Lately I have been reading a lot of posts about “the perfect boiled egg”. I guess that, with the advent of Easter, this is the appropriate time of the year to discuss such matters. However, I find myself a little overwhelmed with the many tips, suggestions and instructions being issued regarding the humble boiled egg.
It turns out that most of us have been eating imperfectly boiled eggs for most of our lives. I guess I should include myself in that group because I am quite a space cadet and tend to do five different things at once. Occasionally, I do overlook the poor egg in the pot…and then it’s too late. I am stuck with the imperfect egg.
I really never thought of the egg, boiled or not, as “imperfect”. I care that it comes from a free range, organically fed chicken and that it’s fresh. I like the blue eggs from my hens and the dark tan ones from the market, but beyond that I don’t feel bound by technique or bullied by purists while I am cooking them.
I ask you, why the sudden obsession with the “perfect” egg? Is it for fear that the Easter Bunny will turn up his cute nose at our slightly overcooked eggs? I think we can rest easy that he prefers chocolate ones anyway.
If, in any case, you are curious about how to boil your eggs in a manner that will yield a delicious, golden morsel, what follows is how I do it at home.
Eggs (week old are better)
Enough water to cover the eggs
1 tsp baking soda
The goal is to cook the eggs in water that has barely reached the boiling point. If you overcook them in water that has been allowed to come to a rolling boiling temperature, the yolk will develop a greenish tinge that, though harmless, makes the egg a bit unappetizing. Don’t fret though, it happens sometimes and you can safely use those eggs.
Place the eggs in a pot with cold water. Bring to a boil and immediately turn off the heat. Cover the pot and let the eggs sit for about 20 minutes. Less time will yield a softer yolk. Immerse the eggs in a cold bath for 5 minutes and refrigerate before you peel them.
Boiled eggs are a wonderful source of protein, Vitamins A, D & E. They also provide you with phosphorus, iron, calcium and some zinc.