09.16.11_Poached Eggs on Ricotta Toast

Poached eggs is another one of those things that always scared me to try. I don't know why but the idea of just dropping an egg into almost boiling water seemed like a situation where a lot could go wrong. After my successful attempts at other dishes that scared me (aka the gnocchi and the risotto) I decided it was time to conquer my fears of poached eggs. Trusty Rachael Ray had just posted a recipe for Poached Eggs on Ricotta Toast from her magazine and since she has not led me astray yet, I decided to use her recipe (the delicious pictures didn't hurt either).

I felt like I had watched enough Food Network and Top Chef to know the basics. I had always seen/heard that you should spin the water before dropping the egg and that adding vinegar will help the egg coagulate faster and more cohesively. Being the worrier that I am, I did some research on poaching eggs and found most reviews saying that the vinegar was really not necessary and would change the flavor of the eggs. I also did not want to poach the eggs one at a time so I would not be able to spin the water or else all the eggs would collide and merge into one monstrous poached egg. I decided to throw everything I thought I knew about poaching eggs to the wind and just had to go for it!

Before attempting my first poach, I got everything else ready. I had read on multiple blogs and websites that the time it takes to poach the eggs goes fast so you should have everything else ready first. Ray Ray's recipe called for steamed asparagus but I do not have a steamer. I Googled "how to steam asparagus without a steamer" and came across this handy video. All I had to do was add a little water to a pan and add the asparagus after the water starts to simmer. Super simple. While the asparagus was "steaming" I toasted up the bread and spread the ricotta onto the toast. We decided to leave the bacon out of the recipe so that it would be a vegetarian dish. I put four pieces of asparagus onto each toast and then the time had come to poach the eggs.

Perfectly runny yolk! Just the way I like it!
Instead of using a big pot I used a deep-sided skillet for poaching the eggs. I thought this would be easier to keep track of the eggs since I was poaching four. I got the water to just below a boil and cracked the first egg into a small Pyrex bowl. I dropped the egg into the water and watched anxiously as the egg started to cook. I repeated the process and was able to fit three eggs into the pan comfortably. I probably could have fit the fourth but didn't want to push my luck. Each egg cooked just enough before adding the next egg so they would not stick together. In the end we have four pretty poached eggs for our toast and I managed not to pop any of the yolks in the process.  I served the Ricotta Toasts with some orange wedges and called it a day on our breakfast for dinner.

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