A tall white chef’s hat features exactly one hundred pleats to symbolize the one hundred ways a trained chef should know how to cook an egg.  As a student, I cooked hundreds of eggs during my garde manager classes at the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago and probably gave my husband a nice cholesterol spike by forcing him to eat all of my mistakes.  As much as I take pride in knowing how to whip up coddled, shirred and scotch eggs, I still rely on egg cookery basics at home and nothing is more basic than a hard boiled egg.

With prime egg dyeing season right around the corner the need for a reliable recipe for hard boiled eggs is at its annual peak. As easy as boiling an egg sounds there are notable pitfalls in the process…stubborn shells refusing to let go of the whites, unsightly green rings appearing around yolks, and a tell tale sulfuric scent invading your refrigerator.  

Perfect boiled eggs will peel with ease and will never yield a soft boiled surprise.  Earn a pleat by following these simple steps for fool proof hard boiled eggs!

Hard Boiled Eggs 101:

  • Use old eggs; fresh eggs are harder to peel.  Purchase your eggs for boiling 1 week before you plan to cook them.  If you have to buy them on short notice purchase eggs nearing their “sell-by” date.
  • Inspect eggs to make sure they are free from cracks and allow eggs to come to room temperature before proceeding with the recipe below to aid in preventing shells from cracking during the cooking process.
  • Don’t overfill the pot.  Place no more than a dozen large eggs in a single layer in a sauce pan or deep skillet (stacking eggs leads to over cooking and the dreaded green ring) and completely cover eggs with cold water by 1”.  
  • Bring water and eggs to a rapid boil, immediately turn off the heat, cover the pan and let the eggs sit for 13 minutes.  Rinse under cold water for 10 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to use. Hard boiled eggs can be stored for 5 days. Make sure eggs are dry before dyeing.
  • To peel a hard boiled egg, gently tap the top and the bottom of the egg three times on the counter. Tap the entire surface of the egg gently on the counter to crackle the entire shell. Roll the egg back and forth three times between the palm of your hand and counter.  Start peeling the egg from the rounded bottom of the egg (not the pointy top) and take care to pull the membrane with the outer shell. When done right the crackled shell should come off in large sheets or even one large piece! Rinse peeled eggs before proceeding with your favorite recipes.

Easter Egg Salad

Makes 4 sandwiches or about 12 crostini

Put those leftover holiday eggs to good use in this simple salad.  Use the salad to make quick and elegant crostini and serve them as part of your Easter brunch or serve it up between slices of rustic wheat bread for a more traditional treat!

  • 4 Hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
  • ½ Cup Green apple, diced small
  • ¼ Cup Red onion, minced
  • ¼ Cup Celery, diced small
  • ¼ Cup Light mayo
  • 2 T Fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • ½ t Salt
  • ¼ t Pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir well to combine.  Taste and adjust seasoning to taste. Serve open faced on grilled French bread slices, alongside tomato wedges, or between slices of bread.  Recipe can be doubled to serve a crowd. Refrigerate and use salad with in 48 hours.

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