How To Cook Eggs To Perfect 10
Last updated 6/12/2012 12:57:23 AM. Recipe ID 19921. Report a problem with this recipe.
Title: How to cook eggs to perfect 10
Categories: Eggs, Info
Yield: 1 Servings
A hard-cooked egg is an example of elegant simplicity in both colour
and shape. Deep yellow plays on pure white; a perfect sphere sits
near the centre of a polished oval.
The clean lines of hard-cooked egg cut in half are a pleasing
counterpoint to a tumble of crisp summer greens. Yet cooking an egg
perfectly is not always an easy task. Wrinkles on the surface, a
dented end or a pitted surface caused by trying to peel a
recalcitrant egg can easily spoil its impact.
Cracked shells are often a problem; egg white oozes through the
crack, so that hardened wrinkles then mar the surface.
The best way to avoid cracking the shell is, before cooking, to place
the eggs in a saucepan and cover them with lukewarm water. This
elminates the rapid expansion of the air inside the shell that
results when cold eggs hit boiling water.
Beginning with a moderate temperature, this allows the air in the egg
to expand gradually. In fact, you can watch some air spiralling out
in pinpoint bubbles from the pores at the larger end of the shell.
Its escape elminates the buildup of pressure.
Bring the water to the boil, cover the saucepan, then remove it from
the heat. Let the eggs bask in the hot water for 15-20 minutes,
before cooling them under cold water.
When eggs are cooked at temperatures below the boiling point, they're
tender. Eggs that have been boiled are rubbery because their
proteins have been over-coagulated by temperatures that are too high.
Sometimes the air pocket at the wide end of the egg becomes enlarged,
giving the solidified white a concave end. This happens because as an
egg ages, its air pocket grows larger, taking up more space in the
shell. A dented end results.
You can test an egg for freshness before cooking by submerging it in
a bowl of water. The freshest eggs have only a small air pocket and
sink to the bottom and lie on their sides. Older eggs will stand
large-end up in the water. This kind of egg is better for baking
where its final appearance isn't important.
Often you'll end up with a gouged surface when you try to peel a very
fresh egg, because the membranes surrounding the white cling tightly
to the shell. Peeling a fresh egg while it's still warm from cooking
makes the shell considerably easier to remove.
If hard-cooked eggs are to be stored for several days, however, leave
the shalls on.
Older eggs that are hard-cooked are easier to peel even when cold,
because as eggs age, they become more alkaline, which reduces the
grip between the membranes.
The Inquisitive Cook, The Gazette, June 5th, 1996
Personal observation: I keep a small tack near the stove to puncture
the membrane-end of an egg before boiling. It helps when peeling the
egg and prevents cracking.
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