I have been on a mission to find the best method for poaching eggs after a discussion with my mate Sal, a fellow devotee of a really good poachy. I’ve tried several methods suggested by “our top chefs”. Shannon Bennett recommends making a whirlpool and slipping the eggs in. The whirlpool method is very fashionable but Sal and I both agreed it led to far too much white drift. Sometimes using this method I’ve ended up with just a poached yolk on my toast! Further research recommended slowing the whirlpool down a little, dropping the heat and slipping the eggs into the centre. I stuck with this for a while, but still there was too much drift, with too much messy white water and too little egg left on my plate. Experimenting a little, I came up with this method which turns out beautiful, snowy white poached eggs with oozing orange centres every time. I get a bit emotional when I make them.
I am now confident enough about this method that I will be bold enough to guarantee you it will work, if you do exactly what I say.
The most important thing is to buy the freshest and best quality eggs you can find. Look for organic, biodynamic or grain fed.
1. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil – a medium sized saucepan per two eggs. Add a dash of white vinegar (about half a tablespoon).
2. Break the eggs into two separate little bowls or cups.
3. When the water is boiling, drop the temperature down so its not bubbling wildly. Grab a wooden spoon with a long handle, but don’t stir the water yet.
4. Gently slip the first egg into the centre of the pot, and using the long handle of the wooden spoon, gently stir the water around the edge of the pot to create a swirl around the egg in the middle. You don’t want a furious whirlpool, just a gentle swirl.
5. Keep stirring slowly for about 10 seconds, until the whites are just starting to set. Slip the second egg in and do the same thing. Don’t worry if it lands near or on the first egg, it will work out. Keep gently stirring, the swirling water will stop the white from drifting.
6. After about half a minute, stop swirling and let the eggs cook by themselves for another 2-3 minutes, tops, with the water on a low simmer.
7. Put the toast on while the eggs are finishing.
8. Using a slotted spoon, lift the eggs out one by one, resting the spoon on some paper towel or a clean tea towel to absorb the excess water. Place on your plate, or on your toast if you wish.
And there you have it: poached egg perfection every Saturday morning. You’ll never need to pay $15 for a crappy cafe breakfast again. Now that’s what the Abbotsford Kitchen is all about.