Back in January when I said that I needed to figure out how to feed myself lunch like a regular human being and not some crazy food-scavenging wild animal, I was imagining salads with fruits and nuts in them, sandwiches with unusual cheeses, maybe grilled. Thus far, my big lunch-related breakthrough has involved hard-boiled eggs. And not in a sandwich (although it’s an important first step for egg salad sandwiches). I mean peeled, on a plate, with some salt and pepper on the side.
So in honor of the Portland blogger o-rama series and National Egg Month, I am outlining my system for hard-boiling eggs. With diagrams.
Step 1: Add your eggs to a saucepan in a single layer. Every time I try to do a double layer, a bunch of eggs end up cracked. Useful information: fresh eggs are harder to peel, so if you care about that, or plan to make deviled eggs, you should use older eggs.
Step 2: Add cold water, making sure the eggs are covered by an inch or two of water. You use cold water to allow the air in the egg to escape as the water slowly heats up. If you dump the egg in boiling water, the air in the egg will expand too quickly and crack the shell. Although, you may end up with cracked eggs anyway. I always thought that adding vinegar to the water kept cracked eggs from leaking egg white all over the place. But maybe it softens the egg shell, making the eggs easier to peel. Or maybe both? In any case, I add a splash of white vinegar.
Step 3: Bring the eggs to boil and boil for a minute. Or, you know, when you realize the eggs are boiling because you weren’t paying close enough attention.
Step 4: Remove the eggs from heat, cover them, and set them aside for 12 minutes. When the time is up, rinse them under cold water to cool them down (and keep them from continuing to cook) and be sure to label them in some way so you know which eggs are hard-boiled and which are not (writing H with a pencil on the shell works, as does having a dedicated egg carton that you mark as hard-boiled eggs).
And voila! Lunch!