The 3-Minute Skill That Will Totally Change Your Breakfast
Poaching an egg is actually a lot easier than you think, and can turn some basic dishes into truly wonderful meals.
Master the Morning Before You've Even Brewed Coffee
A warm poached egg with a gooey yolk is a thing to behold, creating an instant sauce for whatever else is on your plate and resulting in a satisfaction that even the tastiest bowl of cold cereal cannot match. And the return on investment is huge—within minutes, a hot, balanced breakfast is served.
While there seem to be dozens of opinions on poaching eggs
, we've found simple is best: For one egg, fill a small saucepan with a few inches of water and bring it to a boil. Crack an egg into a cup. Lower the boiling water to a gentle simmer (if you're concerned about flyaway egg whites, try this trick
) and gently pour the egg into the water. Cooking time varies depending on how runny you want the yolk, but three minutes is a good starting point. Carefully lift the poached egg out with a slotted spoon, drain it on a paper towel and...
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Let It Stand in for Syrup
Whether you're eating traditional pancakes or ones that have savory mix-ins (such as pumpkin, quinoa or prosciutto
), a poached egg is a terrific substitute for syrup. When you break the yolk, it seeps into the dish just as syrup would, but instead of sweetening the pancakes, it takes the dish in a more sophisticated direction (think French crêpes). Waffles are another great base for a poached egg; try pumpkin ones with a sprinkling of chopped walnuts or pecans.
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Have a Happy Meal
Starting your day with greens is a great way to get an early hit of folate, a B vitamin that has been found to put people in better moods
, and spinach and asparagus are two vegetables that have it in spades. Steam them in the microwave for a minute, or in a tiny bit of water in a saucepan for two; then top them with a poached egg for a saucy dish that you won't believe you just whipped up in the time it usually takes to fry some turkey bacon (it's even better with a slice of crusty bread and a dash of crunchy sea salt
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Make the Speediest Breakfast Pizza Ever
Ready-made polenta in tubes is one of the grocery store's unsung heroes; it's essentially an Italian spin on cornbread that can be broiled, fried or baked, and then used in a thousand different ways. Here's one we love: slice off a thick round and fry it in a scant teaspoon of olive oil until the edges become crispy. If you've got some tomato sauce handy, ladle some on top; if not, a sliced tomato—raw or roasted—works well, too. Lay a poached egg over the stack and finish with grated Parmesan or shredded mozzarella.
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Don't Feel You Need to Play Favorites
We know toast and eggs are a classic breakfast, as are salmon and dill on a bagel. But when you 2.0 these pairings, you get something spectacular. Start with a toasted halved English muffin and place a slice of smoked salmon over it. Next comes the poached egg and, finally, a dash of fresh, chopped dill. And when the soft egg oozes around the salmon and into the muffin's nooks and crannies, you won't miss the cream cheese, we promise.