February 14, 2009

Farm Fresh Eggs and How to Hard-Boil an Egg

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I recently discovered a nearby farm by searching www.localharvest.org called Jacob’s Reward Farm. Visit Cindy’s blog here: http://www.jacobsreward.blogspot.com/. They are located in Parker, Texas. This farm sells fiber for handspinners and knitters, and even offers spinning classes. But more interesting to me is that they also have pasture-raised chickens that can provide fresh eggs. I thought to myself…fresh eggs? And they’re just down the street from me? What an amazing deal! So I contacted the farm, and am now driving by on my way home from work every so often to pick up some delightful, fresh eggs for our family. I encourage you to look at www.localharvest.org or visit your nearby farmer’s markets to learn what local, fresh goodies are available for you and your family. I’m telling you, it’s worth the effort! Fresh, local ingredients far surpass anything you will find at the grocery stores. That and you will be supporting local farmers and encouraging sustainability…investing in our future!

I realize this isn’t really a big fancy “recipe” post, but it’s taken a while for me to correctly hard-boil an egg, so I thought I would share my “method.” One of the things I hate about incorrectly hard-boiled eggs is the yucky-looking greenish yolk. Not pretty. I would rather have a creamy, yellow yolk, wouldn’t you? And as for the whites, I really don’t wish for them to be rubbery. This method prevents those two things.

First of all, you won’t actually be “boiling” the egg. Boiling would imply that your egg is rattling around in a pan of rolling, boiling water…sounds like an opportunity for the egg to crack open. What a bummer that would be! Also, when boiling at that high of a temperature, the white of the egg cooks too quickly and it becomes rubbery. Instead, you’ll be gently “boiling” the eggs, and preventing these things.

First, you will want to find a pot large enough to accomodate all of the eggs you would like to boil in a single layer. I usually boil a dozen at a time, so my stockpot or dutch oven works for me. If you’re boiling less than a dozen, then of course a smaller saucepan will do just fine.

Fill your pot with enough water so that once you place your eggs in, the water will cover them by an inch or so. (don’t put the eggs in yet, just guesstimate this water amount) Place the water on the stovetop and bring to a boil.

Once the water is boiling, reduce back down to a much gentler boil. You should still see lots of bubbles coming to the surface, but they should be much smaller. Then add your eggs, a few at a time, gently into the water. I use a skimmer or a slotted spoon for this, it makes it easier to lay the egg down to the bottom of the pot.

Let your eggs “boil” for 14 1/2 minutes for large eggs. If your eggs are medium-size, then 13 minutes should do. Extra large? 15 minutes or so.

While you are waiting for your eggs to cook, prepare a bowl of ice water. Use a bowl large enough that it would hold all of the eggs…I use a mixing bowl.

Once your eggs have cooked for this time frame, remove them from the pot with your skimmer or slotted spoon and place them in the ice water. This will stop the cooking process much more rapidly (and prevent over-cooking, which leads to the greenish yolk issue). Let the eggs sit in the water for several minutes. To determine if they have sufficiently cooled, take an egg out and place it in your hand. If you can still feel the warmth from the egg, it needs to sit in the ice water longer.

Once the eggs have cooled, you can peel them immediately for use, or you can keep them in the fridge for a week or so. (Be sure to mark them accordingly if you are keeping them in the fridge, you don’t want to mix them up with fresh eggs!)

That’s it! Enjoy in a salad (I love hard-boiled eggs with fresh spinach), or as an on-the-go breakfast or snack.

No Responses to “Farm Fresh Eggs and How to Hard-Boil an Egg”

  1. Hi Alta – thanks for supporting local farmers (and my chickens)! Even though I raise fresh eggs, I’ve always wondered exactly how to boil a great egg. Thank you so much for clearing up that issue for me. Looking forward to seeing you soon when you need more eggs!
    Blessings,
    Cindy

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