“A box without hinges, key, or lid,
Yet golden treasure inside is hid.” J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
There are wonderful recipes in the blogosphere. (I’d like to think some of them are in my archives.) But, the flipside of all this culinary wisdom is the novice cook, who really doesn’t want to make pavlovas or braided breads. These cooks are working on rice that isn’t crunchy and the fine line between grilled and burned.
There’s no shame to this — even if something as straightforward as boiling an egg is not part of your culinary skill set. After all, there was a time when even Gordon Ramsey didn’t know how to do this.
But, there’s no reason to linger in such a state — at least egg wise. Having a dozen or so hard-boiled eggs stashed in the refrigerator is an absolute treasure to a busy cook.
This is especially true for vegetarians or plant-slanted eaters. Each egg is a delightfully contained trove of protein and general good nutrition.
Why boil and store? Pre-cooked eggs offer all this goodness in speedy form. It takes less than a minute to peel and slice an egg onto avocado toast for breakfast. Or, add chopped eggs to cooked potatoes or a stir fry; top a salad; or enjoy as a solo snack. A bit more effort can yield a full tray of colorful, tasty deviled eggs.
The possibilities are abundant — as will be your skills if you keep at it. 🙂
Boiled Eggs/Deviled Eggs
Fill a large kettle with enough cold water to cover by one inch a dozen eggs lying on the kettle’s bottom. Gently add the eggs.
Cover the kettle and heat the lot on the stove until a gentle boil is reached. Turn off heat, leave cover on and let eggs continue to cook for 13 minutes. (A shorter cooking time yields a medium- or soft-boiled egg — with a soft yolk. This can be great for immediate eating, but go for hard boiled if you’re making a stash or deviled eggs.)
Using the lid to hold back the eggs, drain out hot water and replace with cold water. After a minute or two, replace the water again. (This prevents overcooking, which causes a gray ring from forming around the yolk.)
When eggs are cool to the touch, store (shells intact) in an airtight container (to prevent odor transfer) in the refrigerator up to 3-4 days. Use as needed.
For deviled eggs, peel and halve each egg lengthwise and scoop out the yolk with a spoon. Arrange the empty halves on a plate. Set aside.
Put the yolks in a small bowl. Add a similar volume of mayonnaise, a bit of salt and pepper and a splash of hot sauce to taste. Minced celery, relish or minced pickled/roasted peppers are also good additions.
Mash the yolk mixture together until smooth and place into a pastry bag or a quart-size plastic bag with one corner snipped off. Pipe/squeeze the mix into the empty white halves. Top with a sprinkling of paprika. Serve immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container.