Great Egg Recipe Secrets: Celebrity Chef Alton Brown on Poached Egg Perfection
Perfectly poached eggs sit ever so prettily on a plate, whether atop or alongside breakfast or lunch creations, such as cinnamon toast or English muffins or luscious salads or corned beef. American celebrity chef Alton Brown has extensively explored eggs during the fourteen seasons of his cooking show, "Good Eats". Here are his tips for perfectly poached eggs.
American celebrity chef Alton Crawford Brown (born July 30, 1962) parlayed his film producer skills and his recent graduation from Vermont’s prestigious New England Culinary Institute into creating “Good Eats”, a popular cooking show which ran for fourteen seasons from July 1998 to May 2011. First airing on WTTW, a PBS-member TV station in Chicago, “Good Eats” was picked up by the Food Network one year later in July 1999. The series’ success was translated into print with a cookbook trilogy: Good Eats: The Early Years, released on October 1st, 2009; Good Eats 2: The Middle Years, released on September 27, 2010; Good Eats 3: The Later Years, released on September 27, 2011.
Eggs are featured worldwide as an essential ingredient in a plethora of versatile recipes. Their hallowed status is recognized through the vast number of recipes presented by Alton Brown which emphasize eggs. Among the basic egg dishes tackled by Alton are poached eggs. Poaching is a form of cooking in which an ingredient is submersed in a simmering liquid, at or under 185° Fahrenheit (85° Celsius). “Poach” came into the English language through Old French poche, “pocket, pouch”, which describes the pouchlike shape of perfectly poached eggs. Alton Brown demystifies the technique and guides everyone to experience poached egg perfection.
Alton Brown’s Tips for Poached Egg Perfection
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 1 fresh, cold large egg
- ice cubes in water (if not serving immediately)
- 2 quart saucier, or 10-inch nonstick skillet, with lid
- 1 teaspoon measuring spoon
- custard cup or small ramekin or small bowl
- slotted spoon or spatula
1) Add water to saucier to a depth of one inch; sprinkle with salt and vinegar; set heat at medium and bring to a simmer.
- Vinegar is essential for producing a neat pouchlike shape in the finished product; its acidity accelerates the setting of the egg whites and thereby prevents feathering, or spreading.
- Flavored vinegars, such as red wine vinegar or champagne vinegar, may be substituted for white distilled vinegar.
Cracking the egg
2) While water reaches a simmer, crack egg into custard cup or small ramekin.
- Cracking egg directly into pan is a shortcut to disaster because the egg will land in an ungainly and spreading mass.
Adding the egg
3) Direct the water in the pan to swirl in one direction by stirring with the spoon/spatula handle.
- This gentle whirlpool effect discourages feathering, or spreading, when the egg is added.
- If poaching more than two eggs, use a 12-inch nonstick skillet and do not stir.
4) Set aside spoon/spatula; position ramekin close to surface of water and drop egg directly into the eye of the whirlpool.
Poaching the egg
5) Cover with lid, turn off burner, and allow to sit, undisturbed, for 5 minutes.
The lid is crucial for proper steaming of top of egg.
If poaching three or four eggs, allow to sit for a total of 7 minutes.
Transferring the poached egg
6) Use a slotted spoon to transfer egg for immediate serving.
- If egg is designated for later consumption, transfer to ice bath of water and ice cubes and store in refrigerator for up to 8 hours; then, just prior to serving, reheat in warm water.
7) Behold the beauty of a perfectly poached egg and enjoy its tastiness.
Copyright: Wednesday, August 1, 2012, by Stessily.