Friday, July 2, 2010
Eggs are the simplest things in the world. A wonder in a perfect package. They taste good, are cheap and pack some protein. And now that the scientists are saying that the cholesterol we eat may not translate to the cholesterol levels in our blood, there is even more reason to serve eggs.
I am a fairly accomplished cook. I can make many uncomplicated dishes without a recipe. I have success following many complex recipes. I can usually read a recipe and get a good idea of how it will turn out.
So eggs. I can fry a good egg most of the time – firm whites and runny yolks. My scrambled eggs are moist and fluffy. I can even make a decent omelet. My problem is with soft boiled and poached. My attempts at soft boiled end up either disgustingly gooey or almost hard boiled. Maggie (of Cheap & Cheerful) wrote a wonderful essay on eGullet about soft boiled eggs . I’ve had more success with her method than any other I’ve ever tried, but I still don’t have them exactly right. I was obsessed for weeks with soft boiled eggs. I even went out and found perfect little egg cups and spoons. Poor Mr. Kim suffered through months of sort-of soft boiled eggs every weekend while I was fixated on these eggs.
So lately my egg mania has been focused on poached eggs. My poached eggs turn out looking like either long tentacled jellyfish or really dull egg drop soup. I found an interesting method at eGullet. Basically you put the eggs in individual plastic wrap bags and drop them into boiling water:
The instructions say to cook for 2 1/2 minutes. They were basically a bag of snot at that point. I’m thinking that some people eat eggs at a point that I would consider revolting. I took them a little too far, but I think that they would be perfect at somewhere around 5 minutes. I snipped the bags at 2 1/2 minutes and there was lots of raw white. At one more minute, there was still raw white. One more – still needed a little bit of time. But another minute was slightly too much. They were beautiful, though:
I served them on top of a salad with bacon:
dressed with a good, tangy vinaigrette. The yolk mixes with the dressing and creates a lovely emulsion.
This method has a lot of promise. I think that once I have the timing down, this will be my go-to poached egg method.