Cooking Techniques: Poaching

Poaching, a scary thought to some, but one that is easy to perfect. This cooking method is extremely versatile and can be used to cook about all most everything. In simple terms it means to simmer food in a liquid until it’s cooked through. Generally, it works best with items that are more delicate such as fruit, fish, white meat and most popular eggs! However, what is so great about poaching? 

  • Fat: Compared to other cooking techniques such as frying or baking poaching can be accomplished with the least amount fat. Specifically, when we talk about eggs – recipes can require 2-3 tablespoons of fat whether its butter, heavy cream or oil. This may seem like a small amount however can add up too 100 calories to your dish. 
  • Nutrition Value: cooking methods that use a higher temperature such as sautéing and frying breakdown food resulting is a loss of vitamins and minerals – this can be seen in a loss of color with vegetables. By poaching your food, you use a minimal amount of heat which helps retain those vitamin and minerals allowing you to consume the most nutrition from your food.  
  • Flavor: Poaching is a great way to add flavor to your dish. Whether you use stock or just water as your poaching liquid you are able to add and remove what you please and therefore have complete control over the end result. A quick tip; do not discard your poaching liquid. Heat it up in a smaller sauce pan until its reduced to half and use it as a sauce! This will help concentrate and bring out the flavors of your dish. 

Unfortunately poaching does require some skill, but like everything else practice makes perfect. Furthermore, poaching allows you to be more creative in your cooking. It is a great way for you to experiment with flavors and ingredients.  

 

by Brianna Diorio

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