Friday, January 1, 2010

The Morning After

Mastering the Art of French Cooking
Chapter Three: Eggs
Poached Eggs

How to poach eggs, page 117

Thankfully, we rang in the New Year in relative peace and quiet. That is, if you don't count the belly-aching laughter that filled our family room during an impromptu karaoke duet challenge with friends.

I can now say the very first thing I made on New Year's Day is poached eggs (if you don't count doing a quick soak on the black eyed peas). Over the last few days I've found myself constantly trying to find a way to make something within the pages of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and poached eggs seemed only fitting for breakfast. Although I was the only one who partook, that made the job less work and troublesome. You see, I was terrified of what would happen once the egg met the pan of simmering water.

But in following directions, I prepared everything as instructed - a pan of simmering water with a Tablespoon of vinegar per quart of water; a wooden spoon; a strainer / skimmer (I used a fish spatula); a bowl of cold water; and a paper towel.

Turns out, poaching an egg is very simple. But with all considered, failure could easily be met. And with this exercise, I discovered a few things. One, "simmering" is a relative term; it's all in how you interpret "simmering". Is it a very low, slow boil, or is it simply a heavy steam? Two, I learned that after poaching one egg, the second egg cooked far quicker than the first. I also found myself leaning over the saucepan like a hovering mother.

What resulted was delicious, creamy poached eggs.

The first egg was a good result.

But the second was better.

Poaching eggs made me think of making crepes. The first one is usually the dud.

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