Monday, February 15, 2010

Poached Perfection

My husband is an exceptionally gifted cook. Not content to simply throw food together, he crafts and curates and tests and re-tests and experiments and then crafts, curates, tests, and experiments some more. He makes his love for me manifest at each meal. His heart, his sentiments, evidence themselves in rhapsodic fish stews, robust chana masalas, and exquisitely poached eggs, shown above.

This was my Valentine's breakfast, in his own words ("poached", if you will, from his Facebook page, wherein he chronicles his more noteworthy culinary exploits): "Poached eggs (from our chickens) on rye toast, and pan friend fish cakes made from jack mackerel, topped with a tarragon hollandaise made with Ashley's homemade butter and yolks from our girls' eggs, served alongside a salad of micro-greens and a vinaigrette made with locally produced lavender vinegar."

It was heaven. Sheer delicious poached perfection. He's been honing his poaching skills lately and has concocted a technique so otherworldly, so transcendent, that it has reduced me to asking for poached eggs every day. "Huevos Poach-erous!" I cry, when asked what I'd like to breakfast. "Poached eggs on anything!" I've taken to gleefully declaring on many a recent morn.

Because he is a kind man, a generous man, a good man (who not only knows who my favorite jewelry designer is, but takes the time to order me, in advance, a pair of earrings he knows I'll love-because he has my style down to a friggin' science-for cupid's heyday!), he has agreed to share with the world his poaching prowess. If you follow these steps, I can all but guarantee that pillowy, creamy, poached perfection will be yours.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I think it's time for some poaching to transpire in the kitchen...

From the chef:
Perfect poached eggs for two

-In a covered 12" saute pan, boil about 2 inches of water with a pinch of salt in it.

-Carefully crack 4 eggs into little custard cups, condiment dishes, or something similar.

-When water comes to a boil, it's time to put your toast in the toaster.

-Add a healthy tablespoon of malt vinegar (or whatever kind of vinegar that you like) to the water.

-Turn heat to low, then carefully add the eggs to the water one at a time, dipping the lip of the cup a half inch below the surface and rolling the egg gently into the water.

-As soon as all the eggs are in, cover the pan and turn OFF the heat.

-Set the timer to desired doneness. I like it at about 3 and a half minutes, when the yolk is beginning to set, but it is still a little runny. Cook a little less for runnier yolks, and up to 5 minutes if you want a fully cooked yolk.

-Carefully remove eggs one at a time with a slotted spatula or slotted spoon. Let the water drip off a bit, then place the egg on a piece of the finished, buttered toast.

-Add some salt and pepper, or your favorite hot sauce if you like, and enjoy.


Amber said...

yum yum! looks great and sounds wonderful as i am sure it was! can't wait for your books to come out!

Renai said...

I just learned how to poach eggs last weekend, and can't get over it! How have I gone so long without poached eggs in my life???

ashley english said...

renai-GIRL! i know, i know. my life was missing some crucial component. and now, it has been filled.

Penny said...

Thank your husband for the very nice instructions! Adding vinegar is a new touch for me and I will try it the next time I make eggs.

You are a blessed woman to have a cooking husband!

Melodie said...

There is hardly anything sexier than a man who can cook good! Too bad more men don't realize that the way to a woman's heart is through HER stomach too,lol!

Anonymous said...

Yum! To the kitchen I go!

Katrina said...

Thanks for the instructions, this is one I have not mastered yet! Can't wait to get back to a stove so I can try this.

Samantha said...

I just tried this, and it really is perfection! Thanks for the recipe. I love your blog and your articles for design*sponge- can't wait to check out some of your books!

Gini said...

That is so ridiculous easy I can't even believe it!! Slipping the egg into a little cyclone in the water has never worked for me and wasted a good many eggs. I can poach in soup but by golly, I am doing this TOMORROW! Thanks Ashley, and Hubs for sharing his recipe!