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April 10, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Poached Eggs on Potato Cakes

Filed under: Food,Recipe of the Week,Recipes — Twistie @ 8:30 am

It’s not often that I feature eggs in a dish here at Casa Twistie.  When I have eggs, it’s usually as an ingredient in a cake or other dish where it isn’t particularly noticed. But every once in a while, it’s really satisfying to have a well-prepared egg.

One day recently I was thinking just that as I thumbed my way through one of Mr. Twistie’s flea market finds, 300 Ways to Serve Eggs From Appetizers to Zabaglione. published in 1940 for the Culinary Arts Institute. That’s right, the CIA. As in the food one, not the spy one.


I thought it would be fun to play with eggs, so I determined to find a recipe. Several were rejected out of hand because they sounded way too scary to eat. You know, things like Noodle Oyster Loaf with Creamed Eggs and Stuffed Eggs in Cucumber Jelly.

On the other hand, I like poached eggs and had never tried making one myself. And so I lighted on Poached Eggs on Potato Cakes. I like poached eggs. I like potatoes. It seemed well worth a try.


4 large potatoes

2 Tblsp butter

2 Tblsp grated cheese (Are these people on crack???? That wouldn’t be enough cheese for me for one egg, let alone half a dozen. I halved the recipe and got a lot more generous with the cheese. I didn’t really measure, but I think it was about half a cup when I felt I had enough. Oh, and the cheese wasn’t specified, but I used extra-sharp cheddar, because I find it tasty and had some on hand I needed to start using up soon.)

Salt and pepper

Fat for frying (I used a combination of unsalted butter and olive oil, because I think it adds a nice flavor.)

2 onions, sliced

3 tomatoes, sliced (i used Roma because there were some actual decent ones at my local grocery store this week)

6 poached eggs

Pare and boil potatoes until tender. Mash, add butter, cheese, salt and, pepper. Shape into flat cakes and fry in hot fat. Prepare a sauce by browning the onions in fat and adding the tomatoes. Simmer slowly about twenty minutes. Cover fried potato cakes with sauce and top each with a poached egg.

The hardest part was the fact that I’d never poached an egg before. If you need instructions, take a look here and have fun. Mine got a little messy, with strings of white floating off. Still, with a bit of practice they should be just fine. The most important thing is that they tasted good. Seriously, give it a go and don’t skimp on the cheese. This one is tasty and satisfying.


  1. FYI, CIA is Culinary Institute of America, not Culinary Arts Institute. Culinary Arts Institute is a whole other – and inferior – animal. :)

    Comment by Cheffie — April 10, 2010 @ 5:31 pm

  2. I love poached eggs, and I love potato pancakes. Hadn’t thought to combine the two, but I’ll have to give it a try!

    Poached eggs can be a little tricky. One of the secrets I found somewhere on the internet is adding a splash of vinegar to the water before adding the eggs. Something about the vinegar keeps the whites from turning into a stringy soupy mess.

    Comment by barbara — April 10, 2010 @ 9:39 pm

  3. In my experience, poaching eggs is by nature a bit messy. In La Technique, Jacques Pepin simply recommends that you “trim off the hanging pieces with a knife or a pair of scissors.” (This also includes a cold water bath before and after the trim, with the recommendation “To use hot, place in a strainer, lower into boiling water for approximately 1 minute, drain and serve immediately.”)

    Comment by Maria — April 11, 2010 @ 9:18 am

  4. This is crazy. I just had the biggest craving for potato pancakes with poached eggs last Monday. And since I had a big leftover potato, some scallions I needed to use up and exactly one egg left, I made some.

    I just peeled and grated the potato, put some salt, pepper, nutmeg and sliced scallions in it and fried it up with some butter.

    I have poached quite a few eggs in my life because it’s one of my favorite foods but I just recently learned a trick through Thomas Keller’s cook book “Ad Hoc at home” – do everything like they say in the link you post but before you put the egg in – stir the water with a wooden spoon – this will make the water swirl and it helps keep the egg white together. My eggs still don’t look like the way they look in restaurants but they look way better than they used to look like.

    Comment by Ali — April 11, 2010 @ 1:07 pm

  5. in restaurants they have egg poaching pans, with little cups for the eggs. I always stir the water when I’m going to poach. Also, I add salt to the water. For some reason it helps (maybe just in my mind) to bind the albumen together better.

    Comment by Plumcake — April 11, 2010 @ 2:38 pm

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