Monday, June 22, 2009

Poached Eggs and Hardboiled Eggs: Eggs Two Ways, No Yolking

It’s been five days, and the Husband-Elect and I have successfully polished off our haul from last week’s trip to the Farmer’s Market. (Friends helped.) While we appreciated the ground beef, liked the bacon very much, and freakin’ loved the bread, the highlight of our booty (heh) was undoubtedly the carton of eggs. The EGGS. Who knew?

Lemme explain.

Okay, you know how supermarket eggs are? Runny, pale yellow yolks with flimsy whites and shells that break if you look at them the wrong way? Farmer’s market eggs are not like that at all. They have bright orange yolks with a silky, almost syrupy texture. They have substantive whites you can actually bite into. They have thick, brownish shells that seem almost twice as hard as store-bought eggs.

But best of all, they’re not just eggs. They’re EGGS. They taste like the eggs you remember as a kid. Or like regular eggs, turned up to 11. Or like eggs on ‘roids. (Alex Rodregguez?) If supermarket eggs are regular humans, farmer’s market eggs are the X-Men – regular humans, but way better. Like with claws and telekinesis and stuff.

I prepared our EGGS two ways this past weekend: poached and hard-boiled. Neither method uses oil, butter or cream, which cuts down on the fat. And the techniques – one from The Kitchn, the other from Chocolate & Zucchini – are basically foolproof. I’m an idiot when it comes to hardboiling, and Clotilde’s way hasn’t failed me yet. I owe her something in return. Perhaps a really good egg?

I do need to mention: today I learned there may be an issue with pasteurization and farm-fresh eggs. If you’re nervous, you might want to avoid the poaching and skip ahead to hardboiling. Either way, you’ll feel eggscellent in the end. Eggstra special. Eggceptional, even. (Sorry.)

Whirlpool-Style Poached Eggs
Makes 1 serving
Adapted from The Kitchn.

1 egg
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon white vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

1) Add 1 quart of water, salt, and vinegar to a medium pot. Bring it to a boil. Drop heat to medium-low and simmer, making sure the bubbles remain pretty low-key. Using a slotted spoon, create a gentle whirlpool in the pot.

2) Get out a teacup and crack your egg into that cup. Very gently, lower the teacup into the whirlpool and set the egg free. It should migrate to the middle of the pot. 

3) Cook the egg 3 1/2 to 4 minutes. (Try not to go over.) Gently remove egg with your slotted spoon, and let some of the water drip back into the pan. Stick egg on plate. Salt and pepper to taste. Eat.

NOTE: If you’re having multiple eggs, I might do this one at a time. Otherwise … collisions. Yolk everywhere. Dogs and cats, living together. Mass hysteria.

Hardboiled Eggs
Makes 1 serving
Adapted from Chocolate & Zucchini.

1 large egg
Salt and pepper to taste

1) Get out a medium pot. Gently place the whole egg in the pot. and "cover with cold water by a 1/2-inch or so." Put it on the stove and turn the heat to medium-high. Once it starts boiling, kill the heat and cover the pot. Do not touch it for 7 minutes. (No more, no less.)

2) While egg is sitting, fill a medium bowl with cold water and a few ice cubes. After 7 minutes, put the egg in the ice bath. Let it sit 3 minutes.

3) This is all from Heidi, and it's genius: "Roll egg lightly on cutting board, hard enough so shell will crack, but not so hard you mangle it." (Why did I never think of this?) Peel your egg. Add some salt and pepper. Serve. To yourself, presumably.

Approximate Calories, Fat, and Price Per Serving for Both Dishes
74 calories, 5 g fat, $0.50


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