Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Basics: Hard Boiled Eggs

This is probably the simplest of recipes I'll ever post unless there's a need for a how-to on boiling water.

All we need is:
  • Eggs
  • Water

Place your eggs in a small pot and add enough water to cover them plus a little more. Place over high heat and bring to a boil.

Once the water is boiling, remove from heat and cover for 10 minutes. For larger eggs you'll need to slightly increase this time. Since I'm using duck eggs from our yard, I'll let them go for 15 minutes.

After 10 minutes (or 15 minutes, depending on your eggs) have passed, carefully remove the eggs using a slotted spoon or some tongs and place into very cold water. You can use a bowl of cold water with some ice in it, or just some very cold tap water. Allow eggs to sit in cold water for 5 minutes. (If you use cold tap water, dump it and replace after 5 minutes then let it go for 5 more minutes or so.)

At this point they can be refrigerated, or can be peeled and used immediately. Surrounding the white of the egg is a thin membrane. Start at the bottom of the egg and crack it on the base, then carefully start to peel away the shell and membrane from the egg. We find that chicken eggs peel cleanest; the duck eggs we have tend to "stick" sometimes.

One method for separating the white of the egg from the membrane and shell is to poke a small hole in the bottom of the egg and run it under cold water. The pressure from the water will sometimes separate them in one go, making peeling a bit easier. Another method is to crack open both ends of the shell and blow in one end. In a chicken egg it would likely just pop out. (Duck eggs are stubborn.)

Your leftover pieces of shell make great additions to your compost heap; we try not to waste much in our house. The eggs can then be used for salads, eaten on their own, or pickled for something a bit out of the ordinary. If you've never had pickled eggs they're quite amazing. We've been toying around with some pickling recipes, so be sure to stay tuned for the results!

1 comment:

  1. This is the exact method I use (ice bath and all!) except I boil mine for exactly 12 minutes. Who knows where I got that from, but it seems to be the magic number! Do duck eggs taste just like regular eggs??