Egg Pouches

SoupAddict has had an inexplicable craving for eggs all month long. Eggs have been going on everything. Wraps, ham sandwiches, tomato dishes. Salads and asparagus. And especially all by its itty bitty little self on a plate, with just a touch of sea salt and pepper. The incredible, edible egg, indeed.

When SoupAddict was itty bitty herself, Mother of SoupAddict would make soft boiled eggs on toast. Is there anything better than that oozing yolk on crisp buttered toast, served by a mother’s hand? I think not.

I still love poached eggs and am fascinated by the many techniques that folks swear by for creating the perfect. poached. egg.

This post, however, isn’t going to teach you the most fool-proof method. No. I was stress-testing one technique one lazy weekend and accidentally discovered the cutest form of poached egg ever: the Pouch.

Well, I didn’t discover it, I’m sure. But I’d never seen its kind before and spent some admiring it, turning the plate ’round and ’round before digging in. Then I set about repeating the feat until I got it down pat.

The process here begins with the cling wrap poaching technique. Line a teacup or small ramekin with a double-thickness of cling wrap. Spray the cling wrap with non-stick spray or oil. Make sure you get in all the nooks and crannies.

Carefully crack an egg into the cup. Use the back side of a spoon to gently nudge the yolk to the center of the whites, taking care not to puncture the yolk.

Draw the plastic wrap up around the egg. Twist the plastic wrap right down to the egg whites. Try to keep the yolk centered at the bottom of the packet. Tie off with kitchen string. Trim away some of the excess plastic wrap above the string.

Put a pot of water about 3 inches deep to boil on the stove, then reduce the heat until it reaches and holds a soft simmer (bubbles on the bottom, but few bubbles breaking the surface). Then gently place the egg packet into the simmering water, nudging the packet downward so the kitchen string is just submerged. Start the timer.

Be prepared to monitor this process at all times. You don’t want the packet to fall over and shift the yolk to one side: it needs to remained centered.

Now here’s the tricky part: in order to get the whites to hold their shape encased around the yolk, you’ll need to cook the egg longer than the usual 3 minutes.

At the four-and-a-half minute mark, examine the egg whites in the packet (don’t remove it from the water, just eyeball it the best you can). If they’re not opaque, go another 15 to 30 seconds and check again, repeating until the egg whites are fully opaque. In the photo above, you can clearly see that the egg white is set all the way up to the string. This was about at the 5 minute 30 second mark. Sometimes they’re ready at 5 minutes.

Don’t worry about the plastic wrap: it won’t melt. Just don’t let it touch the pot sides for too long.

Remove the egg to a flat surface. Cut the packet just below the kitchen string, and carefully begin to pull the plastic away from the egg whites. The whites will not stick to the plastic because you remembered to oil it first, right? Right?

No? Bummer, you’ll probably have to start over. Bad, Poacher of Eggs. Bad!

When the egg has been freed from the plastic, use a flat spatula to move the egg to its dish. With any luck, it will sit upright.

See? Isn’t that just the cutest egg you’ve ever seen?

The usual cling wrap method calls for removing the egg from the water around the 3 1/2 minute mark, which produces a flat, frilly sort of result that’s pretty, too. But I really like the almost drawstring look: it’s like a present waiting to be opened.

Now, with a 5 minute cooking time, you’re not likely to get a completely loose yolk, but only part of it should be set. (And truth be told, this is SoupAddict’s favorite way to cook eggs anyway: firm whites with a combo of slightly firm and runny yolks. The best of all egg textures and flavors.)

Mmmmm. And so dang cute I just want to pinch its little yolky cheeks. This egg is amazing set atop a salad with a light vinaigrette drizzled right over the center, so it trickles down the crinkles on the sides.

Hey, you. SoupAddict. It’s Friday. What happened to French Fridays with Dorie?

I’m still participating in FFwD as I’m able, but the posts are no longer appearing in the main post stream of this blog. You can find a link to my FFwD doings in the navigation bar on the right.

That’s over that-a-way and up a bit > > > > ^ ^ ^ ^

Or for those of you who can no longer maneuver without your GPS, try these directions:

Look. Right. 6 inches. NOW.

Scroll. Up. 30 inches. NOW.


Scroll UUUPPP. 60 inches. NOW. [tone is such that "you dolt" is implied for scrolling in the wrong direction]

Click French. Fridays. With Dorie. NOW.

You have arrived. At your destination.

There might even be a recipe with it [swoon faint].

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