For several years now I have avoided making anything that required hard boiled eggs that would be served in a style in which they were required to be as close to whole as possible—as in deviled eggs, which are attractive if the white has not been completely mangled in the peeling process. Trying to paste the whites together with the yolk filling doesn’t fool anyone—it becomes perfectly obvious which of the basic kitchen skills you have failed to master. So rather than face that humiliation again and again, I became the queen of the egg salad sandwich—smashing the things to bits and covering my sins with a hefty scoop or two of mayo never betrayed my ineptitude in the peeling area.
And I tried everything—cracking all over the egg, using the tip of a spoon to get under the shell, soaking in cold water, soaking in warm water AFTER soaking in cold water, refrigerating the eggs first, using vinegar in the cooking water, yadda, yadda, yadda…Nothing seemed to help.
But recently, I was hit hard with the desire to try one more time—I love eggs in almost any form, and deviled eggs have always been a favorite. I thought I’d do a quick search online and see what I could find, and what I found was GoodEgg.com. It’s a site with recipes for breakfast, lunch and supper, as well as salads and desserts. I not only found a recipe for deviled eggs; I also found simple instructions for successfully hard boiling an egg:
To hard cook eggs, place eggs in enough COLD water to cover completely, bring to a ROLLING boil over HIGH heat; then reduce heat to a lower MEDIUM boil for an additional 12 minutes. Promptly chill eggs in ICE WATER to chill promptly so egg yolks remain nice and bright yellow.
Hard boiled eggs are good for one week if kept in the shell, in the refrigerator.
Having a hard time peeling the eggs?
Extremely fresh eggs will not peel easily. In fact, an egg that is just a day or two old is almost impossible to peel. As eggs age, the shells will peel more easily. It is advisable that eggs used for hard cooking (including Easter Eggs) be at least 2 weeks old before cooking for easiest peeling.
One other hint I stumbled across somewhere (not sure where now) was to start peeling from the small end, after cracking the shell all over. I’ve made hardboiled eggs four times now since finding this info, and I’ve had absolutely no problem with peeling the eggs. Two key things: Eggs MUST be ancient, and peel from the little end. (Nod to Jonathan Swift and Gulliver—After years of being a Big-Endian, I am now a convinced Little-Endian…) And here is the recipe for basic Deviled eggs, also from GoodEgg.com:
Items Needed: (for 12 Deviled Eggs)
6 hard boiled Eggs (large)
3 tablespoons mayonnaise or salad dressing
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon mustard (honey mustard is great!)
1 teaspoon vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
To boil eggs, place eggs in enough cold water to cover completely, bring to a rolling boil over high heat.
Reduce heat to a lower MEDIUM BOIL and cook an additional 12 minutes.
Promptly chill eggs so yolks stay bright yellow.
Remove shells from eggs, and halve lengthwise with a knife.
Carefully remove the yolks, and place in a medium bowl.
Mash yolks with a fork, and add remaining ingredients.
Very carefully spoon mixture back into the egg white halves. Garnish with a light sprinkling of paprika (optional).
One more note: I often add minced onion, chives or tarragon (just a very little tarragon goes a long way!) to the yolk mixture before filling the eggs.