Thursday, April 23, 2015
I was never big on hard boiled eggs growing up. They were smelly and always tasted like chalk. Sure, I loved coloring eggs on Easter like every other child, however the extent of my hard boiled egg excitement ended after the Easter egg hunt. Maybe I was also freaked out by the dye that always stained the whites of the colored eggs when my mom would make egg salad sandwiches. Who knows. Point is, they were not my food of choice.
When I got to college I quickly realized the potential of hard boiled eggs. As a division one runner, I needed lots of food and fast. Eggs were the perfect food because I was in a dorm room and armed with only a hot plate (that I illegally snuck in of course!). Omelets didn't travel well, so hard boiled eggs were the answer...if I only knew how to cook them right! Every time I tried to make them I would get super frustrated because I could never peel them. Egg after egg was wasted as I would rip the white off the egg when trying to peel them. Eventually I gave up and just stuck to eating jars of peanut butter. Not the worst thing to happen I guess :)
Fast forward to the present. I still eat jars of peanut butter (ok almond butter), but I now hold the secret to how to perfectly hard boil eggs. If you use my method you will get perfectly hard boiled eggs every time, and the shell comes off in a snap without any white breakage. Too good to be true? Nope!
Here's my no-fail hard boiled egg method:
1. Place the eggs in warm water and bring them to room temperature (or leave them out for an hour before boiling). This is to prevent them from cracking when placing them in boiling water.
2. Bring a pot of water to a boil. You have to estimate the amount of water you use based on how many eggs you are boiling, you are looking to have about 2-3 inches above the eggs. To make it easy, I usually place the eggs in the pot with warm water to bring them to room temperature. That way I can estimate the right amount of water, remove the eggs when warmed, and bring the water to a boil.
3. Add the eggs and let them boil for 10 minutes. You may have to turn the heat down slightly so the pot doesn't boil over. Just keep the water boiling for the full time.
4. After 10 minutes, remove from the heat and let sit for up to 10 minutes in the pot. Allow them to sit in the pot for at least 6 minutes (if you like your egg yolks on the soft side) up to 10 minutes for fully cooked, yet not chalky, yolks.
5. Remove the eggs from the pot with a slotted spoon and place them immediately in a ice water bath. The shock of hot to freezing helps the skin on the egg easily separate when peeling!
6. Take each egg and crack all sides before peeling. Peel the eggs IN the ice bath. I found that keeping the eggs fully submerged really helps the shell come off easier and faster.
That's it! Now the time will vary slightly depending on the size of the eggs you use (I usually use large eggs) and the age of your eggs. I'm not exactly sure how the age matters, but apparently eggs are extremely complicated things and there are all sorts of factors that go into the chemistry of boiling them. My mom said she listened to a whole NPR segment about a guy who studies eggs (what?!). I'm just sharing what works for me. I am not an egg scientist or chemistry expert. I'm just a girl who loves a good deviled egg and have had success every time I used this method.
There are so many uses for hard boiled eggs. You can devil them, make egg salad, add them to a salad, or simply pop them whole as a quick and nutritious snack. I always have peeled hard boiled eggs on hand in the fridge. My absolute favorite way to enjoy them is deviled. Add some homemade mayo (don't use that processed crap) and you have yourself a tasty treat; add some roasted red peppers to them and oh boy, you just went gourmet! The sweet, roast-y flavor of the peppers pairs wonderfully with the creamy, rich yolk. If you want to impress your guests, or just eat some good grub, make these!
Roasted Red Pepper Deviled Eggs
6 organic, free-range eggs
1/4 cup homemade mayo
1/4 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
1 tsp spicy brown mustard
salt and peper, to taste
Slice the eggs in half long ways, and separate the white from the yolk. Add the mayo and spicy brown mustard to the yolks and mash until creamy. You can also throw them in a food processor for a super smooth consistency.
Stir in the roasted red peppers and season with salt and pepper. Spoon the yolk mixture into the hole of each of the whites. I use two teaspoons, one to scoop the filling and the other to aid in removing the filling into the white. Serve cold.