Jamie Oliver on how to make perfect poached eggs
Poached eggs may appear like a simple enough breakfast dish to make, but one chef has shared her recipe which will take your poached eggs from good to absolutely perfect.
Chef Adrienne Cheatham has held many prestigious positions at some of the best restaurants in the US and has explained how you can make a restaurant-quality poached egg in less than five minutes.
In a video online, Adrienne said: “Working in a restaurant kitchen and poaching dozens of eggs a day for brunch service, we have to find a way to make foolproof poached eggs. You can’t waste time, and you can’t waste products.”
Adrienne has said her cooking technique is “super simple” as all you need are your eggs, water, some white vinegar, salt and pepper. For kitchen equipment, you will need a mixing bowl, a pot, a ladle, a slotted spoon, and a kitchen towel.
To begin, combine vinegar and water into a mixing bowl and mix it together, then crack your eggs into the solution. Adrienne said: “We use white distilled vinegar because it has a high level of acidity.”
She added: “The acid in the vinegar is going to help set the outer layer of the egg white and it’s gonna help tighten it up just to make a teardrop shape. It’s not cooking it, but it’s denaturing the outer layer of proteins so they’re coagulating already. “
This solution will not make your eggs taste of vinegar at all but will help the egg keep its shape in the water so you “don’t have to worry about it flying everywhere” according to the chef.
Let the egg soak for 10 minutes, and not too long or too short a time. Adrienne explained: “If you let them soak for too long, they will pick up a little vinegar flavour but if you don’t soak them long enough, you still risk the whites running away.”
After 10 minutes, bring a pot of water to a bare simmer, just making sure they’re are faint bubbles at the bottom and steam rising from the top. The simmering water should also be about three to four inches deep if cooking three eggs, and around three-quarters full if cooking more.
For her next suggestion, Adrienne said to use a ladle to pick up the eggs from the solution and place them in the pot filled with simmering water.
She said: “So I’m coming into the bowl with a ladle. I’m going to tilt the bowl and get the egg because even though this outer layer is set, it’s not cooked so I’m going to be very gentle with it.”
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The vinegar solution will not flavour the eggs, but will help poach them. There is also no point adding salt to the pot of water according to Adrienne, as it does nothing to flavour the eggs or help cook them as they are in the water for too short amount of time.
Cook the eggs for two to three minutes, depending on how long it takes to set the egg white. Just leave the eggs to cook and do not disturb the water if cooking more than one egg.
Adrienne said: “One of the classic methods that they teach you in culinary school for poaching an egg is to swirl your water to create a tornado. That helps keep your egg white together, but it only works if you’re doing one egg at a time.”
Once perfectly cooked, remove the eggs from the pot using a slotted spoon. Simply scoop it up, remove any excess water, and gently blot on a kitchen towel to make sure all the water is gone.
Then place it on a plate, season with both salt and pepper, and your perfect poached egg is ready to serve.
Adrienne said: “[You will have] a golden runny yolk and the egg white on the inside completely set but not overcooked so there’s no hard or chewy feeling. It still feels tender and supple. The egg yolk is exactly what you’re looking for in a poached egg.”
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