Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Eggs 101: Hard Cooked Eggs

Martha, you were a bad egg!


Here I go talking about (please choose one of the following):
a) Eggs
b) Silly stuff
c) Food (this isn't a food blog, remember?)
d) all of the above

I pick: d) all of the above

Easter Sunday is fast approaching, at least it is to me. I need to buy my eggs. It's my duty to bring the eggs in all their smashing glory, to brunch (as well as be the chemist with my Dad on Good Friday when we make the Easter Breads).

I take great pride in everything that I do so when over the years I have learnt how to make a perfect hard cooked egg and now I'm going to teach you.

First of all, they are not called Hard Boiled Eggs because you shouldn't be boiling the egg at all. I'll explain later.

Tip#1 ensure that your eggs have been sitting in the fridge for about a week. The fresher the egg to harder it is the peel because the albumen looses some of its moister and carbon dioxide through the shell. This doesn't change the taste or nutritional value of the egg, just makes it easier to peel (5 points for that!).

Tip#2 make sure the egg is at room temperature before cooking. This creates an more even cooking temp inside the egg as well helps to prevent against cracking.

Now that we have the tips out of the way, here is the method:

  1. Place eggs in saucepan large enough to hold them in single layer. Add cold water to cover eggs by 1 inch. Heat over high heat just to boiling. Remove from burner immediately and cover pan.
  2. Let eggs stand in hot water about 15 minutes for large eggs (12 minutes for medium eggs; 18 minutes for extra large) *be sure to set your timer!
  3. Drain immediately and serve warm. Or, cool completely under cold running water or in bowl of ice water, removing only when egg is completely cool to touch. Refrigerate.
The cooling of the egg is just as important as cooking technique if you plan to serve the eggs at a later date. This helps prevents that unsightly greenish ring around the yolk that occurs from a reaction between the sulfur in egg white and the iron in the yolk.

Hard cooked eggs obviously keep for a long time when kept in their shell (up to 4 weeks, but in my books... that's a little scary! I'd try to use them within in the week). I usually decorate them the day before brunch- last year I hot glued little cotton balls on the backs and googly eyes on the front with little pink noses and ears. They were so cute! I had a picture but it was on my phone and I lost my phone at the start of the year.

This year, I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the eggs to make them pretty. Any ideas? I've often toyed with the idea of making natural dyes for the eggs but I'm not Martha Stewart (though, at times I wish I were... pre-jail) and I don't have the time or the patience for that. I like hot glue guns right now. So, maybe I'll just bedazzle them with all kinds of bits I can find at Michael's. Or even taking a napkin with pretty designs, splitting the layers and decoupaging little designs on them. Easy to get into and no one will complain about their newly dyed hands. Hmmm... I might be on to something here...

anyway, this was my Hard Cooks Eggs class. May you never have rubbery, greenish eggs again!

1 comment:

amourissima said...

another trick is to put the eggs in ice chilled water after letting sit in boiled water. Let them sit in iced water for 2 minutes THEN transfer the eggs (6 at a time please) back into the boiling hot water for 10 seconds and then back into the iced water for a full term of 20 minutes.

This process makes it even easier to remove the shell.

and that's that.