Poaching an Egg
I love poached eggs. There is nothing more enjoyable than poached eggs and avocado on sourdough or a bagel. Throw in some smoked salmon and I am in heaven. The problem is, I can’t seem to make it myself. I can only enjoy poached eggs when eating out, as I can’t seem to master cooking them.
To properly poach an egg you bring a pan of water to the boil, whisk the water to form a whirlpool and crack the egg into the middle of this. Then leave to cook for 3-5 minutes before scooping the egg out with a slotted spoon. There are two steps that I struggle with. Not being able to see means that aiming a runny liquid into the centre of something that is hot and also a liquid is very difficult. I worry that the egg will disintegrate and i’ll end up with bits of egg white floating all over the place. My other issue is scooping it out of the boiling hot pan once cooked. Poached eggs are very delicate and me fishing around with a slotted spoon, hoping that I catch the poached egg whole and don’t damage it, is highly unlikely. Therefore its just something I avoid, even though I love them.
A while ago I got a microwave egg poacher to try. It is made by Sistema and poaches four eggs at a time. It is quite straight forward to use, you simply fill each hole with warm water to the fortunately tactile line and break the egg in to the basket. Then cook in the microwave for approximately 3 minutes, depending on how runny you want your yolk. It is useful and helpful, but the eggs don’t really taste or have the same texture as proper poached eggs.
More recently, Lakeland sent me some silicone egg poachers to try. These are little silicone baskets that you break the egg in to and then sit in a pan of boiling water to cook. You place the lid on the pan to help submerge the eggs in the steam. Breaking the egg in to the silicone basket is far easier than straight in to the pan, however you do have to use a little bit of oil to stop them sticking. You also need to be careful not to put too much water in to the pan as if the level is too high, the water will flood in to the egg poach pod and interfere with the egg itself.
The first time I tried using them was a disaster. I put too much water in, I didn’t cook them long enough, so when I removed the egg from the pod, it fell apart and it all became a mushy soggy mess. The second time, I didn’t put enough oil on the silicone and so the egg stuck, making it difficult to remove and so falling apart again. Fortunately not quite such a soggy mess this time, but not great.
The third time I tried was more of a success, but still a bit of a faff and not a process I’m wholly confident with. Another frustration with these are that you can only really fit 2 pods in a pan at any one time and I generally need to cook four, two for myself and two for Neil. Another slight flaw with the silicone poach pods are that they are very easy to topple and so if I knock one the egg will spill out everywhere.
I possibly just have to accept that one of my limitations to being blind is that I find it impossible to properly poach an egg. I think part of the problem is that poached eggs, especially ones with runny yolks are very delicate and so not the best for being touched and handled a lot. I’m coming round to the fact that the ones made in my Sistema microwave egg poacher are my best option for at home and just save the real thing for a treat when I go out for food instead. At least then I will really appreciate them properly.
If you have any suggestions for me on how to achieve a proper poached egg, then I would really appreciate them. Also, please feel free to share if there is anything in particular you struggle to make in the kitchen. Perhaps I can help.
Thank you for reading and speak soon.