Well, hello! Let’s pick up where we left off, shall we? As I recall, we were enjoying lots of good food and the people we love and life in general, and then I went on a very long vacation. I hope you did too, or that you stayed home and snuggled your family and drank hot chocolate, and that either way you’ve had a restful and happy end of one year and beginning of the next.
So happy new year! I wish you a year of good health and simple pleasures.And what, after all, is as healthy and simple as an egg? I think of the egg as a secret weapon in my kitchen: it cooks in seconds, it’s cheap and filling, it makes leftovers into a meal. And I owe another debt of gratitude to the egg: it’s the thing that got me started writing this blog a year ago today, in an effort to branch out from my cooking regimen of scrambled eggs and scrambled eggs. I’ve managed to diversify a bit this year, it’s true, but there’s still always room for a good egg in my kitchen.
Boiling an egg is an economical preparation: the shell holds it tidily, no added fat is required, and you needn’t even exert your wrist with whisking. You only need water, a pot, a few minutes of patience and, preferably, a pinch of salt at the end. You can leave the yolks soft to smear over toast or cook them through to creamy perfection for a composed salad.
I’ve tried all kinds of tricks for peeling eggs more easily, but I’ve never been wowed by any of them. I think I have the best luck running the hot eggs under cold water as I peel them–what’s your strategy? In the end, if the peels don’t come off neatly, I try to accept it as one of life’s minor imperfections, or I make egg salad.
How to Soft-Boil Eggs: Put 1/2 an inch of water in a medium pot with a lid and bring to a boil. Use a spoon to gently lower eggs into the water (they will only be partially submerged, of course), replace the lid, and set your timer for 7 minutes. Rinse the eggs immediately in cold water for at least 30 seconds before peeling. This method is adapted from Cooks Illustrated (they recommend a 6 1/2 minute cooking time), and reading about their extraordinary effort in developing it was quite enjoyable. Pick up a print copy of most recent issue for the full story; it’s worth the price of the magazine. This method is genius because of the speed; it doesn’t take long to boil a 1/2″ of water.
How to Hard-Boil Eggs: Place as many eggs as you like in a pot and cover with water. Cover the pot, bring to a gentle boil, and maintain the boil for 1 minute. Leave the pan covered but remove it from the heat and allow the eggs to sit in the hot water for six more minutes. Drain the eggs and rinse them immediately in cold water for at least 30 seconds before peeling. (This method leaves a moist dot at the center of the egg yolk; cook them a minute longer for a consistent texture all the way through.)
And p.s! I’ve loved posting recipes here daily for most of the past year. Aside from how well we’ve eaten with all that cooking, the writing has been a little haven for me: an hour a day, alone, in silence (this is an indulgence to make any parent of three little people swoon). In the coming year, I’ll be posting less, and hopefully responding to comments more. I am so grateful for the many friendships, kindred palates, and cooking inspiration I’ve unexpectedly found here. Thanks for reading and sharing this space with me!