Wednesday, July 27, 2011

You have to be careful with eggs...

...because they are, without a doubt, the most annoying food on the planet.

I'm not sure when it happened. Maybe 8 or 9 years ago. But when did eggs stop being easy to peal after hard- or soft-cooking?

Seriously. It's the most annoying thing in the world. You cook your egg, you cool it. You crack the top and bottom and then roll the egg to loosen the shell. Then, as you start peeling, the white meat of the delicious interior starts pulling off in chunks and strips, leaving you with quite a percentage less egg than you were expecting.

Take today, for example. I made a simple breakfast of two soft-cooked eggs and toast with butter. I placed the eggs out for 20 minutes to warm up a little. I then put them in a pot and covered them with cold water by an inch. Placing the pot on a burner at high, I brought the whole thing to a boil, then dropped it to a simmer for 3 minutes.

After the time was up, I poured off the hot water and doused the eggs in cold water. When they were ready to handle (about 30 seconds) I took them out and started peeling.

And lost about 20% of the white as it came off with the shell.

I tried to peel just the shell, and also by gripping the membrane between the shell and the white. But, no matter how I tried, the membrane remained stuck to the albumen and pulled bits and chunks out that I would have rather eaten.

And this travesty has been going on for years now. I love hard-cooked eggs as a snack or for breakfast. But I'm frustrated as hell with the loss of good egg meat. Seriously, about 50% of the eggs I cook turn out this way. I've tried all kinds of techniques: eggs in cold water brought to a boil then left to return to room temperature, or brought to a boil and then doused in cold water and ice, or left to boil for up to five minutes. I used fresh (less than a week old) eggs as well as older eggs (where the membrane pulls away from the albumen. Nothing seems to affect my egg experience.

What am I doing wrong? Any suggestions?

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