Friday, November 13, 2009

Reluctant Eggs

Have you met a hard-boiled egg that just didn’t want to come out of its shell in one piece?  Faced with the daunting task of peeling 24 eggs, I learned a lot about how to do it and how not to do it. 

I was assigned to make 2 recipes of curried egg salad for a Micah Cooks event tomorrow.  (I’m glad I limited it to 2!)  This morning I carefully placed the 2 dozen eggs in a big pot of water and boiled away on low temperature while I ate breakfast. 

I have encountered eggs where a piece stuck to the shell here or there, but never anything like these cage-free Trader Joe’s extra large brown eggs.  It took me at least 4 minutes to peel each egg for the first dozen.  I told myself to be thankful for two things:  they were not intended to be deviled eggs and they had at least started out as extra large.

After I added all the other ingredients and blended them in the food processor, no one would ever know the sorry state of affairs after peeling.

But then I had an idea for the second dozen, not wanting to spend the better part of another hour.  I decided to slice them in half with a large knife and scoop the egg out with a spoon.  Worked like a charm and took less than a minute per egg.  Sometimes necessity is the mother of invention.

Perhaps you know the secret to a perfect egg every time.  I obviously haven’t learned it yet.  So do share any tips!

But meanwhile, here’s the easy recipe:

Curried Egg Salad

1 dozen hard-boiled eggs
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 scallions, cut into small pieces
2-1/2 teaspoons curry
2 tablespoons dried tarragon
Salt and white pepper to taste

Enjoy on tea sandwiches as we will tomorrow or on a nice piece of multi-grain toast or straight out of the food processor on a spoon.  Yum!


Blogger lacochran said...

When I want to peel a boiled egg, I roll it on the counter or cutting board (cracking the shell considerably) and then hold it under running cool water. The water helps me peel it away very easily. (Without the water, it can be a pain in the patoot.) Try it next time.

12:55 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

LA -- That was exactly my strategy for the first batch of eggs. I've usually found it to work well, but not today. Very strange eggs!

12:56 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

I did a little research... My neighbro who raises chickens says older eggs peel more easily. As time goes by, the albumin starts to break down and thus when boiled, the shell will come off easier. Five day old eggs peel much easier than freshly hatched eggs. If you can't wait, you can add baking soda, vinegar or salt to the water, which will increase the acidity of the eggs. This helps break down the protein that holds the egg to the inside of the shell. Putting the boiled eggs in ice water immediately after cooking helps shrink the egg from the shell a bit. Peel them under cold water as suggested by lacochran.

6:24 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

nieghbro would be neighbor of course

6:24 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Pauline -- The good news would be these must be fresh eggs! You are such a resource. I will follow your suggestions the next time I need to peel dozens of hard-boiled eggs (which I hope is not too soon).

6:30 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

I'm with Pauline. In my experience, the fresher the egg, the harder to peel. I had a heck of a time working on deviled eggs for a huge dinner party last year. Devilishly fresh eggs, if you will.

11:59 PM  
Blogger lettuce said...

i was thinking very fresh eggs might be harder to peel but i didn't have good reasons to think so, like pauline!

i LOVE curried eggs - hmmm, shall try to factor some into my weekend

4:04 AM  
Blogger WDCD/DRFS/aka Sue said...

as soon as I saw the picture of your peeled eggs I thought...oh my...she used fresh eggs! If I'm making hard boiled eggs...I leave them in the fridge a week b/f I take a crack at it! They are so hard to work with otherwise.

10:24 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

Eggs like these are a PET PEEVE of mine. I find them so frustrating! Interesting that the fresher they are, the more problematic -- exactly the opposite of what I'd intuitively thought.

(I kind of like the word "neighbro"!)

8:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love "neighbro!" "Mistakes" can be the mother of creation.


2:33 PM  

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