Poached eggs are made by cracking an egg into a pan of hot water and cooking them slowly. They are loose balls with a consistency similar to soft boiled eggs. And they are the tasty and traditional egg for eggs florentine.
Poaching an egg is not hard. The challenge is mostly in getting it to look good. The egg whites can spread a bit, and instead of a tight lump of egg with a centered yolk, you may have a sprawling, flattened egg with a yolk off to one side. Don’t worry about it too much.
To poach an egg, heat about 3 inches of water in a pot. Choose a pot big enough to give the eggs a bit of wiggle room. Add a tablespoon or so of white vinegar to the water. The water is ready when it is steaming, but before it is bubbling. Turn the burner to low to maintain the water at hot, but not simmering.
One at a time, crack an egg into a small dish. Immediatly pour the egg into the water in a quick, confident motion. Place the lip of the bowl under the surface of the water when you do this, you’re almost sliding the egg in. Repeat the crack-into-dish-pour-into-water step for each egg.
Then the eggs sit in the water for a while. 5 minutes or so. You can test for doneness by sliding a slotted spoon under an egg, lifting it to the surface, and poking the yoke with your finger. Cook the egg until you like how firm the yoke is, then lift it out of the water with the slotted spoon and drain off the biggest of the water.
If you’re cooking eggs for multiple people and some like their yokes soft and some like their yolks hard, just delay a little between when you put the eggs in the water. That way some will have more cooking time, but they’ll all be ready to come out at the same time.
Now, sometimes when you pour the egg in the water the white will spread across the whole pan like ink. It’ll still cook,just scoop it all together into a pile when you take it out. And if the surface of the water forms lots of white foam, don’t freak out. Turn down the heat a little, and just push the foam aside when you’re ready to take the eggs out. In most cases, poached eggs turn out fine, they just look like they won’t. Fresher eggs will spread less, but no egg will look perfect and smooth and round unless it is being cooked in a mold. For example, the egg in the pictures was layed a couple hours before it was cooked. Poached eggs are just kinda loose.