Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Eggs-pert

Pardon the pun; it even makes me groan! ;) To be honest, I am the worst egg-boiler in history. Because every recipe calls for a different amount of boiling time, sitting time, cooling time, etc., I have never remembered how to hard-boil eggs.

This morning, I decided to make low-fat egg salad, which of course
calls for hard-boiled eggs. I put a pot of water on the burner and let it boil, and then gently laid my eggs into the hot water on the still-running burner. Only after doing all of this and letting the eggs boil in the boiling water for 5 minutes did I decide to consult a recipe. My bad. 80% of the recipes I found online recommended using cold water, putting the eggs into the water before boiling, and taking the eggs off the heat (or reducing the heat dramatically) very shortly after boiling. I did none of these things.

I was a little worried. Did I just waste half a dozen fresh, large eggs out of carelessness? I assessed my situation and decided to improvise, thinking that perhaps I might be able to recover from my egg boiling errors. I found a couple of "hot water methods" for hard-boiled eggs, and hoped as I combed through them quickly that I had not actually messed up at all. Wrong again, since the "hot water method" called for me to add the eggs to the boiling hot water and immediately turn off the burner (which I had already left running for 5 minutes at this point). It also advised that I not lift the lid for 20 minutes after adding the eggs, which of course I had already done, and it suggested that I leave the eggs in the pot on the burner, which of course I had already removed it from.

DOH! :) Ever the culinary adventurer, I decided to recap the pot with the lid, return the eggs to the burner, and leave the eggs to simmer for another 10 minutes.

When the 10 had passed, I decided to take my eggs and run them under cold water for 2 minutes (which is suggested by virtually every hard-boiled egg recipe out there) before doing the final check.

I cracked open the first egg, and the shell slid off effortlessly. Good start, I thought. Next, I sliced into the egg with a knife. The egg white was relatively firm, and not rubbery. I made another slice into the egg. The yolk was medium-soft, but perfect. It was not green or gray, and it wasn't runny in the least. It had a fluffy texture to it that made me want to eat the yolk rather than save it for my egg salad. In a made-up word, my eggs were eggs-cellent. :)

What did I learn from my early morning egg adventure? I learned that it is not a bad idea to improvise and take risks when cooking (even something as simple as hard-boiled eggs), and that there's more than one way to boil an egg. :)

Here's my "recipe" for medium-hard-boiled eggs, in case you want to try it (and the time for each step apparently depends on altitude from sea level, so this is based on the Canadian prairie elevation from sea level):

6 eggs
salt

water

1. Fill a pot with cold water. Add salt and bring it to a boil.
2. Gently (using a ladle or spoon) add eggs to the boiling water. Cover and allow the water to boil again.
3. As soon as the water boils again, reduce heat to medium, crack the lid a little bit, and let the eggs continue to boil for 5 minutes.
4. Turn off the burner and recover the pot. Let eggs sit in the pot on the burner for about 20 minutes.
5. Remove eggs from pot and run under cold water for about 2 minutes.
6. Peel and enjoy!

And that, in short, is how I am becoming an eggs-pert. Trial and error, baby. Always trial and much error. :)



4 comments:

With Love, Fat Girl said...

This is how my mom taught me, she used to be a chef in Europe - easy to remember and never goes wrong!

Put heat on high, the eggs in a little pot, in cold water so the tops are just covered, and put the pot on the burner.

When the water starts to boil, put the heat down, between high and medium. The knob should be at 3 o'clock, if you know what I mean.

Soft boiled, a bit runny (that's how I like them): 2 mintes.

Proper soft boiled: 3 minutes.

Hard boiled: 5 minutes.

With Love, Fat Girl said...

Oh yeah, and, if you're not going to eat/serve them right away, get the eggs into cold water pronto so they stop cooking. Good luck!

janeylynne said...

Improvisation is the key to many a grand recipe that started as something else and became something even better!

Wobbly*Bits said...

I can't make a freaking baked potato. I swear I could bake it for 9 hours at 500* and it'd be crunchy and raw. Some things should just be store bought!