Recently on Masterchef (team Christine!), the contestants were put to the ultimate culinary 101 pressure test when asked to cook the perfect egg...four ways...in 20 minutes.
Ramsay and his fellow judges were looking for the "one perfect soft-boiled egg," "one impeccable, sunny-side-up fried egg," "one stunning, perfect poached egg" and "one absolutely phenomenal three...egg...omelet."
That's a lot of pressure, but luckily, we have no Ramsay, no time restraints and no cameras in our faces waiting for us to inevitably break down in an ugly cry in front of the judges and all of America.
Perfecting these eggs at home is actually not intimidating at all.
Yesterday, we gave you tips on how to cook a fluffy three-egg omelet and the perfect sunny-side-up egg. Now, we'll move on to the second part of our pressure test, with tips for cooking a delicate poached egg and the easiest way to make the perfect soft-boiled and hard-boiled egg.
Check out how:
The Perfect Poach has solidified whites and soft, runny yolk
Use a wide-shallow stainless-steel skillet or sauce pan filled with at least three inches of water.
Add about one tsp of white wine vinegar per cup of water used and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to low, bringing the water to just below a simmer.
Crack eggs into separate ramekins or small bowls (this will help to ensure egg yolks do not break and prevent adding bad eggs).
Use a whisk or spoon to gently stir the water so that when you drop the eggs in, the whites will wrap themselves around the yolk.
Bring the ramekins close to the simmering water and gently drop the eggs in one at a time, making sure not to crowd the pan. Use a slotted spoon to lightly nudge the whites closer to the egg yolk if needed.
Turn off heat, cover and let sit for 4 minutes until egg whites are completely cooked through.
Lift eggs out with a slotted spoon and add to pretty much any dish for an instant boost.
Eggs can be stored in ice water in the fridge for up to eight hours if not being served right away. Reserve poaching liquid to gently reheat for one minute before serving.
Soft Boiled Eggs timing is everything
Bring a large pan or pot of water to 180 degrees, just below a simmer. Remove eggs from fridge and bring to room temperature, about 30 minutes before cooking.
Gently drop in egg and cook for three minutes for a medium-sized egg, four for large and five for extra-large. (If eggs are not brought to room temperature, add another minute onto cooking time.)
Remove from pot and run under cold water to stop cooking process. When the eggs are cool enough to handle, place in egg cup or serving dish.
Gently tap the top of the shell with a teaspoon and gently remove cracked shell. Alternatively, you can slice the top of the egg off using a knife.
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Season and enjoy.
*For hard-boiled eggs, add eggs to the pot with cold water. Bring the water to a bowl, reduce heat to simmer and cook eggs for 10-12 minutes depending on the egg size. Run under cold water, roll the egg on countertop to gently smash shell and peel.