1. Slap in face to chickens

    Egg boiling is deceptively easy. It’s just one step past boiling water after all, yet many a cook gets lulled into complacency and suffers catastrophic, sulfuric failure. To poorly boil an egg is an insult the culinary arts and a slap in the face to chickens everywhere. In addition, improper boiling all but destroys one of life’s simple delicacies, and it is very simple and very easy to boil an egg in a manner that results in a beautiful, wonderful treat.

    When to abandon boiling

    What you need is a pan, water, a source of heat, an egg, a net or basket and a timer. All the tools are necessary, but if I were to ditch one of them it would be the net or basket. And if I didn’t have a timer, I would abandon the project altogether. The whole secret behind a good boiled egg is the timing. You must have a timer or some other accurate way to mark off the minutes with precision.

    Watched pot will boil

    To begin, put water in the pan. You’ll want a sauce pan with, say, two to four inches of water in it. Put it on the stove and turn on the fire. You can watch the pot until it boils, but it’s fine to occupy yourself with some other, more interesting activity.

    Laundering bras

    Once the water boils, add the eggs. This is when you will introduce the net to the operation. If you own a wire basket that will fit in the pan, use it. It’s ideal. If you do not, you’ll have to come up with a way to gently introduce the eggs into the water. A mesh bag like one you might use for laundering bras would be a good choice. If you golf, some driving ranges use mesh bags for selling balls, and one of those would work. Whatever solution you come up with is fine so long as it addresses the problem of getting the eggs in the water without cracking the shells.

    Boil with care

    As soon as the eggs hit the water, start the timer. You want 12 minutes to elapse, and during those 12 minutes you need to prepare an ice bath into which you will dunk the eggs to stop their cooking and to cool them. In my experience, 11 minutes will leave the very center of the yolk just a little creamy, which is how I like it. As soon as the time expires, get the eggs into the ice bath immediately and let them cool off. A word on the water: It should not boil with violence. Get it to boiling. Add the eggs and allow the water to return to boiling, but turn down the heat so that the water boils gently. Boil the water like you were doing it on egg shells.

    Fling body into snow

    The operation is not unlike sitting yourself in an outdoor hot tub after a solid day of skiing in Colorado. You soak in hot water until you’re hot enough then jump into the snow to cool off. While that may not be for everyone, I hope you get the idea. Additionally, egg boiling takes advantage of two of the physical world’s basic temperatures: the freezing and boiling points of water. Okay, so it may not as interesting as hopping from the hot tub to the snow unless, of course, you are scientifically inclined. 

    Use as you will

    The main flaw in most hard-boiled eggs is over doneness which results in the green sulfurous ring around the yolk. With this technique, which I learned from Jacques Pepin, you will avoid the overcooking problem. You may now color the eggs, eat with some salt, add to tuna salad, make egg salad or whatever. That’s your business. They are your eggs after all.

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