I use cream of tartar instead of vinegar - because I don't like the slightly vinegary taste left behind. The amount doesn't seem to be that critical. About 1 tsp for the 1/2 doz eggs. You just want to make the water a bit acid to stop the whites from being feathery.
I also poach them up to about 6 at a time in a large (4Qt) saucepot without much difficulty. Make sure the water is plenty deep. And slide them in 1 at a time - I crack into a small ramekin and then add the egg from that.
Thank you. Very helpful!
I saw a new way in Dorie Greenspan's new book. She poaches the eggs in oiled or buttered clingfilm tied to make a bundle. You can also sprinkle seasonings or herbs on the plastic before poaching for a variation.
I saw Dorie Greenspan's recipe for "Ruffly Poached Eggs" too - they're beautiful! Here's the link to it: http://bit.ly/nx6P7i
Pegeen, thank you for the Dorie Greenspan link! How beautiful are these 'Ruffly Poached Eggs'.
pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.
Don't increase the vinegar. You can poach at least four eggs in a deep (deep being important) sauce pan. Break each egg into a saucer and carefully slide into simmering, not boiling, water. I allow three minutes but that's up to you. A deep pot is always is best in helping the whites to gather around the yolks. I like mine runny.
I was dipping into "On Food and Cooking" over the weekend. That wonderful tome by Harold McGee discussing the chemistry of cooking.
"Other conventional cookbook techniques are not very effective. Ading salt and vinegar to the cooking water, for example, does speed coagulation, but it also produces shreds and an irregular film over the egg surface."
So yesterday when I wanted some poached eggs, I did away with the vinegar/salt altogether. Much easier to deal with the eggs. Time saved, and a better result. FTW!
I agree with pierno. I poach my eggs and the quantity exactly as he describes, I also would not try to more than 4 at a time. One other hint that helps me is I let the water in the pan come in to the shallow bowl/saucer/ramekin with the egg and like the tide, wash it out to sea or the pan in this case. I use a slotted spoon or a pasta claw and drain the eggs placing them on paper towels and that removes any vinegar taste.
@Summer, your lovely description of the egg washing out in the tide, like a sea mollusk, came back to me when I read this... only in this case the tide is vinegar and not salt water.
Im hooked on Alice Waters suggestion and that is to boil the egg for 15- 20 seconds before cracking it into a ramekin and then sliding it into the simmering water. No vinegar and therefor non of that weird taste and consistency. God it makes poaching an egg a simpler and more reliable process.
I'm going to try this. Thanks!
Something in this month's Bon Appetite made me change my mind. I tested Thomas Keller's method and it was perfect. Essentially you break the egg into a small bowl containing 1/2 cup viinegar. Let that sit for five minutes while you bring the water to a simmer. Carefully slide the egg into the water and cook for two minutes. The longish soak in the vinegar sets the albumen. What I acheived was a perfectly formed egg globe. A whole summer of frisee au lardons is now smiling at me. I have to add that I was using super fresh local eggs which probably helped.
Pierino, the link I included above to Summer is to the article in Bon Appetit for the Keller method. Thanks for this update - good to know you tested it and it turned out well!
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