Thursday, December 13, 2012

Save The Eggs From Bad Poachers!

Whew!  Sorry I have been M.I.A. for a while, it's been crazy!  My sister and I have signed a contract to do another cookbook, which we have working tirelessly on for the past several weeks.  So, even though I have been creating and cooking like a mad ninja, I surprisingly have little to report about food right now :/

However, that being said, I do have something to gripe about, and it's not a restaurant.  I need to vent about "egg poachers."  I know, it seems silly, but I had high hopes and the egg poachers gave me a monster let down, so I'm sharing this valuable information with you, just in case you were thinking about getting excited about egg poachers...or at least, this particular egg poacher.


Let me start from the beginning. I know this sounds silly, but before about a month ago, I had never had a poached egg, even though I LOVE eggs.  So I was watching an episode of Master Chef, and one of the elimination challenges was to cooks like 4 eggs in specific ways.  I though, "Pft, that's what you are giving these amazing cooks to do as a challenge?  Really?  Eggs?"  But I was soon amazed by how difficult it was for the 3 contestants to get them perfect.  They were supposed to make a soft-boiled, a sunny-side up, an omelet, and a poached egg.  Only one of the chefs got the poached egg right, but the point is, I never really knew what exactly a poached egg was supposed to look like.

My favorite egg style has always been the over-easy egg, however, it seems like over the past several years, restaurants seem to be unable to give me a fried egg where the center is "goopy" (and yes, that is a technical term), and the white doesn't look like snot.  I don't want to eat that!  So I started asking for over-medium, and even then sometimes I'm still eating under-cooked egg whites, which I cannot bring myself to do.  My ideal egg style is to have a warm, but goopy (or dippy, I call it that too) center, with egg whites that are solid and completely done.  So why hadn't I ever tried a poached egg???  WHHHHYYYYYYY?  I don't know, accept for the fact that I had never actually seen one in real life before, as weird as that is.  No one I had ever eaten with had ever ordered one, and no one in my family ever cooked one for Saturday morning breakfast, so how would I know? **Thank TV for teaching me valuable life information**

So, after watching that Master Chef episode, I thought, "I can totally poach an egg!  I'll just do it like Monte did on the show, she even told me how long to leave it in - 3 minutes, I can do that."  And I did.  First time out, I got a sauce pan, filled it with water, set it to boil, then cracked the egg into a ramikin, gently tilted the ramikin into the water and let the egg slide out.  I boiled it for exactly 3 minutes, pulled it out, added salt and cracked pepper and cut into it to see how I did (just like the pro chefs did with the poached eggs on the show).  And you know what it did?  Exactly what Monte's did in the show to let her advance to the next stage.  It was perfect!  Thank you Master Chef!  However, that was the only time I have cooked a poached egg perfectly since, lol!  Seriously, I get them close, but for some reason I haven't made them perfectly since that day.

Oh well, here's the thing, it really doesn't matter to me with poached eggs, you know why?  Because even if I over cook or under cook it a bit, the inside is still goopy, and I know for a fact that the egg white is cooked!  Plus, the upside is that it isn't fried!  No butter, no grease, just healthy goodness.  I know, I know you're thinking, "No butter?  Jen, are you okay?  We know how much you LOVE butter!  What is happening?"  Don't worry, I still use plenty of butter when I fry up the hash browns that go with the eggs ;)

So what was I going to complain about?  Egg poacher #1.  See, even though poached eggs are awesome in so many ways, they get a little messy in the pan, and the shape can be quite funky if not properly formed while cooking.  So, I though it would be nice to have some sort of egg holder that could sit in the water and boil it up in a proper sort of form.  I wasn't sure what I was needing exactly, or if something like that was even manufactured, but after a trip to Williams-Sonoma, a very kind and patient costumer service rep helped me find the glorious tool that would solve all of my egg poaching problems!

The Egg Poacher Cup!!

Yes, the egg poacher cup is a genius, easy to use, easy to remove tool for perfectly poached eggs!  NO, it really ISN'T!  It creates a huge mess and the egg is not easy to remove, I don't care what the description says.  It took way too much time and effort to get the egg out, and it didn't come out unscathed, I can tell you that.  The picture of the "perfectly shaped poached egg" on their website looks like this:


This photo is a misrepresentation of the actual state of the egg, or cup after it is cooked.  The holes get clogged all up with whites, and egg white bits are still floating all around in the pan and sticking to the sides.  Even if you coat the stainless steal cup in oil first, the eggs still sticks to it, and does not under any circumstances come out easily, at all!  

So, I have decided that I will not be using these egg poacher cups to make eggs, but instead, I will use them to coat things in chocolate or something.  But I am not giving up on my perfect egg poacher device.  
Maybe I will just buy the expensive, special pan with built in cups in the future, or try one like the one above for 20 bucks at Sears,  but for now, the ramekin transfer method will have to do.