Follow the Leader: Poached My Fear


So I’m back. I’m back in love with my kitchen. Saturday was an unusually not totally drunk night so I started my day early and sans hang over. Unfortunately it also started with errands. (Buying a toilet seat – did you know that there are different size toilet seats?)

But as soon as got back I made myself a proper brunch, something that doesn’t happen very often. Oh, but before I get to that: I’m sorry. I know my post on Friday made no effing sense, (an early happy hour with Tim is disastrous!) but what I was getting at was that I have been flipping through old cooking magazines recently. I also scrolled through recipes I’ve previously clipped. And that is where I found my proper brunch.

I say brunch, instead of breakfast, because to me brunch will usually contain an element of lunch. This brunch sided next to a green salad.

Savory Parmesan Pain Perdu with Poached Eggs and Greens
[Gourmet, May 2009]

Linked above is their version, but here’s my spin. Essentially, it’s a savory french toast, but baked instead of pan fried.

Instead of baguette slices, I used the remains of a week-old pumpernickel loaf. In a buttered oven-proof mini-pyrex, I put the bread down in one layer then dumped over top of it a mixture of one egg, a few splashes of half and half seasoned with salt and pepper. Scantly cover with grated parm. Press the bread into the mixture and let it sit for 10 minutes.

After the liquid is absorbed throw it in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes. When the bread is in the oven boil 2 inches of water with a few dashes of vinegar. When the bread has less than 5 minutes left, create a tiny whirlpool in the water, lower the heat so it’s less than a boil and drop an egg into it. (I actually cracked an egg in a bowl first and then slid the egg into the whirlpool. Egg in bowl is Gourmet’s suggestion; whirlpool is mine, via my friend El.) Stir the egg whites a bit around the yolk so it stays together.

Take the bread out of the oven, place it on a plate with a side salad. My side salad was arugula dressed with red wine vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. After 2 and a half minutes spoon the egg out and lay it on the bread. Polk the yolk to stop the cooking. And to make sure it’s runny! Luckily, I conquered my fear of the poached egg. My yolk ran. Although I’m not sure why the eggs whites are shaped like I had fried it, and not round. Hmm.

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  • dad gansie June 14, 2010  

    Neat. The whirlpool confused me is there a
    little jicuzzi in your oven

  • gansie June 14, 2010  

    @dad gansie

    i was taught by my wise old coworker, El, that to keep the whites of the egg around the yolk in all of that bubbling hot water is to swirl the water in circles to create a whirlpool effect. then drop the egg in.

    although, crap, now that i’m really thinking about it, maybe it was supposed to be a swooping over the egg motion while the egg is in there, not an around-in-a-circle motion pre-egg drop. crap. maybe that’s why my egg came out flatter, than rounder.

    let me try to get some answers. wow. egg poaching really scares me.

  • El June 14, 2010  

    Depends on how many eggs I’m cooking. For one: after water warms up, add a little white vinegar. Using slotted spoon, spin water creating a whirlpool action. Carefully slide egg in using bowl (like gansie did). Immediately use slotted spoon to drag water over the egg a couple of times. The whirlpool should help keep the whites together, while the dragging keeps it from sticking to the bottom.

    With two eggs, i skip the whirlpool step and just drag over the eggs gently when they go in – side by side.

    I totally didn’t describe well at all. Hoping to try with Gansie…maybe she can articulate better!

  • gansie June 14, 2010  

    thanks for your detailed description. i see an original home video in our future…

  • westcoast June 15, 2010  

    How do I polk the yolk? Is that like beeling a banana?

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