Lagniappe: How to Boil an Egg

Today's post is an instructional one, since several of my recipes recently have called for hard or soft boiled egg of some sort and I've been eating a lot of them, too. In fact, I recently discovered that it is ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUSLY POSSIBLE to make egg salad without any mayo whatsoever. Yep, just do a half-and-half mixture of plain Greek yogurt and avocado, mix in an acid of your choice (I dig Dijon mustard) and salt and pepper, and you've got yourself a fantastically light green, rich, lean egg salad. If you hate avocado (you're wrong) and simply have to have your mayo, at least do a 50/50 mix of mayo and Greek yogurt. I promise you will not notice the difference, and you'll have just cut your calories in half: one tablespoon of mayo has 90 calories, one tablespoon of Greek yogurt has 17 calories. Don't say I never did anything for ya!

 Photo from Bon Appetit, credit Danny Kim

Anyway, back to boiling eggs. Everyone has their own way of doing this and everyone's so sure they're right, but I'm pretty sure I'm the MOST right. You'll notice I reference "piercing" the eggs--this is SOP in South Africa and Europe but I find it's not as well-known here. Y'all are at a disadvantage! Piercing the large end of the eggs make the shells less likely to crack during boiling, and I think it makes them infinitely easier to peel, too. I use a gadget like this one, but you can also just use a pin or a needle.

It's simple! Place the pierced eggs in a medium sized pot and cover with cold salted water. Use a big enough pot so that the eggs can have room to move, and enough water such that the eggs are covered by at least an inch. Cover and bring to a boil. The SECOND it comes to a boil, start the timer for 1 minute. After 1 minute of boiling, remove the pot from the heat and let sit, covered, for 12 minutes. When the 12 minutes are up, immediately dump them into a bowl of ice cold water to shock them. This instantly stops the cooking process. Wait 'til they're fully chilled, and peel. Dunzo.

Soft boiled eggs are a bit trickier. That was my favourite breakfast as a kid: soft boiled eggs with little toast soldiers for dipping. I'm 23 years old and that is STILL my most comforting breakfast! The way I like them, with very soft yolks, is to bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Pierce the eggs and lower them gently into the water with a slotted spoon. Boil for 5 minutes, then shock with ice water. "Decapitate" them (slice off the top 1/3 with a sharp knife) and serve in an egg cup with sliced toast for dipping.

There's also an in-between egg, the kind that's served on top of soups, sort of a medium. It's the exact same instructions as a soft boiled egg, but you cook it for 7 minutes instead of 5.

Bon Appetit has the most amasing visual graphic here, if like me, you like pictures. And it is because they have this lovely graphic that I don't have to bother with taking my OWN multiple egg pictures. Everybody wins.

Bon Appetit!
Posted on March 1, 2014 .