The American Egg Board offers cooking instructions for Basic Hard-Cooked Eggs that includes placing the eggs in a saucepan large enough to hold them in single layer. Add cold water to cover the eggs by 1 inch. Heat the eggs over high heat just to boiling. Remove from burner. Cover pan. Let eggs stand in hot water about 15 minutes for large eggs (12 minutes for medium eggs and 18 minutes for extra large eggs). Drain the water immediately and serve warm or cool completely under cold running water or in bowl of ice water, then refrigerate. Remember hard cooked, not hard-boiled. Although the cooking water must come to a full boil in this method, the pan is immediately removed from the heat so that the eggs cook gently in the hot water. This produces tender, not rubbery, “Incredible Edible Eggs” and minimizes cracking.
How do I banish the green ring?
This harmless but unsightly discoloration that sometimes forms around hard-cooked yolks results from a reaction between sulfur in the egg white and iron in the yolk. It occurs when the eggs have been cooked for too long or at too high a temperature. The recommended method is cooking eggs in hot, not boiling, water and then cooling immediately, minimizes this. Here are some answers to some questions about egg cookery.
Can I microwave eggs in their shell?
Never microwave eggs in the shell. Steam builds up too quickly and eggs are likely to explode.
My eggs are difficult to peel. What should I do?
Very fresh eggs can be difficult to peel. To ensure easily peeled eggs, buy and refrigerate your eggs a week to 10 days in advance of cooking. This brief “breather” allows the eggs time to take in air, which helps separate the membranes from the shell. Hard-cooked eggs are easier to peel right after cooking. Cooking causes the egg to contract slightly in the shell. To peel a hard-cooked egg, gently tap the egg on the counter until the shell is finely cracked all over. Roll the egg between hands to loosen shell. Start peeling at large end, holding egg under cold water to help ease the shell off. Remember, storage of the egg in the shell consists of refrigeration safely up to one week. Refrigerate in their original carton to prevent odor absorption. Once peeled, eggs should be eaten that day.
What about Easter eggs?
Decorated eggs are traditionally a part of Easter. So how can you be sure that your children color and decorate hard-cooked eggs safely for Easter? Eggs are frequently handled at Easter time and each handling is one more chance that the eggs might come in contact with bacteria. To avoid bacterial contamination, wash your hands thoroughly before you handle the eggs including cooking, cooling and decorating. Refrigerate hard-cooked eggs in their cartons if you will not be coloring them right after cooking and cooling. Refrigerate them again right after you dye them and after you display them. Color only uncracked eggs. If you plan to eat your dyed eggs later, use food coloring or specially made food-grade egg dyes dissolved in water that is warmer than the eggs. If you keep hard-cooked eggs out of refrigeration for more than two hours or several days for decoration, cook extra eggs for eating. Either discard the eggs that have been left out or use them only for decoration.
If you hide eggs, consider hiding places carefully. Avoid areas where the eggs might come in contact with dirt, pets, wild animals, birds, reptiles, insects or lawn chemicals. Refrigerate the hidden eggs after they have been found.
If you are looking for a nice recipe for a special spring occasion, try Basic Cheese Quiche. You will need these ingredients: ½ to 1 cup shredded cheese (2-to 4 ounces), one baked piecrust (9-inch), and ½ to 1 cup filling (6 eggs, 1 cup milk, ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves or other herb, ½ teaspoon salt).
To make this recipe, heat oven to 375 degrees, spread cheese evenly in bottom of pie shell. Beat eggs, milk, thyme and salt in medium bowl until well blended. Carefully pour over cheese into pie shell. Bake until center is almost set but jiggles slightly when dish is gently shaken and knife inserted near center comes out clean, 30-40 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut into wedges. (Calories per serving: 238; 16 g. fat; 475 mg. sodium; 13 g. carbohydrates.)