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The 3-Minute Skill That Will Totally Change Your Breakfast

Poaching an egg is actually a lot easier than you think, and can turn some basic dishes into truly wonderful meals.

By Lynn Andriani

  • Master The Morning Before You've Even Brewed Coffee
    A warm poached egg with a gooey yolk is a thing to behold, creating an instant sauce for whatever else is on your plate and r
    gourmetphotography/iStock/Thinkstock
    A warm poached egg with a gooey yolk is a thing to behold, creating an instant sauce for whatever else is on your plate and resulting in a satisfaction that even the tastiest bowl of cold cereal cannot match. And the return on investment is huge -- within minutes, a hot, balanced breakfast is served.

    While there seem to be dozens of opinions on poaching eggs, we've found simple is best: For one egg, fill a small saucepan with a few inches of water and bring it to a boil. Crack an egg into a cup. Lower the boiling water to a gentle simmer (if you're concerned about flyaway egg whites, try this trick) and gently pour the egg into the water. Cooking time varies depending on how runny you want the yolk, but three minutes is a good starting point. Carefully lift the poached egg out with a slotted spoon, drain it on a paper towel and...
  • Let It Stand In For Syrup
    Whether you're eating traditional pancakes or ones that have savory mix-ins (<a href="http://www.oprah.com/food/Make-Pancakes
    Jean Cazals/StockFood Creative/Getty Images
    Whether you're eating traditional pancakes or ones that have savory mix-ins (such as pumpkin, quinoa or prosciutto), a poached egg is a terrific substitute for syrup. When you break the yolk, it seeps into the dish just as syrup would, but instead of sweetening the pancakes, it takes the dish in a more sophisticated direction (think French crepes). Waffles are another great base for a poached egg; try pumpkin ones with a sprinkling of chopped walnuts or pecans.
  • Have A Happy Meal
    Starting your day with greens is a great way to get an early hit of folate, a B vitamin that has been found to put people in
    ALLEKO/iStock/Getty Images
    Starting your day with greens is a great way to get an early hit of folate, a B vitamin that has been found to put people in better moods, and spinach and asparagus are two vegetables that have it in spades. Steam them in the microwave for a minute, or in a tiny bit of water in a saucepan for two; then top them with a poached egg for a saucy dish that you won't believe you just whipped up in the time it usually takes to fry some turkey bacon (it's even better with a slice of crusty bread and a dash of crunchy sea salt).
  • Make The Speediest Breakfast Pizza Ever
    Ready-made polenta in tubes is one of the grocery store's unsung heroes; it's essentially an Italian spin on cornbread that c
    Lily Chou/Moment/Getty Images
    Ready-made polenta in tubes is one of the grocery store's unsung heroes; it's essentially an Italian spin on cornbread that can be broiled, fried or baked, and then used in a thousand different ways. Here's one we love: slice off a thick round and fry it in a scant teaspoon of olive oil until the edges become crispy. If you've got some tomato sauce handy, ladle some on top; if not, a sliced tomato -- raw or roasted -- works well, too. Lay a poached egg over the stack and finish with grated Parmesan or shredded mozzarella.
  • Don't Feel You Need To Play Favorites
    We know toast and eggs are a classic breakfast, as are salmon and dill on a bagel. But when you 2.0 these pairings, you get s
    mlisager/E+/Getty Images
    We know toast and eggs are a classic breakfast, as are salmon and dill on a bagel. But when you 2.0 these pairings, you get something spectacular. Start with a toasted halved English muffin and place a slice of smoked salmon over it. Next comes the poached egg and, finally, a dash of fresh, chopped dill. And when the soft egg oozes around the salmon and into the muffin's nooks and crannies, you won't miss the cream cheese, we promise.

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