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Cracked the secret of poached eggs

Aspargus Salad

I love eggs and asparagus. They are food that reminds me of Spring. One of my favorite ways to serve these together is in a salad. I first made this salad last year. Asparagus is on sale and I picked up some fresh pastured eggs.

I tried it last Friday. What a disaster! The egg white went all over and it looked more like Chinese egg drop soup than a poached egg. So I studied the websites again. Some recommended adding vinegar. Some recommend stirring the pot. I don't care for the vinegar taste and stirring the pot added to Friday's disaster.

I gave it a try again. Success! Here are some tips that helped me.

  • Make certain your water is hot enough. Don't be shy. Get that pot almost boiling. I used the tip from this page from What's Cooking in America which suggests checking the temperature of the water and making certain it is between 160-180 degrees. I used my instant read thermometer that I used for baking bread. I realize now that I was misjudging how hot the pan was on Friday and it was too cool. That is why it didn't hold its shape.
  • Use enough water to cover the egg. I used a small saucepan with 2-3 inches of water. I used a larger flat saucepan previously. The bigger pan will work as long as I get the water the right temperature.
  • Put the egg in a Pyrex cup and slip into the water. I slipped it up against the side of the pan to help keep it in place. Use a spatula if it looks like it is starting to stick to the side or bottom of the pan,
  • Adjust heat to make certain it does not start to boil and bubble. Some sites recommend turning off the heat and covering. I just adjusted the heat. Cook until the whites are solid but the yolk is still fluid. This should be about 3 minutes.

For the salad, I toss the greens in a lemony vinaigrette, top with steamed asperagus, two poached eggs and fresh croutons. It is sooo good. Here is a great spring time vinaigrette that really complements the salad.

Lemon Chive Vinaigrette

Inspired by Chive Vinaigrette from Bon Appettit

3 Tbs White Wine Vinegar
1 tsp chopped shallot
1 tsp chopped chives
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp grated lemon rind (using micro-fine grater)
1/2 tsp sugar
pinch of salt

9 Tbs Olive Oil (1/2 cup + 1 TBS)

In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients except the oil. While whisking, slowly add the olive oil to make a thickened dressing.

Comments (4)

My husband loves poached eggs and has read up and tried all of the above tricks. For the most part he has the cooking down, but still has problems with draining them. Any tips?

I used a slotted spoon to remove them from the water and drained them as well as I could. I then slipped them onto a saucer while I cooked 4 eggs. When I had all of them complete, I slipped them off the saucer onto the salad. I did have a bit of water on the saucer which I could tip before removing the egg which helped get off the water. I haven't tried them on toast or bread where the water would be noticeable but they didn't seem to have much water.

I've seen a couple of sites with them putting the eggs on paper towels which looks like that would be really difficult to remove without breaking the egg.

Marta, when I opened your blog and saw that gorgeous picture of the poached egg atop the bright green asparagus, my mouth immediately began to water! This is brunch on Sunday, for sure.

I have never tried making a poached egg. Will have to give it a try now that I have your great tips to follow :)

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 25, 2010 2:18 AM.

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