So this definitive guide started because I had a few friends asking me how the hell I made such perfectly poached eggs. I had instagram’d a few instances where I just whipped up eggs benedict for myself, totally impromptu, and then received a smattering of requests for poached egg lessons. Of course I don’t think I am any expert, but I have poached an egg or two in my day, and they have come out rather perfectly. So look no further guys, I have all the answers for you right here. It’s only, truly a matter of being vigilant and active while you're cooking, and not letting your eggs get away from you. Those rascals!
Yields: 2 servings
Prep time: 30 minutes
1 Tbs Vinegar
2 pieces of english muffin, or toast
4 egg yolks
1 squirt lemon juice
4 Tbs butter
1/2 tsp paprika
Salt & pepper
I’m going to make this super duper simple. In a big ol’ pot, start boiling some water. Once it reaches a rolling boil, add the vinegar. It’s important that the boil is rolling. In other words, it’s heavy with big bubbles. At this point, grab your eggs. Gently, gently, gently (gently, gently) crack them directly into the boiling water. You want to make sure they land in one spot. They will spread out a little in the pot. Get a slotted spoon and just move the eggy tendrils to one spot so they don’t get away from each other. You can usually poach 3-4 eggs at a time in one pot, depending on how ambitious you are.
So these eggs are going to cook pretty quickly. Don’t run away from the pot. With the slotted spoon, move the eggs around a little bit, but not too much (about every 1-2 minutes). Figuring out when they’re ready to come out is the tough part. You have to look at the yolk. If it’s a brighter yellow, it’s probably done. If it’s still a little on the orange side, they need a couple more minutes. So look for that bright yellow and then pull them out of the water.
Now for the hollandaise! The sauce which has tripped me up quite a few times for reasons unbeknownst to me. Do not get frustrated if your sauce does not come out the first time. It very well may take a few tries to perfect. It’s tough.
In a small metal bowl, whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice briskly until the egg yolks have doubled in size. This is going to take some time and some elbow grease. There will be bubbles. It will happen.
While you’re whisking, melt the butter in the microwave and start boiling a shallow layer of water in a small pot on medium-low heat. Once the yolks have doubled in size, put the bowl over the boiling water. We just made a double boiler!
Continue to whisk gently until the yolk has warmed up a bit. Then, drizzle the butter into the yolks gradually. Don’t do it all at once or it will curdle it. This part is essential. You can’t let the eggs get too hot or they will curdle. If there’s too much steam, turn the heat off. Just continue to whisk the eggs and butter over some kind of heat. Once it looks yellow, thick, and creamy, add the salt, pepper, and paprika. Whisk a little more and you’re done!
That wasn’t so bad was it?
Now take your toast (I don’t have to tell you how to make toast, do I?) and put your perfectly poached eggs on top. Then drizzle your delicious hollandaise all over that thing. Add some red pepper flake if you’re feeling adventurous.