"You can't even boil an egg", is an
all too familiar expression to describe someone as totally lacking of basic
cooking skills - and yes - you are right, boiling eggs is really basic
cooking stuff !
To be accurate, eggs are simmered
rather than boiled. For many, a boiled egg with toast for breakfast, is all too
often taken for granted. But the soft-boiled egg and its cousin, the coddled
egg, have many delicious applications. If they are to be peeled for serving,
cook them for the longest time suggested below. The salt in the cooking water
aids in peeling. Hard-boiled eggs make classic salads and sandwich fillings, as
well as cold first course and buffet dishes and hot main dishes.
When hard-boiling eggs.
Bring a pan of salted water to a
boil, then with a slotted spoon, lower each egg into the water. Reduce the heat
so the water is just simmering and cook for 10 minutes. Immediately plunge the
eggs into a bowl of iced water to cool.
When the eggs are cool enough to
handle, peel them. If they are not to be used immediately, keep the peeled eggs
in a bowl of cold salted water. Alternatively, store the eggs, still in the
shell, in the refrigerator; they will keep for up to one week.
When coddling eggs.
Lower the eggs into a pan of boiling
salted water, cover the pan and remove it from the heat. Leave for approx. 6 - 8
minutes or until the eggs are done to your taste. Lift out each egg, place in an
egg cup and cut off the top of the shell for serving. If peeling is needed,
plunge eggs into a bowl of cold water. When cold enough to handle, peel
carefully. To reheat for serving, immerse in a bowl of hot water for 1 - 2
When soft-boiling eggs.
Bring pan of well-salted water to
the boil. With a slotted spoon, lower each egg into the water and lower the heat
so the water just simmers. Cook for 3 - 5 minutes or until the eggs are done to
SERVING IDEAS FOR HARD-BOILED EGGS
For eggs in cream sauce: Add quartered eggs to hot mushroom or mustard sauce and
approx. 150g of slow-cooked onions and heat through.
For egg mayonnaise: Chop up eggs and mix with chopped spring onions or red onions
and a little chopped parsley. Bind with mayonnaise. Season with mustard.
For herb-stuffed eggs: Add chopped fresh herbs such as parsley and chives to the
yolk and mayonnaise mixture; omit the mustard.
For devilled eggs: Halve the eggs lengthwise and scoop out the yolks. Mash the
yolks with a
fork and mix with sufficient mayonnaise to make a creamy consistency. Season with Dijon
mustard, salt and pepper. Spoon the yolk mixture back to the egg white halves and
the tops with a little paprika or cayenne pepper.