Friday, May 24, 2013

Egg-cellent picnic dish: The devil is in the details

Memorial Day signals the start of picnic season. Deviled eggs are a favorite potluck dish of mine.
I've written before about how to make boiled eggs without a green ring around the yolk. The green is unsightly, especially when making deviled eggs. I place the eggs in a large saucepan and cover them with water. I bring them to a boil over high heat. I turn off the heat and cover them, letting them sit for 15-18 minutes. Then I drain off the water, and add cold water and ice. When they are cool enough to touch, I peel them.

There's the problem I've been having lately. The eggs are so difficult to peel that I can't get the shells off without taking chunks of the white with it, leaving an ugly surface instead of a smooth one. I have heard that using old eggs is a solution for this. As eggs age, gas or air inside the shell makes space between the contents and the shell. Peeling is easier because of the gap.

I want to use fresh eggs. I Googled this problem and found an unusual solution. I've tried it and it works almost all the time. Take a pin, a straight pin like you'd use in sewing. I suppose you could also use a needle. Pierce a hole in one end of each egg -- I used the bigger/wider end. Boil eggs as I've described above and the shells come off more easily. Getting the pin through the shell is a bit nerve-wracking but I have yet to crush an egg in my hand. To make the pin easier to handle, I poke it through a folded dish towel point up. I hold it in place on the counter with one hand and I bring the egg down on it with the other. Don't be timid. Apply firm pressure and make sure the pin goes into the egg. I didn't the first time and so some eggs peeled easier than others. I was bolder the second time and all the eggs peeled perfectly.

Happy Memorial Day!
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