Poached-egg Perfection

When we say we’re farmstead chefs, it means we operate from a kitchen that looks out onto a farmyard, not from a stainless-steel commercial kitchen with a cacophony of cooking gear and a fancy set of matching knives. We’re first to admit, we don’t even own a chef’s knife.

While we do have a small collection of knives to get the chopping, dicing and slicing done, our culinary focus is on what we grow in our gardens or what we purchase locally that’s fresh or sustainably sourced.

But sometimes a simple device can go a long way to making cooking a pleasure. Case in point: egg poachers. We love preparing and sharing traditional eggs Benedict or eggs Florentine. They’re among our favorite breakfasts for our bed-and-breakfast guests because they showcase the taste of farm-fresh eggs from pasture-raised chickens, our hand-picked perpetual spinach (for the eggs Florentine version) and our homemade English muffins, a recipe for which can be found in our Farmstead Chef cookbook

For years, we made poached eggs by gently breaking an egg into small bowl, then slowly sliding the egg into very lightly boiling water containing a teaspoon of canola oil. Most of the time, the result is a roughly formed poached egg that has to be carefully removed with a slotted spoon.

On other occasions, we ended up with a messy disaster on our hands. What was taking so long, our guests must have wondered. Were we trying to coax an egg from our hens somewhere on the farm? Sometimes the eggs fell apart because the water was boiling too rapidly; other times we just slid the egg into the water too quickly. Sure, it’s a matter of technique and practice, but there’s a reason most breakfast joints use a special egg-poacher pan. But we’re frugal cooks and try to avoid adding more kitchen tools that we use only once in a while.

There are times, though, a kitchen tool comes along that helps transform our meal into a masterpiece. We’ve improved our poached eggs thanks to the use of a Poachpod egg cooker from Fusionbrands. There are two versions of the Poachpods:

  1. flexible, FDA food-safe, nonstick silicone
  2. stainless steel

Both versions of the Poachpods can be washed in the dishwasher. For those, like us, with limited kitchen space, they can be compactly stored, stacked inside one another. Plus, they’re heat-resistant up to 675 degrees F.

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Now we crack the eggs into a lightly oiled Poachpod and set them into moderately boiling water for about 2 minutes (or until the white of the egg is solid but the yolks remain runny). The results are marvelous: a near-perfect poached egg every time.

When the egg is ready, it easily flips out. No mess, no drama, no stress. Perfect.

Savoring the good life,

John and Lisa

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