Saturday, February 19, 2005

Hard-Cooked Eggs

There are many ways to hard-cook eggs, but I like Jacques Pepin's method best.

Short Explanation:
Poke the rounded end of each egg with a pushpin to help prevent it from cracking and lower the eggs into a saucepan of boiling water to cover. Bring the water back to a boil, then boil the eggs very gently for 10 minutes (11 minutes if you like the yolk very well done). Drain and cool in cold running water for 15 minutes, or until the centers of the eggs are completely cool. Peel the eggs.

Long Explanation:
It's important to cook eggs properly. Pricking them before cooking helps relieve the pressure created in the air chamber surrounding the whites of the eggs as they are placed in the boiling water. Air bubbles will emerge, and the eggs will be much less likely to break.

Lower the eggs into boiling water and cook them at a very gentle boil; rapid boiling toughens them. After 10 minutes, drain of the water and shake the pan to crack the eggshells. Cover the eggs with cold water and ice and leave them in the ice water long enough to cool completely inside. This technique prevents the exterior of the yolks from turning green, eliminates the strong smell of sulfur and ensures they will be perfectly cooked.

The eggs will also peel very smoothly and without a lot of effort.

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