When chefs join the industry, we normally go thru a series of hardships which we need to face like ‘Rambo’ and become ‘Man of Steel’ which helps us during any kitchen emergency where we become ‘Maximus’ of ‘Transformers’ and finish the task clean and clear. The phase is called ‘Industrial Training’ and we all chefs has to go through this initial training period and during this training, many a times i used to man the “live-egg-counter” of a busy breakfast restaurant and while we were taught to smile gracefully and converse with guests while we prepare the egss for them, what i learnt is every guests has their very own opinion and style about eggs. Ask them how they want their eggs to be prepared and even the most indifferent eaters will be thinking for 1-2 minutes before finally concluding whether they want the eggs scrambled or rolled up in an omelet, soft-boiled or poached, fried over easy or sunny side up. But interestingly, while eggs are among the most common, least expensive, and best-loved foods in the world, cooking them properly can is a task which can get you an Olympics Gold medal.
Year after year chefs has been debating about the ideal temperature to prepare a perfect poached egg but consistency has always been an issue. While I was also one of the chefs about to gray my hair on this ‘Nuclear science’, a breakthrough came while I was reading Parisian food chemist Hervé This’s book called Molecular Gastronomy where he wrote about 65 °C egg. He said if you cook (boil) an egg slowly at that temperature, the white of the egg will coagulate but the yolk will not, so the white will have a smooth appearance and the yolk will be soft, creamy but not runny. After that when I googled ‘Eggs cooked to around 65 degrees’ what I found is many high-end restaurants all over the world are serving this egg in many form. Eggs Benedict, a Caesar salad, a burger, it seems that every chef except me are now crazy for slow-cooked eggs.
A culinary naive, so do I call myself, also tried this slow cooked egg and mastered with pleasure to use them in my favorite recipes. Lets try a simple poached egg on brown toast for now. This recipe might be a not-so-easy to achieve recipe because of the machine used to keep the temperature constant but it is always a good read to know how to do it if and when you will get this machine. The Sous Vide machine is immersion circulator with a controlled heating option. You can buy a Sous Vide machine from any online shopping portal with a price starting from Rs. 10,000/-
- Chilled eggs
- Sous Vide Machine
- Stainless steel / Plastic container
- In a container take water till the machine safety mark.
- Set the machine to 65 °C and the timer to 60 minutes.
- When the machine shows 65 °C , pour in the chilled eggs inside the water bath with a spoon.
- Let it boil till the time ends.
- Keep the eggs in room temperature.
Once we have the tender-and-barely-set eggs, the only thing we need to do is to convert them into genuine poached eggs when we need to serve to guests. Here’s how we need to do it.
- Crack the eggs.
- Pour in a bowl.
- Carefully lift the eggs before dumping the loose whites out.
- This will separate the loose egg white and the firm egg.
- Slip the egg into a water pot which is below simmer.
- Occasionally swirl the water in the pan making sure the eggs don’t stick to the bottom or become flat while sit. As the eggs are already mostly set, now this is not as difficult as poaching raw eggs. It needs a minute to develop the skin.
- Finally take out with the perforated spoon.
- Viola! I ended up with the platonic ideal poached egg.
- Serve it on brown toast, sprinkled with crushed peppercorn.
- We should an eggs Benedict which will never be the same taste and look of regular egg Benedict.
- White like Ivory, a perfect egg shape and a tender outer skin that barely holds in the liquid contents inside.