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Poaching: Give it a Swirl

One of my most favorite foods is a poached egg. At Ballymaloe, we made them a bunch. One way was in the Warm Salad of Gubbeen Bacon with Poached Egg and Gabriel Cheese.

Gubbeen bacon
is Fingal Ferguson’s work, a smoker and curer in the area (the son of Gubbeen cheesemakers, Tom and Giana Ferguson of West Cork). Gabriel cheese is a hard cheese also from the West Cork area, but you can use Parmesan instead. Here’s a look at the streaky lardons, taken from the belly of the pig.

As for the poached egg, I know many cookbooks stress bringing a saucepan of water to boil with a little vinegar, then turning the heat off, then swirling the water around before adding the egg. This is the Ballymaloe method, except both Darina and Rory say the vinegar is unnecessary if you have fresh eggs. If I remember correctly, Rory went on a mini-rant about how you can use voodoo or witchcraft or a gizmo created by someone who knows nothing about it, or you can just use fresh eggs.

The other key to poaching is to get the egg as close to the water as possible when you add it. I’ve put it in a measuring cup that I could dip all the way in. Others used ramekins or small bowls, so you can just slide the egg into the swirling water, which is what gives the poached egg its unique shape.

On “Top Chef All-Stars” yesterday, poaching eggs came up during a challenge where the contestants had to create a dish to fit on the menu of some of New York’s finest restaurants. One of these restaurants was Wiley Dufresne’s wd~50. In case you hadn’t heard, Dufresene is obsessed with eggs. Check this out for an alternative to poaching eggs in a saucepan. Warning: his tool will cost you $950!

One Response to “Poaching: Give it a Swirl”

  1. Diane C. says:

    Roseanne, I’m glad you’re back stateside, but I miss your posts! I’d love to know what you’re up to – please keep in touch. Diane

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