How to Cook Eggs: Part 2

So now that we've graduated from learning how to properly hardboil and soft-cook an egg, it's time to learn how to POACH an egg. Now just to warn you, poaching eggs aren't one of the easiest things in the world but today I'm going to give you tips on how to make the entire process less scary. First I need you to breathe, take a deep breath because more than likely your first time poaching may be unsuccessful. But that's okay! Because #1, it really doesn't take long to start over (just heat another pot of water) and #2 you can feed your failed egg to your dog or cat, little brother, big brother, get the idea :)  So here are some tips you should remember when poaching an egg:

To Poach an Egg:

Fill a medium deep saucepan with 4 inches of water and heat at medium high heat -- the water should be barely simmering, about 4 minutes.  Break an egg into a small bowl and slowly dip the edge of the bowl into the hot water and carefully lower the egg into the pan.  (You can also directly crack the egg into a large spoon as I have shown in the photo below.)

Use a small spoon or spatula to gather the edges of the egg whites over the egg for a neater apperance.  Allow egg to cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until whites have just set and the yolks are nice and soft.  Scoop out the egg using either a slotted spoon or small mesh sieve (as shown in photos).  Set on paper towel to drain and serve immediately.

One of the main reasons poached eggs can expand any dish is due to the delicate texture and the rich silky consistency of the buttery yolk.  Because it is cooked in water, it is also a healthy alternative to scrambled or fried eggs. Enjoy the beauty of poached eggs for breakfast with some rustic bread or for lunch, ontop of a bed of wild field greens or a fancy accompaniment in a soup. 

One of my main goals this year is to eat healthier breakfasts.  This recipe is hearty and satisfying for those cold winter mornings that makes it so hard to get out of bed.  Another 15-minute recipe (once you master the art of poached eggs), this breakfast will make mornings worth waking up for -- Creamy Grits with a Poached Egg topped with fresh avocado and toasted bread. 

Ingredients for Creamy Grits with a Poached Egg:

(serving size 1-- prep time: 5 minutes -- cooking time: 15 minutes)

  • 1 fresh egg 
  • 1/2 cup grits
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 slice of toasted bread, sliced and cubed
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • freshly crushed black pepper for taste
  • Now to make this recipe efficient the first you need to do is heat your pot of water for the poached eggs.  See the instructions above.  While you are waiting for the water, begin mixing your grits with the salt, water and half of the milk and heat in the microwave on high for 4 minutes (you can toast your bread and check on your egg while you're waiting).  Be sure to stop the microwave after 2 minutes to give the grits a quick stir-- set aside the reminader of milk for mixing into the grits after you take it out of the microwave. 

    Stir in remaining 1/4 cup of milk into the grits, if needed add more milk until you reach the desired consistency.  Take your poached egg and lightly set ontop of the grits -- slice toast into cubes and avocado into slices and scoop out the flesh with a spoon.  Place toasted bread and avocado slices on top and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.  Serve with a freshly squeezed glass of grapefruit juice and half of a fresh grapefruit. 

    Talk about a breakfast of champions!  This recipe is packed full of rich protein and amino acids to start our days off right.  Instead of filling our bellies with empty calories and sugar, let us enrich our bodies with nutrient dense meals like this one that are both low on the glycemic index and high in nutritional value.  Make this year a good year by making healthy choices in the things you eat.  Have a wonderful weekend, stay warm and I leave you with a quote from His Holiness, Dalai Lama --

    "The greater the level of calmness of our mind, the greater our peace of mind, the greater our ability to enjoy a happy and joyful life."