There is nothing more delicious and comforting (in my humble opinion!), than warm, rich, runny egg yolk soaking into a crisp, fresh-out-of-the-toaster, buttered English muffin. Or on top of a plate of grilled asparagus. In fact, a poached or fried egg on the top of just about anything is pretty yummy.
Now of course the correct way to poach an egg is to drop one into a pan of simmering water and let it cook free form. But most people find it easier to use some kind of poaching pan. Now I love my egg poaching pan, because it can cook up to six poached eggs at a time, but it always seems to be an awful lot of work for just one egg. So when I found these little poachpods® in a kitchen store in Truckee a couple of months ago, they seemed to be the perfect solution.
They are made of silicone, so can be used on the stove top, or in the microwave or oven. In fact they are heat resistant to 675 deg F. They come as a set of two, and each 'pod' is designed to hold one egg.
To poach an egg; spray the poachpod® with cooking spray and bring about an inch and a half of water to boil in a deep fry pan or small saucepan. Reduce the water to a simmer, crack an egg into the poachpod® and float it gently in the water. Sprinkle a touch of salt and pepper on the egg if you like. Cover the pan with a lid and cook in simmering water for 6-7 minutes or to the desired firmness. Use a slotted spoon to remove the poachpod® from the water.
To remove the egg from the poachpod®, the instructions say to run a spoon around the egg edge, then flip the pod inside out and gently push the egg out. I was scared to do this! I was sure I would end up breaking the egg. Instead, I used a small metal spatula, or what we call a palette knife in England. It's very thin and flexible so it is perfect for running round the edge of the egg and easing it out gently.
I haven't used my poachpods® for anything other than eggs yet, but they can also be used to bake flan, frittatas, cakes, or other baked goods. Or what about using them for molded chocolate or chilled desserts. They will sit on a cookie sheet, or you could put them in a water bath if you are making custards. If you have other ideas, please share them.
My favorite part about these little guys is the easy clean up. Look how clean they are after they have been used. They are top-rack dishwasher safe. Just place a dishwasher rack prong through one of the holes in the poachpod®. Or hand wash them in hot soapy water.
Poachpods® cost $10 for a set of two, and can be purchased online from Fusion Brands or Amazon (where actually they are currently only $7). Retail stores such as Le Gourmet Chef, Whole Foods, and Bed, Bath and Beyond also carry them.