Monday, June 17, 2013

My New Superpower: Hard-boiling Fresh Eggs!

cognitive dissonance: the discomfort experienced when simultaneously holding two or more conflicting cognitions: ideas, beliefs, values or emotional reactions. In a state of dissonance, people may sometimes feel "disequilibrium": frustration, hunger, dread, guilt, anger, embarrassment, anxiety, etc.

This is the perfect definition of my state at this time of year, though my situation is probably not what psychologists were considering when they came up with the term. To wit: I love farm fresh eggs, whether purchased at the farmers' market or my favorite independent farmer, with their pastel green, beige, brown, dark brown or even bronze shades and variously speckled or, as my 3-year-old nephew says, "sparkly" shells. (I let him pick out his own eggs for scrambling—he always chooses the sparkliest.)

The problem comes when I need to hard-boil them for potato salad or, worst, for deviled eggs where the solid whites need to be pristine holders for the fluff of yolk that sits in their convex cups. The magic of the preparation dims substantially if the whites look more like 4-wheel-drive tire treads, and I've struggled with various techniques to make these fresh eggs easier to peel. I've even gone so far as to buy store-bought eggs in a desperate moment, knowing that they're likely at least a month old and the membrane surrounding the white has started to break down, releasing its sticky hold on the shell.

Some research gave me a new, and even deadly, superpower. With it I can now hard boil the freshest of fresh eggs and they'll peel like a dream, practically falling off the egg with the slightest of tugs. I'm sharing it with you so that your summer can be full of the loveliness of those dreamy yolks and pristine whites. But, like all superpowers, you must promise to use it only for good.

Hard-Boiled Fresh Eggs
  1. Make sure your eggs are at room temperature. This will reduce cracking when submerging them in boiling water.
  2. Bring a pot of water to boil over high heat.
  3. Slowly lower the eggs into the boiling water.
  4. When boiling resumes, set timer for 15 min. and reduce heat to keep at a low boil.
  5. When timer goes off, drain eggs and submerge in ice bath until chilled, then peel.
Get my recipes for Spanish-style Deviled Eggs and Curried Mustard Deviled Eggs.


Michele K said...

Another way that works well for me is to *steam* them - the results make for a less well-done yolk, which I enjoy, and I seem to experience less cracked shells this way. I use a steamer insert for a few eggs, or a large pasta steamer pot for a large amount. Bring water to boil, put eggs in steamer basket and steam for 13 mins. Put into ice water for 5 minutes (or until not warm to the touch), then into fridge if not peeling immediately.

Kathleen Bauer said...

I'll definitely have to check this one out, Michele…thanks!

Anonymous said...

If your tip for being able to peel fresh hard boiled eggs works… you will be my new best friend!! Deviled eggs are my husband’s favorite snack and I dread having to peel the stupid things.
- Ginger

Kathleen Bauer said...

I felt the same way, so hope it works for you! Keep me posted…

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, this is amazing! I have tried various tips I've seen online for boiling fresh eggs (baking soda or vinegar in the boiling water) and it never works. I always end up peeling away half of the whites. I just boiled 9 FRESH eggs using your method, and every single one of them peeled perfectly! Thank you, thank you!!!

Kathleen Bauer said...

Glad to share the superpower with you, Anon…have fun!

Anonymous said...

You might also try letting them set in very cold water, till cool to the touch. Then in the fridge, at least a few hours. Best over night. Then run it under hot water, then peel.

Kathleen Bauer said...

Thanks for the suggestion, Anon. Now I'll just have to work on not waiting till the last minute to make them!