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poached eggs and hash browns: inspired in part by a true champion

Posted by ernie on March 31, 2008

that’s right, after last week’s visit to the home of someone who can actually cook, i was left with the desire to make poached eggs. i’ve always enjoyed poached eggs – and poaching eggs – but struggled to find a good use. my sister-in-law was able to do so, and sarah and i were lucky enough to be there.

but this is not that.

this is this.


no good caption here.

so basically i wanted to poach eggs and i wanted breakfast. but i didn’t want to go through all of the trouble of actually cooking in the morning, so i did what i always do: make hash browns. except this time i put a poached egg on top. the hash browns follow almost the same recipe as last time, though tinkering with the seasoning (less paprika, the result last time was too punchy).

the poached eggs are worth talking about. everyone says they have a tough time poaching eggs and frankly, i can’t figure out why. i’ve done it quite a few times and it did not take me long to master it – or rather, be passable at it.

it’s as simple as this:

poach an egg or three

  • an egg or 3
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • water
  • big ol’ sauté pan – with lid
  • a tiny prep bowl or three

so you fill up the sauté pan with water. a nice wide sauté pan with straight walls. add the tbsp of vinegar and bring to a boil. in the meantime, crack the egg or 3 into the tiny bowls. once the water boils, cut the heat back to almost nothing (thanks to michelle for this bit of info) and very gently slip each egg in, with as little “splash” as possible so as not to cause the egg whites to fly away. you should be able to fit maybe 4 eggs in the pan, though i find 3 to be the most comfortable. throw the cover on there and let it sit for 2.5 to 3 minutes – not a second longer.

after your timer dings, fish them out with a slotted spoon, spider, or something of the sort. that’s it. you’ll probably have to experiment with the exact amount of time, depending on your stovetop, pan, and start temperature of the eggs. in this particular case, i should have taken them out maybe 20 seconds sooner. the yolks were just slightly solid, with only a bit of runny-ness. what you want is a nice solid white concealing a perfectly gooey yolk. it should look a bit like a sunny-side up egg all folded on itself like a pair of rolled up socks (though not too much like socks). when you jam a fork in it, it should bust open and unleash its yellow goodness all over whatever you put it on. oh it’s a beautiful thing.

it may take a few times to get the timing just right, but it’s really not difficult at all. i picked it up pretty easily and i am by no means a talented cook. just for kicks, here you can see what it looked like when i “jammed my fork in it,” as it were.


the whites didn’t stay together as well as i’d have liked – i let them into the pool a little too hard, not enough finesse. nonetheless, you can see the nicely runny yolk set free from a solid case of white.

the flavor of the yolk blended quite nicely with the hash browns. this is by no means the best application for a poached egg, but it was still tasty, and it satisfied my desire to poach an egg or 3.


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