Wednesday, March 24, 2010

18. Hard Cooked Eggs, Cold Water

Eighth-grade home economics classes used to be partnered with other short term subjects and only lasted for eight weeks in my junior high was not long enough for me. I craved more and could hardly wait for the class to start; I was in my element and I didn't even know what an element was.

We were taught basic cooking techniques and I felt a comfortable familiarity toward all of the foods we prepared...beginner recipes that they were. Many of the instructional concerns focused on how to mix and measure properly, the steps to effectively clean our work areas and how to be careful with potentially dangerous gas appliances. To this day, the smell of a gas oven being lit takes me back to that junior high home-ec room.

One of the most amazing recipes the teacher taught our group of beginning cooks was for baked eggs. I had never even heard of a baked egg. I knew fried, scrambled, poached, hard and soft boiled, deviled and even omelets...but not baked. After I came home with the recipe, my mother actually let me try it out on our family...little eggs, nested in custard cups...which had been lined with bacon and drizzled with milk. It was an amazingly unhealthy concoction. I think I only made it took too long to cook and the fascination wore off. (Baked eggs are also known as shirred eggs).

So many great recipes call for eggs that I usually have at least two dozen of them in my refrigerator at all times. Eggs can be used hundreds of ways, but today's recipe is for an easy and almost foolproof way to hard boil them. I wish someone had taught this technique to me when I was raising my would have saved so many eggs from being rendered unusable when we wanted to color them for Easter.

Hard Cooked Eggs

Place desired amount of eggs in a pot and add enough COLD water so it measures an inch above the eggs. Turn heat on HIGH and watch for water to boil...Immediately, remove pot from heat and COVER.
Let eggs stand for 24 minutes, covered. When the time is up, immediately, pour off the hot water and stop the cooking process by running cold water over the eggs.Tap an egg on the counter-top to crack the shell...then, roll the egg around to loosen the shell further and peel. If you hold the egg under running, cold water the shell will be easier to remove.

Note: be sure to cover pot for the standing process...

Coloring Eggs - Easy Method

Hard cook eggs and cool. Fill a custard cup or glass with water and heat in microwave for 1 minute on HIGH. Remove cup and add 1/4 tsp vinegar and a few drops of food coloring. Carefully place egg in water mixture and roll egg around gently. Let egg sit for a few minutes...make sure it colors evenly. Remove from water using tongs and place on a paper towel to dry. Refrigerate eggs.

1 comment:

  1. Marian wrote: Your mention of a class in Home Economics reminded me of my egg experience there. We did not make baked or shirred eggs; we made goldenrod eggs. I believe this was hard-boiled eggs mashed, whites and yolks together, and served on toast. I guess this would be similar to an egg salad sandwich, but I don't remember any mayo being involved, or pickles.