Wednesday, December 8, 2010

poached egg.

Poached egg made and eaten about five minutes before writing this post. Egg topped with pinch of salt, shredded parm, olive oil and oregano.

I am a fan of eggs in general, but there is something really special about a poached egg. I love the idea of it, the asthetics of it, and the way that it compliments their particular dishes so perfectly. A poached egg is probably one of the more healthy ways to eat an egg because there is no salt, butter or oil involved in the process of cooking it. The idea of a simple food that is solid on the outside and liquid on in the inside is glorious to me. I don't know, something about the casing of a liquid, the delicate simplicity, etc. Plus, I personally enjoy all the poached egg pairings: eggs benedict, eggs florentine, eggs st. charles, or poached eggs on any kind of hash. Yum.

I have never made a poached egg before and for some reason had always assumed it would be wildly difficult. You know, one of those things left to serious chefs. But today, I ventured the task and found it to be very do-able and fun, in an obsessive kind of way. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that in this kind of a task, you either end up with a poached egg or you don't. It's hard to be an in-between poached egg, so when you successfully make a perfectly poached egg, it feels marvelous, as if you'd accomplished something grand.

Inspired by a food blog (paul and sharon's) entry about shrimp hash, I decided to make some hash of my own with slightly different ingredients. I sauteed chopped onions, garlic, and potato in olive oil until the potatoes were cooked, and then added in shallots, sweet corn, ham and avocado at the last minute. I then went about making the poached egg to top the dish.

Basic ingredients for hash, and for most of my favorite dishes in general: garlic, onion, potato, avocado, green onion.

Along with urban provincial's advice about the how-to, I looked up some more articles before I ventured a try. First, bring a saucepan or small pot with 2/3 of water to a medium-level boil. Don't let the water boil violently because it will most likely wreck the egg. Try to use a fresh egg because apparently, the fresher the egg, the better they poach. If you happen to catch an egg right as the chicken hatches it, you will have a much easier time. Otherwise, adding a little bit of vinegar to the hot water will help the egg stay together. Second, crack the egg into a separate bowl. Once the water is at a moderate boil, take a spoon and stir the center of the pot in order to cool it down just a tad and slip the egg into the water. Third, use a spider to handle the egg and maybe even hold it in the water while it cooks. The whites of the egg will eventually come together and cook. After about three minutes, take it out and enjoy!

I plopped the poached egg on top of the hash and drizzled it with some texas pete hot sauce. Delicious! Will definitely be making variations of this dish while practicing my poaching skills.

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