Perfect Boiled Eggs

Listening to: “She’s Got You” by Rosanne Cash.

Everybody has that signature dish they make — the perfect Paella (my friend has a complete Paella set-up with a big pan and burners and everything), the world’s greatest cinnamon rolls, tamales you’d sell your right arm for. 

I wouldn’t say eggs are my “signature dish”, but they are a bit of an obsession for me.  Specifically — boiled eggs.  I don’t like them any other way (okay, I’ll eat them fried sometimes, as in the aforementioned Fried Egg Sandwich).  But boiled eggs, now we’re talking.

To that end, here’s a collection of boiled egg tricks:

  • Here’s a handy chart for boiling times for eggs, taken from www.cookinghow.com Boiled Egg Stages
  • To hardboil eggs perfectly, start with eggs at room temperature.  Drop eggs into a pan of cold water.  Turn heat up to high.  When the eggs begin to boil, simmer for 12 minutes.  Remove from heat, run cold water over them.
  • To easily remove the shell (sometimes in just a piece or two): add some baking soda to the water you’ll boil the eggs in.  It reduces the adhesion of the shell to the egg. 
  • “Older” eggs (on the shelf more than 5 days) are also easier to peel after boiling. 
  • Properly hardboiled eggs have no green chalkiness around the yolk.  (If you experience this, then the next time either reduce your cooking time or make sure you really cool them down fast.  Boiled eggs will continue to cook a bit in the shell if you just remove them from the heat and don’t cool them down with cold or icy water.)
  • To differentiate between raw and cooked eggs, add a couple of drops of food coloring to your boiling water. 
  • To boil a “scrambled egg” or to scramble a boiled egg (?), this video shows a fun trick you can try.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aazP6zvJmiQ

Now, as for my “signature dish”?  I think the closest I’ve come to that is recreating my family’s famous potato salad.  Of course, the recipe calls for boiled eggs.  :)

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