Sunday, August 24, 2008

Cooking perfect hard boiled eggs

When your own Mother asks for your advice on a matter, you know you’re getting it right. Especially with a mother as critical as mine. You know the sort of thing; you weigh too much / too little, too tanned / too pale, too severe / too scruffy whatever. Like most sons, there is little about me that my mother cannot and will not find fault with.

When it comes to boiling eggs however, I am the acknowledged expert of the family. Eggs with rich, golden yolks that are just set and treacly but not runny with none of that horrible dark grayish residue on the interface between solidified powdery bright yellow yolk and rubbery white that is the hallmark of the overdone egg from the nightmare days of 1970’s school dinners.

Experiment so far has proven that you can cook up to half a dozen eggs at a time and obtain the desired result and within a small variance produce first class results.

To prepare, select six (or desired number of) relatively fresh extra large eggs. Set these aside to warm to room temperature. Selecting a suitably sized pan, fill to an eggs depth with water, add a large pinch of salt and put on heat until the water boils. Take pan off heat, and using a large spoon carefully deposit the eggs one or two at a time into the near boiling water so that the shells do not crack, bring water back to the boil and set your timer for nine minutes exactly, no more. For large eggs, eight minutes forty five seconds will do, for medium sized eight minutes thirty seconds is an elegant sufficiency. This is a time critical process, and cannot be left to the vagaries of fate, so use the oven timer if need be, not chance it using your watch.

When the timer sounds at the end of nine minutes, take the pan off the heat and flush out the hot water with cold water under the tap until the water in the pan is cool. This is the trick which arrests the cooking process, and prevents the unwanted result of ‘overcooked’ powdery yolks and rubbery whites. When the eggs are cool enough to handle comfortably, remove from water. Crack end of shell and peel, then split in half to eat either hot or cold with condiments or accompaniment of choice.

You see? Men can boil eggs, and do it well.

No comments: