Poached eggs are one of life's simple joys. After being demonized for years as unhealthy, eggs are again a healthy source of protein. With poached eggs, an easy breakfast, lunch or dinner is just a few minutes away. Here is how we've been eating poached eggs lately, inspired by our December trip to New York. Poached eggs with quinoa and kale.
Poached Eggs with Quinoa and Kale and New York City
In December we enjoyed the holiday exhilaration of New York City. With millions of sparkling lights and decorations at every turn, it really felt like Christmas. With a well-planned schedule (my husband is the best travel planner ever) we got the most out of our trip. Great restaurant reservations, check. Broadway show tickets, check. Trip to the 911 Museum, check. Islanders hockey game tickets with friends, check. A little shopping in Soho, you bet.
When in New York City we enjoy eating at db Bistro Moderne. We had dinner there one evening before seeing the Broadway play, Beautiful The Carole King Story. If you are going to New York, be sure to get tickets ahead of time for this fantastic show.
Our last morning in the city, we grabbed breakfast at db Bistro before heading to the airport. We both ordered this terrific poached egg dish with quinoa, kale, tomatoes and Manchego cheese. It was so good, savory and satisfying I knew I wanted to create my version at home.
Two Ways to Poach Eggs
If you are daunted by poaching eggs, here are two ways I do them.
Try a Poaching Pan - This inexpensive little pan with perforated non-stick inserts works great. Fill the pan half full with water, cover and bring to a strong simmer where steam is coming out of the lid. Spray or oil the non-stick cups, then crack eggs into the cups and cover pan with the lid. I do my eggs for about 3 ½ minutes. To serve, turn cups over onto a paper towel to drain (eggs should release) and serve.
Traditional Method - Slide eggs into simmering water, as described in the kitchen reference book, On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee. Bring a half full pot of water to a simmer (small bubbles) then turn it down to poach the eggs. The temperature for poaching is from 160º - 180º. Use a thermometer if you are unsure of the water temperature. Crack the egg into a bowl through a small strainer to get rid of the loose, watery part of the egg white, then slide the egg into the water. Getting rid of the watery white makes for a nicer looking poached eggs with less floating egg white tendrils. Poach 3-4 minutes. The more time, the more set the yolks will be. McGee also says to skip the vinegar and salt.
Prep Ahead Steps to Save Time
- Cook the quinoa. You can do it a few days ahead. If you need help, find directions here
- Stem the kale leaves and slice crosswise into ribbons and refrigerate
- Halve the tomatoes ahead of time and refrigerate
- Chop the thyme ahead and refrigerate
- Slice the onion and chop garlic a few hours before you cook
Timing: Poached Eggs with Quinoa and Kale
Get your pot of water or poaching pan ready to go. Heat the olive oil in a medium pan, cook the onions and garlic until soft. Add the thyme and tomatoes, cut side down, and cook a few minutes until softened. Stir in the kale and water and cover with a lid. Cook until the kale is soft. Heat up the quinoa and poach your eggs while the vegetables are cooking.
To serve, layer quinoa in the bottom of a warm bowl, then the vegetables, then poached eggs. Add a few thin shavings of Parmesan or Manchego cheese (optional).
For another breakfast idea with poached eggs try this recipe with smoked salmon.
- egg poaching pan (optional)
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 6 large Lacinato or Tuscan kale leaves
- 12 grape tomatoes
- ½ small sweet onion
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 eggs
- ⅓ cup water
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan or Manchego cheese optional
- Set up a pan to poach eggs. See notes in post for options if needed. Strip or cut center rib from kale leaves, then slice crosswise into ribbons. Halve the tomatoes, top to bottom. This can be done ahead.
- Slice onion into thin half moons and finely chop garlic. In a medium sauté or fry pan, heat olive oil over medium low heat. Add onions and cook until soft, stirring occasionally, 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes cut side down and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the thyme leaves and kale, stir together, add a little salt and pepper, then add the water. Cover pan with a lid and allow kale to steam until soft. Heat the quinoa in the microwave. Keep warm while you poach eggs (see post for help).
- Poach eggs, drain on paper towels. Split quinoa and kale mix between 2 shallow bowls and top with vegetables and poached eggs. Top with cheese if using.