Poached eggs can be used in a variety of dishes.
Forget the chicken versus egg debate. The real question is: Why do we limit the poached egg’s potential to eggs Benedict or its siblings Florentine, Mornay and Oscar?
There’s so much more poached egg eating beyond Benedict, says cookbook author Michael Ruhlman.
“The poached egg is one of the simplest, most versatile of all egg preparations,” writes Ruhlman, in Egg, his latest book. “There’s pretty much no dish that can’t be improved by the addition of a poached egg.”
From taste to texture, “the poached egg is a really remarkable ingredient on every level,” said Ruhlman, during a phone chat from his Cleveland home. “It’s delicious warm. It’s delicious hot. It’s always enriching.
“The yolk is like a ready-made sauce,” he added. “And the breaking of the yolk is visually dramatic ... It adds multiple elements to a dish where a carrot is just a carrot.”
Sure, tinted hard-cooked eggs star at many Easter celebrations. But poached eggs deserve a place at the holiday brunch table because, well, who wants to fuss with peeling all those decorated eggs? And besides, poached eggs give the cook more options for creative brunch dishes.
Perch them atop mushrooms sauteed with fresh herbs. Try an alternative to corned beef hash, perhaps the potato-beet pairing here. And because eggs can be poached in a sauce or broth just as they can in simmering water, consider this tomato-based sauce from Ruhlman’s Egg. Or try an interpretation of a classic garlicky Provencal soup.