I just got my copy of Ad Hoc at Home and was curious about how Keller's magic would translate with home cooking. Deciding to take baby steps, this morning I tried his technique for poached eggs. With simple, yet explicit instructions, I followed diligently. As I cooked my eggs, I thought of Keller describing the importance of cooking the same dish over and over to discover the nuances and eventually master the dish. With this humility in mind, I kept expectations low for my first try at his poached eggs. But the first one was perfect! Beginners luck, I figured. Then I got out my camera to try again. Check it out....
I am swooning over Keller.
- farm raised eggs
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- fresh pepper
Fill a heavy bottomed sauce pan with 6-8 inches of water. Bring to a boil. Add vinegar to water and reduce heat to a simmer. Crack one egg into a ramekin. Using a wooden spoon, stir the water at the edge of the pan two times to create a whirlpool. Drop egg into the middle of the whirlpool. Start your timer. A minute and a half later (or when the white is set and yoke is still runny) gently remove your poached egg with a slotted spoon. Transfer the egg to a bed of paper towels to soak up some of the cooking water. (Keller suggests trimming off uneven edges of the cooked egg with a small pair of scissors. I personally don't mind the imperfect edges of the whites.) Season with salt and fresh ground pepper and enjoy!
Skim off any foam from the simmering water. Repeat - cooking one egg at a time - until you have enough for your brunch, etc...
I must also give huge props to Soul Food Farm, without the richness of their tangerine-colored yokes, a perfectly poached egg would not be perfect at all.