Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Hard Boiled

Did you grow up eating hard boiled eggs? Or Egg Salad sandwiches?

I ate plenty of eggs as a kid. Sometimes I'd get a hard boiled egg in my lunch, and always after Easter, we'd have egg salad on toasted bread. Did you ever read the Francis books as a kid? Do you remember in Bread and Jam for Francis, she would get a hard boiled egg and a little salt shaker in her lunch? That is probably the main reason my mom got away with putting them in my lunch along with a little baggy of salt to dip the egg in. But I hardly eat them anymore.

On Monday, J was telling me about her and Maya making Egg Salad Sandwiches for lunch and then of course I just had to have one. So off to the kitchen I went to boil up some eggs.

I rarely boil eggs anymore, so sometimes I forget the exact timing of a hard boiled egg, so I still refer to my notes.
Oh sure, you're probably all totally questioning my cooking skills now. A hard boiled egg? Really? Didn't you go to Culinary School?
If you'd believe it, a hard boiled egg is one of the first things we learned in school, and then as part of our Senior Practical we had to cook the perfect boiled quail and chicken eggs. And yes.... some people failed and had to do it over, some multiple times. Myself included. The technique I now follow is not one our teachers taught us, I got this tip from one of my fellow students, which many of you probably already know, but it was a test saver for me... especially since you don't have to really watch the time so much.

The perfect hard boiled egg has a tender but solid white, a centered fully cooked yolk, and NO GREEN SULFUR RING on the yolk. The trick is to slowly and gently cook the egg, and then stop the cooking as fast as you can. To help keep the yolk centered, before putting them in the water, prick a hole in the fat end of the egg to release the air bubble.
Another tip... fresh eggs don't peel well. Use the oldest eggs you have (that aren't bad obviously).

This is how I boil an egg:
  • Prick the eggs in the fat end with a thumbtack and put in a pot of cool water, with enough water to cover the eggs by 1 inch.
  • Place on High Heat until the water comes to a gentle boil.
  • Cover and turn off the heat.
  • Let the eggs sit in the hot water for 12ish minutes (in school this was perfect because there was no watching the pot while you worked on other items for your dishes. I've heard of people letting them sit up to 20 minutes with no issues, others swear by 10 minutes exactly)
  • Put the pot in the sink and run cold water, to displace the hot water.
  • Add Ice to quickly chill the eggs thoroughly.

Voila! A Perfectly hard-boiled egg with NO GREEN GOO!

I know this isn't how my mom taught me, but that's how I do it. How do you boil an egg?


Photo Info: I didn't think to take a picture of the eggs I made, even though I was quite proud of them. It was VERY hard to find a photo of a hard boiled egg without the green film around the yolk, and I know this is how they were when I grew up, so I think most people accept it as part of the end product. I found this photo on slashfood.com, from a post they did on the perfect hard boiled egg, and they used pretty much the same method.

7 comments:

Gina said...

I am one of the few people for whom hard-boiled eggs hold zero appeal.

I only make them for Easter egg dying!

But I love scrambled!

ML said...

This is how I boil eggs too. It works every time and the egg is perfect.

MrsGrumpy said...

Yay! I would have passed...I think. I let mine sit for 15 minutes though. So maybe a B? I go through days of craving them and then I won't have eggs for weeks.

Ginger said...

I tried this method once but the person who told me forgot to mention the cooling with ice part. I found them difficult to peal. So I'll try it agin your way. I've always just boiled them in the water for 12 minutes.

Beenzzz said...

I haven't tried this method, but it sounds interesting! I shall give it a try. :)
My Mom used to make really delicious egg salad sandwiches when I was growing up. Her deviled eggs are delish too!

dennis said...

hehe.. i love egg!

seriously though, i do love egg. yum.

Anonymous said...

Ditto, I do the exact same steps. However, towards the end, before adding the cold water, I do the following extra steps, to making peeling these eggs a breeze:

1. drain the hot water from the pot
2. place a lid on the pot
3. while holding the lid and the pot, I shake it well, to crack the egg shells (this makes peeling a breeze and I get to eat them eggs warm and not chilled)
4. add cold water
5. peel them eggs