the water with a slotted spoon, and allow some of the water to drain off the egg.  Gently lay each egg on whatever is the desired end product.

Serving size: 2 eggs per person