December 14, 2010

The Daring Cooks Poach to Perfection

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Jenn from Jenn Cuisine and Jill (jillouci) have challenged The Daring Cooks to learn to perfect the technique of poaching an egg. They chose Eggs Benedict recipe from Alton Brown, Oeufs en Meurette from Cooking with Wine by Anne Willan, and Homemade Sundried Tomato & Pine Nut Seitan Sausages (poached) courtesy of Trudy of Veggie num num.

Thank you Jenn and Jill for choosing this wonderful challenge. I love eggs, specially fried sunny-side-up with runny yolks. I also like poached eggs but it's too much work and I tend to lose a lot of the whites during cooking resulting in a much smaller egg which means less protein. For this challenge, I poached just one egg according to the recipe and the smallish egg reminded me why I bought an egg-poaching pan many years ago which has an insert [with several nonstick cups] that sits on the simmering water in the pan without the eggs touching the water. This way you cook perfectly poached eggs with all the whites intact.

Well anyway, I had the egg on top of a toasted thick slice of brioche and a slice of home cured pork belly ham but did not top it with hollandaise sauce. I sprinkled the egg with sea salt and chopped Italian parsley and had it with slices of the yummy seitan sausage. My sausages are not perfect because they're a bit soft rather than chewy which is how I like seitan sausages but the flavor is fantastic. I'll make them again and will use less liquid; I'm also inspired and will be making Spanish seitan chorizos later this week.

Homemade Sun-dried Tomato & Pine Nut Seitan Sausages
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
½ of a red onion, diced
1 red chili, chopped
1 cup whole sun-dried tomatoes
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup vegetable stock
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2½ cups vital wheat gluten
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon paprika

for the poaching liquid:
6 cups vegetable stock
3 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves

cheesecloth to wrap the sausages
  • Place 6 cups of stock, the garlic cloves, and the bay leaves in a deep sauté pan or stock pot. Heat on medium.
  • In a food processor finely mince the toasted pine nuts, red onion, chili, and sun-dried tomatoes. Add the vital wheat gluten, dried thyme and paprika to the pine nut mixture and process till combined. In a measuring bowl, whisk the stock with the tomato paste and olive oil. Slowly add to the vital wheat gluten mixture and pulse until you have a smooth dough. You probably will not need all the liquid. Start with ¾ cups of the liquid and add more if needed. Whatever liquid you have left can be added to the poaching liquid.
  • Divide the dough into 10 portions and shape into 6-inch sausages. Wrap each section tightly in cheesecloth and tie off the ends with twine.
  • If the poaching liquid is not yet boiling, turn up the heat until it does. Add the sausages and turn the heat down to a simmer. Simmer gently for 45–50 minutes, or until the sausages are firm. Remove the sausages from the poaching liquid (reserve the liquid if you don’t plan on eating all the sausages immediately). Allow the sausages to cool a little and gently unwrap. These may be refrigerated in their poaching liquid for a week.

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Jenn said...

They look beautiful! Congrats on such a successful challenge for this month - glad you enjoyed it!

Ruth H. said...

Those sausages look fabulous! I wanted to try them, but was a little too hesitant. These make me want to do it! Great job!!!

blepharisma said...

These look so cool! I've never made sausages before, just 'chunks' and 'cutlets' and whatnot. These look really great.

Juliana said...

Oggim the poached egg sure look perfect, love the picture of the running yummie!

Renata said...

Great job on the challenge! You made both! The sausages look fantastic! I'm sure they tasted great! Congratulations!

Mary said...

Both the eggs and sausages look amazing! I've never made seitan sausages, but I do like vegetarian sausage a lot, so I'd like to try it soon. I can't wait to see your seitan chorizo recipe.

Audax said...

I love how you combined the poached egg with the vegan sausages and the idea of a Spanish chorizo seitan sausages that is inspired. Lovely work on this challenge.

Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

Midge said...

Poached eggs are one thing I rarely ever get right, so I'm impressed with how yours turned out.

David and Stacy said...

Interestingly you thought your sausages weren't chewy enough. We thought ours were too chewy - tasty, just chewy. On average though, between us we got a perfect sausage...

Well done!

Joy said...

That looks great. The egg is perfect.

Daphne said...

Seems like a very hearty breakfast. :-)

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