24 January 2010

Spinach and eggs

Ten days ago, Susan and Simon (here's a link to their blog) came to visit. They had recently spent three weeks in Australia, and they came bearing gifts. One of the gifts was a set of four of these brightly colored objects:

What do you think they are? Turned upside down, they almost look like masks of some kind. Or helmets. They are made of silicone, thus non-stick, and they are heat resistant to 675ºF/350ºC.

Okay, you've guessed by now. They are egg poachers, officially called Poach Pods. You put an egg into each one and you float them on simmering water. Before you know it — well, not that fast, and keep an eye on them — the egg white is set, and if you don't leave them too long in the hot water, the yolk is warm but still runny. Pop the poachers into the dishwasher for easy clean-up.

Egg poaching in their pods

We tried them yesterday. One of the food combinations I like best is spinach and eggs. A spinach omelet, for example. Or a big bowl of spinach topped with boiled or poached eggs. Spinach is good with hard-boiled eggs, but it's even better with eggs that still have runny yolks — soft-boiled, or poached.

Cream makes it all better, of course. Or a béchamel sauce with some cream in it. Cook the spinach, either fresh or frozen, without adding any extra water to it. If it seems watery after cooking, drain and press it in a colander or wire strainer to remove the excess. Then add the cream or béchamel sauce, and maybe some grated cheese or some sauteed onions. Don't forget to put in a pinch of nutmeg. Cook it a little longer.

Creamed spinach with poached eggs

Then serve the spinach with poached or boiled eggs on top. With bread. It's comfort food.

There are a thousand variations. One is to form the cooked spinach into little rings or "crowns" on a baking sheet. Break an egg into each ring and put the pan in the oven for 5 or 6 minutes. Then you don't even need the poach pods.


  1. I'm glad you've made good use of them. It is quicker to poach an egg the traditional way, but the poach pods do give you a beautiful neat result. I found putting the lid on the poaching pan helps, because then the eggs in the poach pods are getting steamed as well. They work well as little cocottes in the oven too.

  2. Susan, yes, I covered the pot, as you had suggested. Next time I might try not covering it to see how that works.

    We also oiled the inside of the pods before breaking in the eggs, but the eggs still stuck a little. You have to very careful taking them out. Pretty or not, they are delicious.

  3. Ken and Susan, Those cups are great for poaching eggs! But here's a tip: Why not line the cups with some oiled plastic foil? Then the eggs won't stick and will remain moist and runny as required (and look good :^) as well) What do you think?

  4. Those little egg pods are neat. Our daughter gave our grandson something in a larger sized hard plastic that looks just like the pods. It's a multi-use toy for play and would be great in the snow.

    I love the combination of spinach and eggs, but sometimes forget the nutmeg. Thanks for the prompt.

  5. Hi Ken..strange that today you should post about Poach pods. Yesterday I saw them and thought "Do they work" I might just try them. So how would you recommend..lining the pod, or just oiling.

  6. Eggs and spinach are such a simple, nutritious and delicious combination.
    The last time I had eggs florentine was for lunch at the Plaza Hotel in New York !!
    (It was followed by a huge slice of coconut cake, which was pure white and just as memorable as the eggs.)

  7. yummm yummm!

    Ken, my friend used your Brownie recipe for her event, and they were a hit :) She already had chocolat in bar form, so she adapted the recipe to use that instead of going out to buy cocoa powder, and she used less sugar, but it seems to have been a hit as a dessert anyway! I believe that she was hosting un tournoi de Poker and providing goodies for that. Here's what she reported to me:

    Oui c'était hier les brownies, j'en ai préparé 24 parts individuels, j'ai eu plusieurs compliments et en fait on a tout vendus ! Donc je pense qu'ils étaient plutot réussis ;)
    Par contre j'ai changé la recette de ton ami, j'ai remplacé le cacao par du chocolat, et pratiquement divisé par deux la quantité de sucre... vous êtes des fous avec le sucre ;)

  8. What a coincidence! I have a plastic 2-egg poacher intended for making eggs in the microwave. I have been experimenting this week to get the timing right. I like my yolks on the runny side. Forty seconds seems to be right. You have to prick the yolks before zapping. Quick and easy!

  9. Je suis d'accord avec ton amie française, Judy, quand elle dit que les Américains sont des fous avec le sucre ! Elle a bien fait de réduire le sucre par moitié. Je me demande quelle quantité de chocolat elle a utilisée pour remplacer la poudre de cacao.

    Alors je viens de regarder l'emballage du Cacao non-sucré Van Houten. J'ai appris que "50 g de chocolat en carrés correspondent à 2 cuillères à soupe de cacao en poudre."

  10. Cheryl, I just did my equivalent of your microwave eggs. I melted some butter in a bowl and then broke in two eggs. I pricked the two yolks with a pin.

    I cooked them for a minute at 600W but they needed more. So I put them on for another minute at 600W but then stopped the cooking after 35-40 seconds.

    The eggs were really good but one yolk was more cooked than I would have wanted. The other was better, runnier.

    Maybe I should have put each egg in its own little bowl. This is a good experiment and these were as about good as any poached eggs I've made. I'm sure a little more experimentation will make them really good. They'll be good with spinach or with meurette sauce. Merci, et bises.

  11. Take two... (deleted the previous one).
    My microwave is 1000 watts so your timing seems like it would be ok. Cooking in separate bowls might help, as would rotating the one bowl halfway through cooking time.

    Now I want some spinach, bacon, and poached eggs!

  12. My microwave is 1000W too, but I decided to lower the power to 600W. Might have been a mistake. I'll keep experimenting. If the result is good, this is certainly easier than poaching.

  13. Hi Anne, a late answer: we lightly oiled the "pods" and the eggs still stuck a little. Use a spoon to pry them out carefully by flexing the pod. I haven't tried Martine's oiled plastic wrap trick, but that might work well.


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