Posted in

The Best Eggs

Monday, February 27, 2012 11:39 PM

Since I began to cook in my dorm kitchenette during sophomore year, I've gotten pretty good at it. It's mostly because I like to try new things and rarely cook the same dish twice. I also listen to my elders and betters, reading cookbooks very closely to pick up on tips for knifework, handling ingredients and the like.

This is all to say that I have a number of techniques in my repertoire, but there are a few things I felt I still needed, including poaching and deep-frying. I have not tackled the latter yet, but the former has become one of my favorite culinary tricks.

A poached egg in kale and roasted garlic soup

I don't cook fish because J dislikes most seafood, and we have chicken only a few times a year — and at those times it's a whole chicken, very little of which lends itself to poaching. So the only thing I've poached is eggs. I use the technique Mark Bittman outlines in "How to Cook Everything," which involves adding salt and white vinegar to the water. Poaching cooks the egg white totally, leaves the yolk nice and runny, and is healthier than frying.

As someone who cooks vegetarian most of the time, I've found poached eggs to be really useful as a way to add protein and heft to vegetables and grains, to turn food into a meal. Today my lunch was a bunch of roasted root vegetables, topped with a poached egg and some parsley pesto. And even if you use the best eggs — pastured-raised, organic feed, the kind that go for $5 or $6 a dozen at the farmer's market — it's cheap.

Poaching an egg takes some practice, but it's not difficult. I haven't figured out what I'll deep fry, but I imagine that will be trickier, and probably messier. It definitely won't be healthy.

Leave Comment