Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Perfect Soft Boiled Egg

My daughter loves eggs: fried, scrambled, poached, in quiches and fritatas, and sometimes deviled. She likes hard boiled eggs just fine but the shares my disdain for the dry, powdery yolks. (When I was a kid I would hide them in the back of the the silverware drawer where my mom would find them days, sometimes weeks later.) Now I'm happy to add to my egg cookery repertoire soft boiled eggs. We love to dip our morning toast in the buttery yolk along side our fruit and coffee and/or ice cold milk.

There are definite benefits to working in a restaurant. A few weeks ago a coworker showed me a great trick for boiling eggs that turned out to be the basis of my fool proof method for attaining a creamy yolk and soft-cooked whites. She would drop eggs into the already boiling water that was rolling away on the stovetop heating up the soup of the day. Five minutes later she would fish them out and concoct a decadent breakfast that would sustain her through the busy day.

This egg is a little firmer than I usually like, but the kid was chasing the cat and... well...

Here's what I've come up with at home and that has worked for me every time.

Soft Boiled Eggs:

  • Bring to a boil enough water to immerse as many eggs as you plan to cook. 
  • Once the water is boiling, turn the heat down from high to medium-high* then gently lower in your eggs. (I use a pair of kitchen thongs to place each egg in the water so that the shell doesn't crack.) 
  • Once your eggs are in the water, put the heat back up to high and set your timer for five minutes. 
  • When the bell tolls, use your kitchen thongs to remove the eggs to a towel or a bowl and let them sit for another five minutes. 
  • To peel the eggs, give the fat end of an egg a good crack on the side of the sink then run it under cold water while you peel away the shell. The eggs will still be hot to the touch so the cold water will help you get to the good stuff while the center is still nice and hot.
  • Once they are peeled, gently dry the eggs with a kitchen towel or a paper napkin and serve with toast and a sprinkling of salt.

*I do this so that the raw eggs don't clatter together and potentially crack on another.

Note: If your eggs are cold, they may crack a bit. That's ok. The white may seep out a bit, but it won't hurt the integrity of the egg.



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