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Poaching Question

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Checking the definition of poaching, it seems that heat is constantly applied to the poaching liquid, and the fish (or other ingredients) are slowly cooked by simmering. When I "poach" salmon fillets, the fish is put into the hot water off the heat, and left to cook for an appropriate time. Is this technique also called poaching, or is it called something else?

Shel
post #2 of 15
Good question. You are applying heat, but not adding any more heat to the dish. It's like making jugged kippers pretty much. Maybe its called "jugging" :)
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #3 of 15
Poaching is done by having the item in a liquid UNDER the boiling point, usually around 80 Celcius, no caveats on having constant heat or residual heat.
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #4 of 15
I agree with foodpump on this, simmering is not poaching.
post #5 of 15
Poaching is hunting for eggs out of season.
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Then what is simmering?

Shel
post #7 of 15
And, how is poaching different than simmering?

I found a definition that says that simmering is holding a liquid at a temperature of around 185 degrees fahrenheit, low enough that small bubbles, but not large ones, are just beginning to break the surface. If I'm doing the math right, that's 85 degrees celsius. Is it just the 5 degrees difference, I wonder?

And, to confuse things even more, I found a definition of poaching on foodnetwork.com:

Encyclopedia

that refers to "simmering" meats. Hmmm...:cool:

-Mary
post #8 of 15
Strange things happen to protiens when they are subjected to heat over 80 Celcius, they go tough, rubbery, dis-formed, etc. Eggwhites will congeal at around 65 Celcius, yolks around 80. Drop a cracked egg into boiling water and see what happens as opposed to water under the boiling point.

I learnt my lesson a looong time ago about respecting the temperature for poaching when making creme caramel (poached custard in ramekins) for a banquet. The ramekins were sitting in a waterbath, but I had the heat in the oven cranked up too high, and the water came to a slight boil, just tiny bubbles, really, figured it wouldn't matter. When they were cold and it was time to get them out of the molds, I had tiny bubbles all over the custards, looked like swiss cheese, tasted a bit different too, a bit tougher and egg-ier-- and the Chef and the rest of the brigade never let me forget either.

Haven't got my books at home here with me in the office, but I wonder how Larousse defines poaching, or how C.I.A's excellent book defines poaching
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #9 of 15
The other element is that the piece being cooked by poaching should be completely covered by the liquid. When you are talking simmering no such qualification is implied.

--Al
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Which is interesting in that for some recipes I've seen the fish was nowhere near covered, or fully immersed, in water, yet the technique was described as poaching. Here's an example:

Simply Recipes: Poached Salmon

There have also been a number of recipes for "oven poached" salmon in which hardly any liquid is used.

Shel
post #11 of 15
Sounds like there's a lot of loose application of the term poaching...the "oven poached" salmon sounds more like a steaming process or braising even, if its covered.
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
Reply
post #12 of 15
poaching salmon is illegal. There are legal ways and times to catch them. I have let plenty of Chinook salmon swim past me even tho I was drooling . . . just kidding around.
post #13 of 15
Shel,

That's the thing with cooking terms. Most have a very specific usuage in a professional context but get pretty "loosey-goosey" in the home kitchen and publishing. This is normal of course and happens with any trade. The average cook at home is not going to need to know what the mother sauces are, the formal difference between a marmite, jus, or stock, etc. It can cause problems when people start becoming exposed to specific cooking terms from a dubious source of authority (Foodnetwork, I'm looking at you). And when I say problem I don't mean it any sort of elitist way. The chief problem is that a customer may have an expectation buit up based on false assumptions of a menu item. Nobody comes out happy in these circumstances.

--Al
post #14 of 15
Waitaminnit, this is not a pro forum, and you're not allowed to put down the cook-at-homes here!! Do that in the pro forums! :D
post #15 of 15
Oh..my mistake! I thought I was suposed to put down the pros in the pro forums! Thank god for work where i can put down everybody!

--Al:D
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