I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen pears or salmon poached on various cooking shows. (About ten years ago, you couldn’t open a cookbook or a magazine without some poor pear being scalded to death.)
About the only thing I’ve ever eaten poached is eggs. I didn’t even realize I liked them until I made them a few years ago for my parents when we were all at the family’s summer cottage. Of course, this was the first time I’d ever made them and I realized why I’d never liked them before. My folks like theirs runny so that they have something to soak into their toast. I like my eggs poached HARD. (I also eat my fried eggs broken and cooked hard.)
They (and the cottage they outfitted) had special pans with rings and little poaching cups. The problem was, they were made for four eggs. I have seen plastic poaching cups you can use in the microwave, but to tell you the truth, I don’t trust them. Hey, look at the plastic baby bottles the government okay’d and now they’re saying—hold it! Don’t heat the milk in those bottles, because potentially hazardous chemicals leach out of the plastic and into the milk.
Therefore, I figured poached eggs were only for larger gatherings (my husband won’t eat them) or cook one or two and waste all that energy on the stove. I voiced that opinion and Mom casually said, “Why don’t you just poach an egg in a coffee mug in the microwave?”
Okay, it did take me a few tries before I got it right—and heaven forbid if you forget to prick the yoke before you nuke it. KABOOM! Exploded egg all over the microwave. (In fact, it doesn't hurt to prick the egg several times. Seems like when I fork it, it never explodes.)
I use a standard coffee mug, fill it with about an inch of boiling water right out of the kettle, drop in an egg or two (depending on how hungry I am) and zap it for about 90 seconds, drain off the water, and pop my little poached egg onto a plate with a dollop of butter, a generous shake of pepper, and a side of toast. Mmmm. Nice hot breakfast.
What’s your favorite quick, hot breakfast?