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Video: Poach an egg like a pro: Hot kitchen tips

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    >>> how many times do you watch those cooking shows on tv and think how do they make their dishes look perfect every time? we're going to spill some of their secrets right now.

    >> ali is the food editor at bonn appetit magazine. i love secrets of the kitchen.

    >> a lot of the times it's just a little secret.

    >> we all identify with this one.

    >> so you poach eggs, sometimes it's really annoying, the pan is covered in white whispy tentacles. all you want is that perfect poached egg that you get on a sunday morning.

    >> so how do we do it?

    >> super easy. you crack the egg into a fine mesh sieve. and you just swirl it around a little bit. see how there's some of the whites coming out? those are the watery whites.

    >> uh-oh.

    >> we already messed up.

    >> it cracked a little .

    >> oh, no! ruined the first egg.

    >> here's a secret i don't know how to do it.

    >> let's make sure the yolk stays perfect.

    >> the watery whites, the stuff that does that. that's what's coming out. so all you do is you lower it right in. before you do that, you put a little bit of vinegar. just a little splash of vinegar. see how the water is just barely bubbling? and then you just dump it right in.

    >> ease it in.

    >> look at that.

    >> the water has to be really hot too?

    >> it has to be hot, but you don't want it moving so much that it's going to break up your egg.

    >> how long do you leave it in there?

    >> until the white doesn't look clear. when you touch it, there's no runny bits. so three or four minutes.

    >> that's a good one.

    >> look how perfect that is. put it on a paper towel to drain it. actually, you can put it on a salad.

    >> there you go. even better. you put poached eggs on everything, whether it's risotto, salad, pizza.

    >> mixed tip, grating cheese. sometimes cheese gets so soft, you can't grate it.

    >> it ends up in a ball all over the place. this is some cheese that's really soft. you can see how that grates. give it a try.

    >> it's like mush. i hate that. it's terrible.

    >> and you're making it look like it's really awful.

    >> i didn't try.

    >> one of the important things is you've got to grate your own cheese. you can buy grated cheese . it's just not that good. couple tips. one is to get your cheese kind of cold. ten, 15 minutes in the freezer. not freeze it so much that you ruin the cheese, just enough to make it tight and firm.

    >> what did you spray there?

    >> this is a little bit of cooking oil spray. a little bit of nonstick spray. and see how nicely that grates? not a big deal . just a little trick.

    >> moving on back here.

    >> okay. we love our freezers. we love to keep stuff. it can often turn into a black hole of unidentifiable objects. and also those freezer containers take up a lot of space and they're round.

    >> so what's the tip?

    >> you're going to freeze them flat.

    >> pasta sauce.

    >> a little leftover pasta sauce. ladle it into a freezer bag.

    >> it gives you instant room in your freezer.

    >> exactly. all you do is you ladle it in. seal off the bag. lay it flat. once it's frozen, you can lie them all out.

    >> we have 30 seconds left. corn. corn on the cob , it ends up everywhere. so what's the tip here?

    >> the tip is you can cut it right into the bowl, but sometimes you can't get it in there. so you take a little bowl, turn it upside down, little whet paper towel keeps it in place.

    >> oh, nice.

    >> you can use a bundt pan keeps it in place.

    >> i'm going to make poached eggs for lunch.

    >> awesome. thank you so much. appreciate it. we're back in a moment. this is "today" on nbc.

    >>> the ladies are here.

    >> hot show . hot, hot, hot. valerie harper .

    >> here with martha williamson. new series. cyndi lauper . and a lot of other people.

    >> yes.

    >> my mother and my niece are here. over here. we'll see you on the show.

    >> but first, your local news.

TODAY recipes
updated 4/15/2014 5:25:50 PM ET 2014-04-15T21:25:50

Recipe: Beef and pork ragu

  • 8 tbsps olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground pork
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound ground beef chuck
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced small
  • 1 stalk celery, minced
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsps tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 28-ounce can Italian tomatoes with juices, crushed
  • 3 cups low-salt chicken broth

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat until oil shimmers. Add half of pork and season with salt and pepper. Cook, turning occasionally, until brown all over, about 3 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer pork to a rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with 2 more tablespoons of oil, remaining pork and salt and pepper. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to same pot, add beef and season with salt and pepper. Cook beef, breaking up clumps with a wooden spoon, until nicely browned, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer to sheet with pork.

Add remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to same pot. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add onion, carrot, celery and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Cook vegetables, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned, 8-10 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add tomato paste to pot and cook, stirring constantly, until deep red and caramelized, about 3 minutes. Add pork and beef with any accumulated juices. Stir to evenly incorporate. Add wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes with juices and simmer until reduced and sauce is thickened, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in broth and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low, cover pot, and simmer, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon to break up pork pieces, until meat is tender and sauce is reduced to 10 cups, about 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Uncover pot if needed during last half hour for juices to reduce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serving Size

8 servings

Recipe: Poached eggs with arugula and prosciutto

  • 2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 6 cups arugula (about 4 ounce.)
  • 2 Tbsps. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 ounce thinly sliced prosciutto, torn into strips

Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan; reduce heat so water is at a gentle simmer and add vinegar.

Crack an egg into a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl, letting the watery outer edge of the whites drain through, then gently slide egg into water. Repeat with remaining eggs, waiting until whites of eggs in water are opaque before adding the next egg (about 30 seconds apart). Poach until whites are set but yolks are still runny, about 3 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer eggs to paper towels as they are done.

Toss arugula, oil and lemon juice in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper.

Serve arugula topped with prosciutto and poached eggs.

Serving Size

4 servings

Recipe: Roasted corn with manchego and lime

  • 6 ears of sweet yellow corn, unhusked
  • 2 tbsps extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsps unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded, finely diced
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 lime, cut into 4 wedges
  • 1 cup finely grated manchego cheese
  • 1/4 cup chives, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsps lime zest, finely grated

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Roast unhusked corn on a baking sheet, turning occasionally, until heated through, about 15 minutes. Let cool. Shuck corn and cut kernels from cobs. Discard cobs.                                            

Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add corn kernels and sauté until heated through and lightly golden in spots, about 3-5 minutes. Add butter and stir until melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer corn to a large wide bowl or deep platter. Sprinkle jalapeño and crushed red pepper flakes over. Squeeze lime wedges over. Sprinkle with cheese, chives and lime zest.

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