How Not To Hard Boil An Egg
Susie hates cooking. So, when assignments were handed out for a large family reunion, she was relieved to be put in charge of preparing a big batch of deviled eggs.
“Hard boiling the eggs is the only part that actually involves cooking,” she said, “and anyone can hard boil an egg, right?”
Right. In a saucepan about the size of a piano, she ran cold water over several dozen eggs.
“There was plenty of room in the pan. I wasn’t worried about the eggs breaking,” she recalled.
She maneuvered the heavy pan onto the stove, turned the heat on low, and went about the evening as usual. Then, with her cooking assignment pushed to the back of her brain, she went to bed and fell asleep.
No, the house did not catch on fire. Thankfully, the low heat on the stove prevented that from happening. But Susie woke up the next morning to a sickening odor, like sulfur, and knew from the stench that the eggs were more than slightly overcooked. She rushed to the kitchen to discover a hard boiled egg disaster zone.
One by one, the eggs, boiled to the texture of concrete, had exploded. That’s what happens when eggs in the shell are cooked too quickly or for too long…a chemical reaction occurs (which explains the scent of sulphur) and boom, there is egg everywhere. The explosion is very loud and is strong enough to cause severe burns. Even so, Susie slept through the whole thing, and by morning her kitchen ceiling, walls, windows and floor were completely covered with egg.
There is a happy ending to this story: The hard boiled egg catastrophe prompted a complete kitchen renovation, which, even though she doesn’t cook, is something Susie had wanted for a long, long time.
So, that explains how not to hard boil an egg (and how, if you’re lucky, you might be able to swing a kitchen renovation). The basic method for success: Place the eggs in a saucepan covered with about two inches or more of cold water, bring the water to a full boil, then turn off the heat. Allow the eggs to sit in the hot water for about ten minutes, strain, and run cold water over the eggs to stop the cooking. Here is a link to more information about hard boiling eggs.
And here are some yummy ways to use those eggs:
Chopped Salad With Hard Boiled Eggs & Smoked Paprika Vinaigrette (below)
Don’t forget the salt and pepper. Enjoy!
Chopped Salad With Hard Boiled Eggs & Smoked Paprika Vinaigrette
- 1/2 head iceberg lettuce, washed and spun dry
- 5 large leaves romaine lettuce, washed and spun dry
- 6 hard boiled eggs (click here for tips on hard boiling eggs)
- 12 asparagus spears
- 1/8 – 1/4 small red onion, sliced thin
- 12 cherry tomatoes
- 4 ounces smoked gouda cheese
- Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Smoked Paprika Vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 3/4 teaspoon fresh minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
Smoked paprika and cayenne give the dressing a pungent, complex flavor.
Prepare salad ingredients: Wash the asparagus spears and pat dry with paper towels. Trim off the fibrous ends of the stalks. In a wide skillet or saucepan bring about 3 cups of water to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook until crisp-tender, about 30 seconds. Drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Chop the iceberg and romaine into small bite size pieces. Dice the red onion; cut the cherry tomatoes into quarter pieces. Chop the hard boiled egg into quarter pieces or smaller. Grate or chop the smoked cheese into small pieces.
Make the dressing: Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl or shake in a covered jar until well emulsified. Add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
Assemble the salad: Transfer the salad ingredients to a serving bowl, reserving a few pieces of hard boiled egg, avocado, and tomatoes for garnish. Toss the salad with a light coating of the dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish the salad, serve and enjoy!