Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Sous Vide Poached Eggs: A Revelation

I made sous vide-style “poached eggs” for the third or fourth time over the weekend and have had a revelation:  eggs this way (which are actually very softly soft boiled) are sort of gross, and definitely not worth the time.

While I'm not a Creationist, eggs seem almost tailor-made by some higher power to be ideal for poaching.  The proteins in the white require a higher temperature to set than the proteins in the yolk, so cooking at a high heat from outside to inside works really well--pay attention to timing, and the egg takes care of itself.

But sous vide-ing them messes with this miracle of food.  Cooking at all one temperature--the right temperature to make a great yolk--ensures that the whites stay liquid and, by my standards, kind of nasty.

I have a buddy who says I'm wrong, that using ChefSteps's exhaustively researched egg calculator will yield the poached perfection I'm missing today. But look at SeriousEats, which I highly respect, but which says the best way to get a sous vide poached egg is to sous vide it, and then poach it. 

Contrast that with Alton Brown’s recipe for perfect poached eggs, which highlights and celebrates the miracle:  foolproof, five minutes, and the eggs are truly perfect (by my definition of perfection), with firm whites and soft gooshy golden yolks.

I guess if I had to make a bunch of poached-style eggs for a recipe, maybe whipping out the immersion circulator would be justified.  But, lesson learned, I’m going to stick to the old-fashioned way if I’m poaching some eggs for a weekend benedict for one.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Oyster Pan Roast from the Oyster Bar

After a long week at work, on a dreary January night, sometimes the best thing you can do is stop in at the Oyster Bar in Grand Central for a decadent Oyster Pan Roast, full of cream and tomato sauce and of course plump, yummy oysters.

I love Grand Central, and I really love the Oyster Bar.  As someone not really well situated in time myself, I love places that have a bit of an other-time-ly feel to them.  Sitting at the Oyster Bar it feels like you could meet Don Draper or Cary Grant, or really anyone from any moment in New York’s 20th century history, just stopping in for a cocktail on the way to a train.

And there’s nothing like a pan roast to fortify you for a long winter’s night.