Tuesday, April 3, 2012

From frustration to happy solution: Peeling Eggs!

Took this picture from
because they look the closest to what my eggs look like.
I'm a fairly even-tempered person.  It takes a lot to get me frustrated and frazzled.  Really.  So, it might surprise you to find out that one of my biggest pet peeves (I really hate pet peeves...haha) is when I can't peel an egg without butchering it in the process. 
Over the years I've googled the heck out of "secrets to peeling an egg" and every other version of that statement.  It's amazing to me how many secrets their are to cooking and peeling an egg that really just do NOT work.

Maybe it's our elevation here in Utah (over 4,000 ft), but a pinch of salt, a dash of vinegar, a tsp of baking soda, dropping your egg on the counter, soaking in cold water for exactly 20 minutes and all the rest of the world's suggestions just don't fly here in my house.

A few months ago I came across a new secret that I had never seen before.  Every thing I've ever read says to place eggs in cold water, cover by a couple of inches and bring to a boil.  This new suggestion was to place, carefully, eggs in boiling water and cook for 9 minutes, then place in cold bath.  We tried this on a new egg and it worked perfectly.  Success!  Right?

Sure, except in preparation of having to make a bunch of devilled eggs for my daughter's Easter party tomorrow, I. could. not. find. the. page!!!  I couldn't exactly remember how long to cook them for using this method.  I finally did find one other similar method and they said 9 minutes.  The other original page still eludes me.  Grrrr.  Oh, I think I just found something else that might annoy me. :)

So, early this morning, while I'm calming looking (haha) for this page in bed, Steve pulls up his laptop and starts helping me, because that's just the kind of guy he is.  He didn't find it either, but he did find another 'new' secret that we tried.
Steaming eggs to hard boiled stage and then peeling for Devilled eggs.

Oh, heavens! I'm SO happy.  It worked absolutely perfectly.  Every single egg from my 24 pack from Costco came out smooth and silky!  I knew I had to share this valuable information, especially a few days before Easter!
Just place your eggs (preferably room temperature, but they worked fine cold too) in your steamer.  Fill the water basin full.  Turn the timer to 25 minutes.  It's almost like slow poaching your eggs, so the texture is really smooth and tender.

Place in ice water bath and cool until the eggs feel cold, about 15-20 minutes.  Crack the larger end of the egg (where the air pocket is) and start peeling away.  This is where the trouble begins, right?  Well, NOT anymore!  Yippee!
Now, isn't that just a beautiful thing?  Big pieces of shell, just popping off your smooth, unblemished egg?  I really am quite easy to please. :)
So, I'm ready to go.  Tomorrow

This is my carton of cooked and peeled eggs at the half way point, I did 24 eggs in two batches.  Keep the carton you bought them in for easy storage until you're ready to transform them into delicious devilled eggs.
To store eggs in their carton, lay a few pieces of dampened paper towel over them for 2-3 days.  You can alternately, keep them in their shells in the fridge and peel them when you need them, but I really wanted them ready to go.

I've also read that you can store cooked and peel whole eggs in water in the fridge for up to a week, changing water everyday.  But I haven't tried this.

Another time saving trick, is to cut eggs in half, remove the yolk and make the filling.  I keep the half-eggs in my cute display plates, cover with paper towel and wrap with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for 24 hours.  When you're ready to fill, remove the paper towel, which at this point will be soaked.  You'll need to pat dry the eggs halves before you fill them, but this is still a time saver when you want to serve at a special dinner or party.

Recipe you ask?  Despite all the recipes on this blog, I really don't use many recipes.  However, when I put these together tomorrow I'll write down the measurements for you.  I keep mine pretty simple.  Mayonnaise, Dijon Mustard and some yellow mustard too, for color, a little hot sauce, Super finely chopped green onions for the filling and to put on top for garnish, Dried Dill weed, salt and pepper to taste and then smoked paprika for the top.  Add a little milk if the mixture is too thick.  I like to pipe the filling.  It's pretty!

Pictures and recipe forthcoming!  Hope I saved you some time and some frustration this Easter season!


kwgirl said...

So you are steaming the eggs? If I don't have a plugin steamer, can I use a pot that has the steam holes? I wasn't sure if the eggs sitting on the metal would be a hindrance? Just wondering:)

Susan Neal said...

Yes, you could use a pot with a steamer insert. The only difference I can see is that the plug-in steamer gets hot really quickly because there is only about 2" of water at the bottom. If you have a huge pot with 6" of water, I would either reduce the water or bring it to a boil first. I would try one egg first and go from there.
Good luck!

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