I have married into a family of poachers. Eggs that is, and when I came across a nifty gadget called the "poach pod", I knew it was a must-have stocking stuffer.
I feel brilliant when I get any kind of Christmas shopping done early. The problem is, this gem of an idea was just too tempting to leave in the ‘stash cupboard'. Confession. I stole my stocking stuffers. NOW who is the poacher?!
Maybe you feel that it would be cheating not to do them by hand. After all, true poaching means the shell-less egg itself is directly immersed in water.
The very versatile silicone pods consistently give me soft-centred eggs in no time. I like that it is easy to feed a crowd by using six at a time in my sauté pan. I just place them to float in the simmering water, cover and walk away for 5 minutes.
Precious time is now freed up to deal with other à la minute details that seem to consume breakfast preparation. Clean-up is a breeze, and there is no contention for storage with these sweet little stackables. I still believe they can be a great stocking stuffer, if I can just keep my hands off them.
The only drawback - they are almost too perfect in their very round shape. Without direct contact with the water, the texture of the whites is definitely denser. But I suppose under my favourite fool-proof hollandaise sauce, who would notice.
I am particularly fond of this sauce because it can be made in a blender. Again, an unconventional technique from traditional training of whisking over a double boiler, but it guarantees a sauce that isn't too thick or too overcooked. It is fast and fool-proof. Warning! At 92 calories and 10 grams of fat per tablespoon, hollandaise sauce is pure treat.
Fool-Proof Hollandaise Sauce Made in Your Vita-mix or Blender
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon lemon juice
A pinch of Worcestershire sauce, salt, and cayenne pepper
6 tablespoons butter
Put the yolks, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, salt, cayenne and white pepper in the blender. Blend for just a few seconds until combined.
Melt the butter in a small sauce pan, heating it until just before it starts to bubble. (If the butter is too hot, the sauce is at risk of separating. Too cool and it won't ‘cook' enough.) With the blender running, in a thin stream, slowly drizzle the warm butter into the egg mixture. It does not take long for it to emulsify. Less than a minute. Taste and then adjust the seasoning. If you want more pepper, consider adding white.
*Using a clarified butter will give you an even more satiny but thicker sauce as the clarification process removes water and milk solids. I have tended to go for easy all the way!
Where To Find The poach pod: Lee Valley Tools for $10.95 a pair. They are also available at kitchen supply stores around Ottawa.