Friday, July 15, 2011

Behold, the Simple Egg

A perfectly cooked hard boiled egg with a just set yolk and a white that is easily held in hand or chopped to create the perfect deviled egg or egg salad is easy to achieve but takes getting to know your equipment.  Every chef has the timing down but that doesn't mean it will work on your stove, in your favorite pot and in the temperature of your tap water.  Try my basic 6-6-6 technique and adjust to our kitchen's timing:
  1. Place eggs straight from the refrigerator in a pot, covered with cold tap water, top on the pot.  
  2. Place the pot over high heat and bring to a boil.  
  3. Once water is boiling, lower heat and place the top askew so that a slow boil is maintained for 6 minutes.  
  4. After 6 minutes, remove from burner and let eggs sit in hot water an additional 6 minutes.  
  5. Drain and fill pot with cold water.  (If you are cooking more than 3 eggs,  rinse a few times to ensure water surrounding eggs is cool.)  
  6. Let eggs sit in cold water 6 minutes.  Peel and store or enjoy immediately.
Hard boiled eggs don't need to be ice cold to enjoy.  If you are using right away on a chef's salad or a snack, try them while they are still warm.  Lovely.

Soft Boiled Egg Variations
Now that you can make a perfect hard boiled egg, here's how to make a soft boiled egg that is the perfect protein portion over a bed of steamed spinach or toast.  Fast for breakfast, satisfying for lunch, perfect for a light dinner.

Use the same technique as above but once the water begins to boil, remove the pot's lid, lower the heat and allow enough heat for a slow boil for 2 minutes.  Remove the egg with a slotted spoon and quickly run under cool water so you can handle the shell.  Over a bed of spinach or toast, use a knife to rap the egg's middle and open it up.  With a spoon scoop out the egg white allowing the yolk to ouze out like a thick sauce. A little salt and pepper completes the picture.

A raw egg (out of its shell) can also be placed in a ramekin or custard cup of hot steamed spinach, lightly covered and microwaved 35-45 seconds to create a poached egg effect. Slide it onto a broiled mushroom for an elegant first course.