Updated Nov 24, 2014Chatelaine
- Select a pot that’s just large enough to comfortably accommodate the number of eggs you’d like to cook. A 2-qt/2-L saucepan is a good size for six eggs, or a 4-qt/3.8-L pot for twelve. Fill it with 3 in/7.5 cm of water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Add a few big pinches of salt. Reduce the heat to medium and wait for the rapid boil to calm to gentle bubbles, then lower the eggs into the water using a slotted spoon or a large-mesh skimmer. Set a timer according to the doneness you want, and check the eggs occasionally to be sure they stay at a gentle simmer with just a few soft bubbles breaking the surface at any given moment, adjusting the heat up or down as needed. When the timer goes off, immediately lift the eggs from the water and transfer them to a bowl of ice water to stop cooking. When they are completely chilled, drain and dry the eggs and store them in the refrigerator in their shells for up to 1 week. Or wait until the eggs are cool enough to handle and peel and eat them right away.
- To peel hard-cooked eggs (those cooked 8 minutes or more), one by one, tap and roll them against the countertop, applying gentle pressure, making tiny cracks all over like a mosaic. This technique is a little too aggressive for soft-cooked eggs (those cooked 7 minutes or fewer) with delicate whites, so cradle those in your hand and gently tap the shells with the back of a spoon to make the tiny cracks.
- Working under cool, trickling water, start peeling at the thickest end of the egg, using the empty air pocket to get a grip on the shell. Get under the membrane and peel with the side of your thumb, working around the egg. When you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to strip off the shell like the peel of an apple, in one long continuous coil. The bottom third, toward the tip, might just come off in one big sheath.
Eggs on Top, Andrea Slonecker, $30.