Sometimes it’s the little things that make or break a meal. One of the many memorable things about my breakfast at Brennan’s earlier this year was how perfectly the eggs were poached, the soft whites firmly wrapped around the tender yolks.
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I became obsessed with upping my poaching game. As luck would have it, the Web is loaded with takes on Julia Child‘s method. Her main recommendation is to use extremely fresh eggs. Okay, that’s great, if you’re a Beard-Awarded restaurant serving dozens of breakfasts each morning. What if you pick up a carton from the dairy case on your semi-weekly grocery run?
The key to Julia Child’s method is to boil the egg in its shell for about 10 seconds before poaching it. This firms up the white and prevents the dreaded watery wisps. So I tried it, and Voila! I’m sure Julia Child could make better poached eggs. I know Brennan’s can make better poached eggs. But I had never made a better poached egg. Ten seconds makes a big difference.
As Julia Child herself observed, “You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients.”
- eggs If you're not sure an egg is good, give it the witch test: Place it in water. If it sinks, it's fine; if it floats, toss it.
Bring water to boil in a small saucepan.
Using a small pin, gently poke a hole in one end of each egg. (This releases any air trapped in the egg.)
Using a slotted spoon, gently place each egg in boiling water for approx. 10 seconds.
Remove eggs with slotted spoon. Turn off heat.
Crack eggs into small dish or cup. Slip gently back into water, folding white over yolk with spoon if necessary. Cook for approx. 4 min.
Remove with slotted spoon. Serve as desired.
I fell in love with travel on a trip to Mexico when I was nine years old. Since then, I’ve travelled the globe from Israel to El Salvador. I’ve skied the Swiss Alps and hiked national parks like Acadia, Zion, Shenandoah, and Virgin Islands. I’ve marvelled at masterpieces in the Prado, the Uffizi, the Huntington, and the National Gallery of Art. I’ve stayed in a cabin on a mountaintop in Norway and on a kibbutz along the Sea of Galilee, and been kicked out of the Ritz at the Place Vendôme. I’ve taken cooking classes from New England to the Caribbean, and watched a chef prepare traditional shakshuka in the kitchen of his restaurant in Tel Aviv. I weave historical research and my personal experiences together in writing this blog. I hope you find it helpful. Read more …