One of my favorite breakfasts is poached eggs on toast. Lately I have also seen poached eggs being served in place of fish or next to chicken in fine dining restaurants. I have an important meal coming up on June 13 where I will offer either scallops or poached eggs both on zucchini sauce as the fish course in our Summer Fruit class. The poached eggs are the vegetarian option.
I use eggs that come from chickens fed on pasture that are chocked full of flavor. The eggs are available from Marin Sun Farms at the San Francisco Farmer's Market.
To cook perfect poached eggs, I start with a saucepan filled with water and no salt. I place 2-1/2" metal cutting rounds in the water to serve as the mold for the eggs. This eliminates the need to manipulate the whites in the water. I also like my eggs poached by submersion in the water versus the double boiler method that special egg poacher pans use.
Bring the water to a boil. When the water boils, lower the heat to very low then quickly crack one egg at a time into a ladle then ladle the egg into one of the rounds. If you don't work fast the egg will start to cook in the ladle which creates a mess in the water and on the ladle.
Poach the eggs 4 to 5 minutes. At 4 minutes the yolks are almost firm. At 5 minutes they are fully firm. Less than 4 minutes and the whites are a bit runny if you like that style.
I like the 4 minute version which is the same amount of time it takes to toast the bread in my toaster oven.
To serve, remove pan from heat. I like to work the next part over my sink since the rounds are hot and some water will drain in the process of removing the rounds. Using a metal spatula (preferrable with slots), scrape the egg and round together from the pan. Pull the round from the egg while still on the spatula. The water will drain off the egg and you're ready to place on the toast. Repeat for the other egg(s).
Add salt and pepper and enjoy.