Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Perfect Hard Boiled Egg

Hard boiled eggs are another Clean Eater's friend - compact and portable protein in a tasty little 90 calorie bundle. As a good source of Riboflavin, Vitamin B12 and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Protein and Selenium - the egg also has a downside - cholesterol. However, that downside is a lot less than Americans have been lead to believe and in recent years, most nutritionists have come to agree that the egg is a great natural food source.

I eat a few hard boiled eggs each week, usually as my mid-morning meal or with lunch. As such, I have had chance to improve my egg boiling techniques, and consistently get some of the prettiest darned hard boiled eggs you'd see this side of a church picnic.

Here are some tips to make your hard boiled eggs perfect every time.

1. Ever find that your hard boiled eggs were difficult to peel? The eggs you boiled were too fresh. Buy a dozen eggs and stick them in the fridge for a week to hang out, then boil them. In that week, the inner membrane separates from the shell. Your hard boiled eggs will be much, much easier to peel.

2. Place your eggs in the pot and put cool tap water into the pot to cover the eggs.

3. Heat the eggs over high heat until the water starts to boil. Remove the pot from the heat, and cover the pot.

4. Leave the eggs to sit in the just boiling water for approximately 12-15 minutes, depending on the size of the eggs.

5. Ever get a green ring around the yoke? You overcooked the egg. Warning, science content ahead:
When eggs are boiled, the sulfur present in the egg white combines with the iron in the egg yolk, producing ferrous sulfite, which creates a green film on the border between the white and the yolk. The presence of this line means the egg is overcooked.

Once the eggs have been undisturbed in the hot water for the 12-15 minutes, drain them and immediately fill the pot with cold water from the faucet. This will stop the cooking process and cool the egg - thus preventing the "thin green line" from forming.

Once cool, dry your eggs and place back in the carton ( labeled "Boiled Eggs!" with a Sharpie ) or in a ziploc bag for a week or two - if they last that long.

Quick deviled egg tip: mix the egg yolks with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt, dijon mustard, a spice like paprika, Old Bay, chile powder, and some of that leftover spinach from dinner. Mix it together in a ziploc sandwich baggie. Bring the egg halves to work, and when ready to eat - snip the end of the baggie and use it as a pastry bag to "pipe" the filling in to your waiting eggs.