Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The One That Matters; Hard-Boiled Eggs

For me, there's usually one recipe in any beloved cookbook that is the recipe, the one that matters. Believe it or not, here's mine for The Kitchen Survival Guide:
Hard-Boiled Eggs

Cooking time: 20 minutes
Can be made ahead? Yes. Shell the eggs while they are still hot and store in a covered glass or plastic container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Can be frozen? No.
Can be doubled and tripled? Yes. Make as many as you'd like. Just make sure you use a big enough pot to cook them.
Good for leftovers? Yes. Refrigerate for up to 4 day until ready to use.

It's best to use a Teflon-coated pan for boiling eggs, since a metal pan will become discolored unless you add a pinch of cream of tartar to the water.

Fill a saucepan two thirds full with cold water. Add as many eggs as you wish to cook (they should not be crowded) and 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a rolling boil. Cover the pan, turn off the heat, and let the eggs sit in the hot water for 15 minutes.

Drain off the hot water and immediately run the eggs under cold water. Peel at once (it gets harder if you wait).

I'm serious. Every. single. time. I boil eggs, I reach for The Kitchen Survival Guide and turn to page 153. Chefly Husband has crossed out "15" both times it appears in this recipe and written in "12 per Mom." Another C.H. notation: "3 for Soft-Boiled."

So, cook your eggs this way, for 12 minutes, and then go one step further and ignore the peeling advice. Take your hard-cooked eggs, and dye 'em. For any holiday. For any non-holiday.

Yes, I said "hard-cooked." The recipe above may call itself Hard-Boiled, but the American Egg Board calls 'em by their proper name. If you want truly hard-boiled eggs, you'll boil them for their whole cooking time, and be stuck in the same trap I was stuck in before The Kitchen Survival Guide came into my life. For me, hard-boiled = usually over cooked and with the weird grey ring around the yolk; hard-cooked = perfection, with the most beautiful yolks ever.

Favorite things to do with perfectly hard-cooked eggs:

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