Neither of my parent were the greatest of cooks. Sorry Mom…and so I always thought that hard boiled eggs had these gray chalky centers only worth feeding to the dog or throwing in the compost bin. Now that I raise my own chickens I know this isn’t true. It is so far from the truth that I have come to know that one of the greatest pleasures in life is the quiet enjoyment of a well-cooked, fresh and organically produced egg. Now, you may think that you know how to cook a fresh egg, but I tell you that most Americans are so far removed from good and whole foods that very few people know how to cook an egg. As a matter of fact, I was working with local chefs last summer who were trying to develop a menu with locally sourced foods. They came to me complaining that my eggs were too fresh and the yolks too large. They were going to have to go back to white eggs from the super market. Sigh…we local producers have a long way to go in educating our market.
There are many resources for those of us learning how to get the most flavor and nutrients from local foods. My favorite is Alice Waters of Chez Panisse restaurant. After reading her first cookbook and then experimenting on my own I have come to the following process to create the perfect hard boiled egg. I hope you try it and then report back on your experience!
You will need one dozen local eggs, fresh water, and an ice bath.
Place your eggs in a stainless steel or enamel pot, cover them with cold water, place on the cooktop and bring to a rapid boil. This allows the eggs to rise to the same temperature at the same time. Turn off the heat, cover the pot, and let steam for 9 minutes. Remove the eggs from the pot and place directly into an ice bath. Let rest for another 10 minutes. Peel and enjoy! Notice the bright yellow and moist yolk…yum!
Here is a resource for the nutritional value of a fresh egg. Remember, those white eggs at the super market can be up to 3 months old by the time they get to you. The chickens aren’t treated so great either.And, you know it would be great fun on your next Sunday drive to the country to turn down the drive way of that little farm with the sign that says, ‘Fresh Brown Eggs for Sale Today’!