Monday, December 17, 2012


There's been much call for comfort food around here lately. Sickness, stress, an empty bank account, and anxious dog, and an anxious me have really piled up and knocked the wind out of me. Seems no amount of wrapping paper and Nat King Cole can burn through this hazy funk, no matter how hard I try to get in the holiday spirit.

But you know what does make me feel better, basically every time? A perfect egg.

Seven-minute egg on mashed squash and cranberries.

There's more than one "perfect" egg: There's the hard-boiled with the creamy yolk so perfectly folded between two thick slabs of ciabatta. There's the soft-boiled broken over the sweet-savory flesh of a baked winter squash. There's the fried that tops a sizzling bowl of rice and seasoned vegetables shoveled quickly in chopstick-controlled heaps. The poached, floating gently in a vat of spicy tomato sauce and slopped over day-old bread or garlic-toasted quinoa.

Oh, eggs. Oh thank you.

If you want a recipe, I don't really have one. I don't have it in me. I do, however, have the secrets to making two of the perfect Perfect Eggs™: Hard- and soft-boiled.

Hard-boiled eggs, Alton Brown style
4 eggs
water to cover
ice-water bath
Place eggs in an electric kettle and fill with cold water to cover, 1" above the eggs. Place the lid on the kettle and turn it on. Set a timer for 10 minutes but do not start it immediately. When you hear the kettle click off, start the timer and allow the eggs to sit in the water, undisturbed, until the alarm goes off. After 10 minutes, remove the eggs from the kettle with a slotted spoon and place them in the ice-water bath for 5–7 minutes, or until they are completely cool. Peel and use as you like.

Soft-boiled eggs, my dad's style
4 eggs
water to cover
ice-water bath
Set a timer for 7 minutes but do not start it immediately. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a quick boil on medium-high heat. Once the water starts to boil, gently—gently!—place eggs in the pot using a slotted spoon; immediately cut the heat and put the lid on the pot. Star the 7-minute timer and let the eggs sit undisturbed in the water. Once the alarm goes off, remove the eggs from the pot with a slotted spoon and place them in the ice-water bath for 3–5 minutes. Peel and use as you like.

You're welcome, though I hope you don't need all this as much as I do lately.

What's your favorite Perfect Egg™?

1 comment:

  1. I HAD to chime in here. Yes. A perfect egg on a piece of wonderful thick toast is perfection. Push all of the holiday aside and I too declare that a perfect meal.


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