It has been said that the most important meal of the day is breakfast. Eggs are often a main focus of this meal. Poached Eggs are the centerpiece of fancy egg dishes. Numerous versions can be found on menus across New Orleans.

Many people shy away from poaching eggs, feeling that they are too difficult to make. You can buy an egg poacher to make it easier. However, it is not difficult to do without one.

The key to poaching eggs without a poacher is the temperature of the water. Make sure that the water is not at a full boil. You want it to be at a simmer, which is just below the boiling point. You also want to make a whirlpool in the water before you put the eggs in. This will help the egg white remain close to the yolk.

How to poach eggs:

Fill a large deep skillet with water. Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cover and bring to a gentle boil. Break one egg in a small cup. Stir the water to create a whirlpool. Gently slip the egg into the center of the slowly boiling water. Repeat with remaining eggs, keeping track of the order the eggs are going in. Reduce heat; simmer eggs for 2 to 3 minutes, until the whites are firm near the yolk. Remove with slotted spoon in the order you put them in and place in a pan of ice water. Set aside.

If you need to reheat the eggs, fill deep skillet with fresh water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Add eggs with slotted spoon and heat for a minute.

Eggs Benedict is a dish that is found on menus across the nation. From neighborhood cafes to 5-star fine dining restaurants, Eggs Benedict is the first poached egg dish people think of. So, let’s start off with this cliché dish.

Eggs Benedict

8 Poached Eggs
2 Tablespoons Butter, divided
8 slices Canadian bacon
4 English Muffins split in half
Hollandaise Sauce

Directions:

Heat oven to 200 degrees. Heat one tablespoon butter in a large skillet. Add Canadian bacon and cook for 4 minutes, 2 minutes a side, until browned. Divide and toast muffins. Spread remaining butter on muffin halves. Place muffin halves in oven and keep warm.

To assemble:
Arrange 2 muffin halves on a plate. Top each half with a slice of Canadian bacon. Top with eggs. Make sure to drain them well before plating them. Top with Hollandaise Sauce and serve immediately.

This recipe has been published before. In case you don’t have this recipe, here it is again.

Hollandaise Sauce

2 Egg Yolks
1 Whole Egg
2 Sticks (1/2 pound) Margarine
1 Stick (1/4 pound) Butter
1 ½ teaspoon Lemon Juice
½ teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
½ teaspoon Ground White Pepper
¼ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

Melt margarine and butter over medium fire. Bring to a boil, remove from fire and allow to cool. Blend egg yolks, egg, vinegar, cayenne, white pepper, and lemon juice. With blender on, pour melted margarine/butter slowly into other ingredients. Blend to thick.

This dish is from the original Brennan’s restaurant. After a breakfast at Brennan’s, there is no need to eat lunch. The amount of food will carry you over to dinner and possibly beyond. A breakfast or brunch at Brennan’s will easily take you at least an hour or longer to consume. Here is one of their original poached egg dishes that is not topped with Hollandaise sauce.

Eggs Nouvelle Orleans

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) plus 1 tablespoon Butter
1/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
1 cup Milk
2 cups Heavy Cream
1 tablespoon Brandy
1 pound Lump Crabmeat, picked over to remove any shell and cartilage
8 Poached Eggs
Salt and White Pepper to taste

Melt 1/4 cup butter in a medium saucepan and stir in the flour. Cook the mixture for 5 minutes over medium heat, then gradually whisk in the milk and heavy cream. Reduce the heat and simmer the sauce for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until thickened. Stir in the brandy and season with salt and pepper to taste.
In a medium sauté pan, melt the remaining tablespoon butter, then add the crabmeat and cook for 1 to 2 minutes over medium heat.
Spoon 1/4 cup hot crabmeat mixture onto each plate and top with 2 poached eggs. Spoon cream sauce over the eggs and serve.

Poached eggs are my favorite way to eat eggs. When you break into the yolk, it takes your dish to another level. Just don’t be afraid to try to cook them.