How to Boil an Egg


As the year comes to a close we are starting to get inundated with best ofs, top 10s and most popular lists. I stumbled upon Yahoo’s 2010 Year in Review – Burning Questions list, which lists the most commonly asked search engine questions. Amongst the how to lose weight, how to write a resume and which city has the best water (cough cough DC)… There, sitting at #10 was “How to Boil an Egg.” Seriously America, how to boil an egg?

So, purely in the interest of education, here is a quick guide on how to boil an egg. Whether you like it soft, medium or hard boiled, the instructions are after the jump.

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In Over My Head



For me, the kitchen is a constant place of learning. It’s why I love it. When Chef told me we would be purchasing a whole, fresh, organic pig from a local farm for fabrication I thought it would be a great learning experience. When I was given the challenge of figuring out what to do with the head, the learning was elevated to a whole new level. This is way beyond egg day in culinary school. This is the head of an animal. What the hell. For a semi-vegetarian, this would be an adventure.

Upon googling pig head recipes, I found out that one could do a few things with a pig’s head. I watched a video on cooking a pig’s head. I ran into a recipe for pork brawn using the snout and eyes that made me queasy looked delicious. I was inspired by a woman named Carol who attempted the torchon from Thomas Keller’s French Laundry cookbook. And then the pig head arrived.

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Deviled Eggs are the Devil


So, I will say deviled eggs are one thing I did not expect to be making at the restaurant. I haven’t had a deviled egg since 1990. Perhaps I was wearing shoulder pads when I ate it.

Deviled eggs just appeared on our new menu acting as a focal point for our wedge salad that I must say looks quite sexy for a wedge salad. A bold move that has gone over quite well so far.

How difficult could a hard boiled egg be? Fifteen soft boiled eggs later, I decided that hard boiled eggs are not my friend. And as it turns out, yelling and cursing at the eggs does nothing to aide in the cooking process. In my efforts to make the perfect hard boiled egg, and for fear of overcooking them, I wasted a carton and a half of eggs and felt like a culinary disaster who should not have changed careers.

Perhaps I should have consulted How To Hard Boil an Egg for specific instructions. I should have laid the eggs on their sides the night before to “center” the yolks for the perfect deviled egg. And maybe I should have read them a bedtime story so they would have had a good night’s sleep before the big day. I bet they love Good Night Moon.

What seems like the most simple of culinary tasks can make prep feel like a disaster. Screwing up deviled eggs can also make you feel like everyone in the kitchen is staring at you. But have no fear, I will conquer the deviled egg. I was taught never to put all my money in one basket. Now I know not to put all my uncentered eggs in one pot of boiling water either.

So, spill it ES-ers — what kind of hard-boiling secrets do you all have?

Feed Us Back: Comments of the Week

shower cap

– Rubygirl has an even better idea than stretch-to-fit food covers:

hope this doesn’t qualify me for the TV show the Hoarders. You know those crazy shower caps in hotels, they make good food covers!!

Wow. I do my fair share of hotel room hoarding, but never thought of that one. Will have to try it!

– Nee Nee helps us clear up the green garlic vs. garlic scapes debate:

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Scape Grace: ES S.O.S.


ES super Commenter Nee Nee recently emailed me with the following Garden Emergency:

Remember that summer you visited and we had scapes but no idea what to do with them?  Well, I have 75 garlic plants with scapes now and I need some ideas.  Mr. Nee Nee thinks he hates them.  I think he is crazy.

I’ve already suggested scape scrambled eggs and scape pesto, and I sent Nee Nee the link to Gansie’s  Roasted Poblano and Garlic Scape dip but we need some other ideas or Nee Nee’s scape harvest will go to waste.

Sounds like a job for the ES community, right?

Your scapetastic suggestions for Nee Nee’s late spring bounty PLEASE!

Classy Cheating Confessions

anchovy paste

You know us ESers are wont to talk a lot of smack about cheating — cutting corners in the kitchen by using  pre-made “ingredients” that could just as easily be made from scratch. But even though we love to hate, you know we all do it, too, in our own ways. Whether I’m cooking from scratch or warming up leftovers in the toaster oven, these three pre-made standbys have saved many a meal.

1. Anchovy Paste: I first discovered this sketchy-sounding ingredient in a Gourmet recipe for steak with anchovy garlic butter, which really is already cheating, because you’re basically buttering a g-damn steak. How could that not be delicious? But the anchovy paste — which comes in a little squeeze tube and doesn’t look anything like anchovies — is pretty amazing. It’s basically pureed ‘chovies mixed up with some olive oil, spices, and I’m not really sure what else. It doesn’t taste nearly as strong and fishy as eating one of those little guys whole, but it adds a super-rich, almost creamy element to any dish. When I make a pasta dish that needs to be set off a little bit, I squeeze in a little bit bit of this stuff and it takes it to another level. I know some of you may be grossed out, but trust me, you wouldn’t even know it was in there! It doesn’t have that intense anchovy taste (especially if you use just a touch in a whole dish), but somehow it instantly makes any dish rich and delicious.

2. Truffle Oil: Yeah, yeah, I know. Truffles are more overhyped than sliced bread. But we all know there’s a reason why. And while ES isn’t bringing in enough revenue yet for me to keep a pinch of fresh white truffles in the cabinet at all times, I have been known to fall back on the oily version. I got a tiny bottle of it as a gift a while back and honestly, it’s made me ten times less creative in the kitchen, because any time I get to the end of a dish and don’t think it’s quite there, I just throw in some TO and call it a day. And you know what? It always makes it amazing.  Pasta? Potatoes? Breakfast cereal? It’s hard to find something that can’t use a little truffle oil. I think it’s as much the earthy, pungent smell as the taste that sets a dish off. When my little bottle ran off after about a year, I decided not to buy another one, just so that I would be forced to experiment more in the kitchen. But then my mom went and got me another bottle for Christmas. And I’m not mad at all.  The most amazing thing is that while it seems ridiculously expensive, it’s really not–because you use literally a drop or two every time, that tiny little $20 bottle is gonna last you a year, and trust me, it will rescue so, so, many meals.

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Crafty Photo of the Day


Spotted discarded on a stoop last Saturday morning.

Natty Bo + Duct Tape + Natty Light.

Hope someone has this patented.

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