TODAY   |  April 16, 2014

Poach an egg like a pro: Hot kitchen tips

Bon Appetit magazine’s Allie Lewis Clapp joins TODAY to help you cook food like the pros (without spending all day in the kitchen).

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> 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.