Before our whole vegetarian/ethical/healthy-eating thing came about, we started learning that real food tastes great – and we started seeking out how to make it ourselves (because you can’t afford R Bistro every night…). In a moment of inspiration, a friend of ours shared her well-worn Julia cookbook with us, and the rest is history. A lot of what we know about cooking today came from an obsession with reading that book and watching Julia Child DVDs a few years ago.
One of the best lessons Julia taught us was that you can make a meal out of any dish just by adding an egg to it. Salad + egg = meal. Potato + egg = meal. Etcetera, etcetera. Poaching was Julia’s favorite preparation, as she said that they are the “purest and loveliest of ways to cook eggs”. It took a while to convince me, but when you get the method down, they turn out perfect every time. A creamy poached egg on top of fresh greens makes about the best salad ever.
In a twist of irony though, we’ve found Julia’s recipe a little too complicated for our tastes. I once made poached eggs every night for over a week, trying to master our technique. I’m not saying it’s the best, but it works for us – and hopefully for you too. The most important tip we’ve found is to have really fresh eggs – otherwise you end up with a mess! Hopefully you can get the method down, and enjoy what I think is one of life’s most pure and lovely foods.
- 4 fresh eggs
- Splash of vinegar
- Kosher salt
- Four small bowls
- Large skillet
- Slotted spoon
- Tea towel
- Fill a large skillet with 1½ inches of water. Add a pinch of salt and a splash of vinegar. Heat over medium-high heat until the water just starts to bubble, just below a simmer (about 190°F). Be careful to maintain the temperature throughout the cooking process and ensure the water does not boil.
- Crack each egg into a small bowl, the carefully slide each egg into the water. Make sure to give plenty of space between each egg. The egg whites will spread out a bit as they hit the water, then soon start to form up.
- Allow the eggs to cook for 4 minutes, until the whites set. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon, then place them on a tea towel-covered plate to allow the to water drain. If desired, trim the edges before serving.