Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Froached Eggs

A perfect "froached egg" with crispy potato dippers.
We like fried eggs.  We like poached eggs too.  An easy technique that actually speeds the time needed to make eggs results in our newly christened "froached eggs."

While I am interested in ingredients, my husband often contributes to flavor in the kitchen via technique.  Small changes that can have a big impact in the enjoyment of a dish.  He carefully observes nuances as food is transformed from raw to cooked, potential to kinetic energy.

How to preserve the delicate texture of the egg white holding its yolk and still get a crisp edge of delicious burnt butter?  Will an additional granule or two of salt hit the mark perfectly?  What is the best way to reheat baked chicken breasts in less than five minutes but still keep them tender?  What is the ideal temperature for chocolate cake and how long will it take if previously refrigerated then left at room temperature; will microwaving ruin it by melting the frosting too fast?...

Back to our eggs:
The pan makes a difference to well cooked eggs in obsessed households.  Ours is only used for eggs and only utensils made with rubber or silicone are permitted near the cooking surface.  Other skillets handle reheats and stir-fries.  After much experimentation and research, we agreed with America's Test Kitchen and chose the affordable TFal Professional.  We like the 8 inch one that can handle small batches.

So what's the big secret technique?  Steam boosting.  Here's how it works:

Froached Egg
You will need 1 egg, 1 teaspoon butter, salt and pepper, 1 teaspoon water

Method
  1. Heat your pan to medium heat. 
  2. Add 1 teaspoon butter. When the butter sizzles, indicating it is giving up the water in the butter, crack open an egg onto the hot pan.  
  3. Salt and pepper your egg to taste.
  4. When you see the edge of the egg crisping, add a teaspoon of water around the egg's edge and cover.  
  5. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, another minute, until yolk is slightly opaque and the texture is as you like.  We like it  in the "very or just a little" runny range.
A simple modification to the good old “Fried Egg”.
Note to food historians: You have found it; the first written reference to a froached egg, named here in this very house.