Friday, February 8, 2008

Hard Boiled Eggs


My grandmother, Nana, taught me how to make perfect hard boiled eggs, and it has worked every time. You take a pan just big enough to gently hold the amount of eggs that you want to cook and carefully place the eggs into the empty pan. Cover the eggs to just above the eggs with cold water. Place on the stove on a hot element and bring the water to a boil. As soon as the water boils turn off the heat and cover the pot with a tight lid and let sit for 25 minutes. When the time is up carefully pour off most of the water and run cold water over the eggs. Leave the eggs to cool down a bit, then transfer out of the water to whatever you want to put them in. The eggs will store nicely for several days.

What to do with hard boiled eggs

For Easter I like to dye eggs solid colors, especially blue, or an array of colors. I don’t worry if the eggs are cracked when dying them because the dyed bits of egg look terrific in egg salad sandwiches. To make the egg salad mixture I use the egg slicer to cut up the eggs. Put the egg in the slicer, slice the egg, lift up the handle, carefully turn the egg 90 degrees, then slice one more time. This gives more substance to the mixture. I then salt and pepper the eggs, and for the best eggs of all, peel and slice them while warm and moisten the mixture with butter. Otherwise, stir in a little mayonnaise, sour cream, and some Dijon mustard. 

The same two approaches can be used in making stuffed eggs. Though of course after peeling the egg you just cut it in half.  I don’t know why everyone insists upon calling them deviled eggs. I like to keep mine simple, and with the egg yolk as the main stuffing ingredient. And they don’t need to be dressed up, people like them simple.  But then, that's just how I do it.  I have been known to pipe the egg yolk filling into the egg white shells.  It makes it go faster, but it takes quite a bit of effort to clean the piping bag afterwards.

When I was a kid, and my Mom made lots of eggs for the eight of us to find, and each one of us assumed that we had rightful possession of the eggs we found. We didn’t expect the eggs to get turned into anything. What you did was peal the egg, cut it in half, salt and pepper the egg, and eat it. Well actually, I don't think my brothers bothered with "the cut it in half" part.

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