poached egg is one of the simplest, most versatile of
all egg preparations. Here, poached eggs in puttanesca
the chicken versus egg debate. The real question is: Why do
we limit the poached egg’s potential to eggs Benedict or
its siblings Florentine, Mornay and Oscar?
so much more poached egg eating beyond Benedict, says
cookbook author Michael Ruhlman.
poached egg is one of the simplest, most versatile of all
egg preparations," writes Ruhlman, in "Egg,"
his latest book. "There’s pretty much no dish that
can’t be improved by the addition of a poached egg."
taste to texture, "the poached egg is a really
remarkable ingredient on every level," said Ruhlman,
during a phone chat from his Cleveland home. "It’s
delicious warm. It’s delicious hot. It’s always
yolk is like a ready-made sauce," he added. "And
the breaking of the yolk is visually dramatic. ... It adds
multiple elements to a dish where a carrot is just a
tinted hard-cooked eggs star at many Easter celebrations.
But poached eggs deserve a place at the holiday brunch table
because, well, who wants to fuss with peeling all those
decorated eggs? And besides, poached eggs give the cook more
options for creative brunch dishes.
them atop mushrooms sauteed with fresh herbs. Try an
alternative to corned beef hash, perhaps the potato-beet
pairing here. And because eggs can be poached in a sauce or
broth just as they can in simmering water, consider this
tomato-based sauce from Ruhlman’s "Egg." Or try
an interpretation of a classic garlicky Provencal soup.
poached egg should be warm, have a liquid yolk, a fully
cooked white and a neat, oval appearance.
Heat about 3 inches of water to a boil in a saucepan, then
turn down the heat. The water’s surface should be
relatively calm, with just a few bubbles at the pan’s
sides of the pan and none rising from the center bottom.
Crack an egg into the poaching liquid. If you’ve never
done this before, crack the egg into a small bowl, then
slide the egg into the pan. Don’t poke the egg. Don’t
swirl the water.
After about 3 minutes, use a slotted spoon to gently lift
the egg from the liquid. The white should be firm, not
jiggly. The yolk should remain liquid. Blot liquid from the
egg’s top carefully with a clean towel. Set the bowl of
the slotted spoon on the towel to get it dry as possible.
can be poached hours or a day in advance. Dip in ice water
to stop cooking. Drain then refrigerate in a covered
container. To serve, repoach eggs just to warm through,
about 1 minute.
from James P. DeWan’s Prep School column.
IN PUTTANESCA SAUCE
"Egg: A Culinary Exploration of the World’s Most
Versatile Ingredient" (Little, Brown and Co., $40),
author Michael Ruhlman serves these sauce-cooked poached
eggs atop angel hair pasta. But for brunch, we like it
served over slices of crusty bread.
Chop 1 Spanish onion into small dice. Roughly chop 4 cloves
garlic. Cook in 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet
over medium-high heat, seasoning with 1 teaspoon salt. When
tender and translucent, add 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes,
stirring to coat with olive oil. Add 1/2 to 1 cup dry red
wine; heat to a simmer. Puree 1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled
tomatoes. Add to skillet along with 1 bay leaf or 2
teaspoons dried oregano (or both). Heat to a simmer. Reduce
heat to low; cook until sauce is thickened, about 1 hour.
Sauce can be prepared ahead and refrigerated up to 3 days.
Remove and discard bay leaf. Add 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce
or 4 anchovies, roughly chopped, plus 1/2 cup chopped,
pitted Kalamata olives and 2 tablespoons capers. Bring to a
full simmer over medium heat, then turn heat to low. Lower 4
eggs into the sauce with a ladle, one at a time, making a
small well in the sauce with the ladle to contain it. Cover
pan. Cook until whites are set, 3 to 6 minutes. Serve sauce
over slices of crusty bread, topped with a poached egg.
POTATO AND BEET HASH
from "The New Way to Cook Light," by Cooking Light
magazine (Oxmoor House, $34.95).
1 cup finely chopped onion in a skillet in 1 tablespoon
olive oil. Add 2 cups peeled, cubed Yukon gold potatoes and
2 cups peeled, cubed sweet potatoes. Add 1/2 tablespoon
chopped fresh sage, 3 cloves garlic, minced; cook until
tender, about 25 minutes. Add 1 cup cubed cooked beets and
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper; cook 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, poach 4 eggs. Divide hash among four plates; top
with a poached egg. Sprinkle with more sage if you like.
Serve with frisee or curly endive salad dressed with a Dijon
from "One Good Dish" by David Tanis (Artisan,
chop about 16 medium peeled cloves garlic (2 heads). In a
heavy pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat.
Add garlic and 12 fresh sage leaves; let sizzle without
browning, 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add 6 cups
water. Heat to a boil, then lower to a brisk simmer. Cook 10
to 15 minutes. Adjust seasoning. Ladle an inch of soup into
a skillet; bring to a brisk simmer over medium heat. Add 4
eggs, one at a time, to pan. Poach, about 3 minutes. To
serve, place a toasted thick baguette slice in a bowl. Top
with a poached egg. Ladle soup atop. Sprinkle with parsley