Poached eggs are one of my most favourite brekkie dishes and I love getting up a little earlier than my hubby and surprising him with gooey centred poached eggs and avocado on toast. My dad is a self-professed expert of the breakfast fry up, however, most of the time I don’t feel like fried eggs to go with my fried bacon and buttery toast. I think it is the fresh unadulterated flavour that comes with a poached egg that I adore and the act of plunging my knife straight into the rich creamy yolk and voyeuristically watch as it oozes out.
Last week I posted a picture of some perfectly cooked poached eggs on my facebook page and the response was overwhelming, even more likes and comments than when I post pictures of luscious triple layered chocolate cakes or a raspberry tart. A reader even commented “poached eggs are my ‘going out eggs’ as I never cook them at home”. This had me thinking, if this series of MasterChef is “going back to basics” then this is the perfect time for me to share some of my favourite basic tips and tricks in the kitchen. I even have a few handy hints when entertaining a hoard of people at brunch!
There are so many recipes and videos on how to poach an egg and I have tried vinegar/no vinegar. I have whirled/not whirled, poach frypans, saucepans etc. On the MasterChef trip to New Zealand last year, with Australian chef Justin North, Ellie and I ate gorgeous eggs that were poached by dropping the egg into a super tall skinny saucepan...I have seen it all. I’ve wrapped eggs in cling wrap and although this works, there is just something way too artificial about the appearance of the end result. For me a poached egg should be a lovely little plump round bundle of joy sitting on a piece of toast with a swipe of with avocado and a squeeze of lemon juice.
How to judge the perfectly poached egg...I like to call it the two second rule – if you slice into the poached egg presented in front of you, it should take no longer than 2 seconds for the yolk to stream out across the toast and onto the plate below.
First and foremost you need ultra fresh eggs (bear in mind eggs may have been sitting on the supermarket shelf for up to a week already so be prepared to use them as soon as you buy a carton). Make sure your eggs are at room temperature before you even begin to attempt poaching. By following my step-by step recipe on my website you will be mastering your perfectly poached eggs in no time. Remember, practice makes perfect!
A step by step guide to the perfect poached egg
Alana is a former MasterChef contestant and blogger at A Morish Distraction.
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