Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cooking class: how to hard boil eggs

I like to store boiled eggs in a mini loaf pan b/c it fits nicely in the fridge
Hard boiled eggs are a fantastic thing to have available in your refrigerator. They can be quickly peeled and sliced onto a sandwich, whipped up into an egg salad or simply dipped into some pepper and snacked on. The protein is very high quality and it is loaded with nutrients like choline and omega-3 fatty acids; both needed for healthy brains, nerves and moods.

Hard boiling is one (rare) case where we don't want the freshest eggs; fresh eggs are much harder to peel once boiled. Choose older eggs that have been in your fridge for a few days.
  • Place eggs in the bottom of a saucepan and add a splash of white vinegar
  • Cover eggs with water and cover; turn stove to high setting and bring to a boil
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 12 minutes --or-- if you aren't in a rush, once eggs come to a boil, remove from heat let eggs cool on their own. By the time the water has cooled, eggs will be perfectly cooked
  • Place eggs in a bowl or bread pan and pop in the fridge. Don't put back in the carton because you won't know which eggs are raw and which ones are hard boiled.

Egg issue
Egg-cellent solution
Yolk is green after boiling
Boil for shorter time next time; green color comes from iron in the egg yolk. Safe to eat, just not very pretty
Egg is hard to peel
Eggs were (gasp!) too fresh; older eggs are easier to peel
Egg cracked during boiling
·         Add vinegar to boiling water to slightly soften the egg shells
·         Reduce heat to low; rapidly boiling water can jostle eggs too much causing them to hit the bottom of the pan

Lower heat when boiling to prevent cracking

Have your hard boiled eggs ready? Try my avocado egg salad

Pop quiz: which eggs are healthier; brown or white?
Answer: Neither; they just come from different breeds of hens. The nutritional quality of eggs depends on what the hens ate; hens that have a varied diet produce more nutrient dense eggs than those only eating chicken chow.

Most hens that produce eggs in this country aren't treated very well. Look for eggs at your farmers market so that you know the conditions in which those eggs were produced; you'll be supporting happier hens and get better quality eggs too. Or, raise your own. As Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm would say;  

"Replace the parakeet. Raise two chickens instead. They won't make as much noise, and they'll lay eggs."

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