Hard boiled eggs made easy
EASTER EGG SALAD
Makes 4 sandwiches or about 12 crostini
Put those leftover holiday eggs to good use in this simple salad. Use the salad to make quick and elegant crostini and serve them as part of your Easter brunch or serve it up between slices of rustic wheat bread for a more traditional treat!
4 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
½ cup Green apple, diced small
¼ cup Red onion, minced
¼ cup Celery, diced small
¼ cup Light mayo
2 T fresh dill, chopped
1 T Dijon mustard
½ t salt
¼ t pepper
Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir well. Taste and adjust seasoning to taste. Serve open-faced on grilled French bread slices, alongside tomato wedges, or between slices of bread. Recipe can be doubled to serve a crowd. Refrigerate and use salad with in 48 hours.
Updated: September 21, 2012 1:42PM
A tall white chef’s hat features exactly one hundred pleats to symbolize the one hundred ways a trained chef should know how to cook an egg. As a student, I cooked hundreds of eggs during my garde manager classes at the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago and probably gave my husband a nice cholesterol spike by forcing him to eat all of my mistakes. As much as I take pride in knowing how to whip up coddled, shirred and scotch eggs, I still rely on egg cookery basics at home and nothing is more basic than a hard boiled egg.
With prime egg dyeing season right around the corner, the need for a reliable recipe for hard boiled eggs is at its annual peak. As easy as boiling an egg may seem, there are notable pitfalls in the process--stubborn shells refusing to let go of the whites, unsightly green rings appearing around yolks, and a telltale sulfuric scent invading your refrigerator.
Perfect boiled eggs will peel with ease and will never yield a soft boiled surprise. Earn a pleat by following these simple steps for foolproof hard boiled eggs!
Hard Boiled Eggs 101
Use old eggs; fresh eggs are harder to peel. Purchase your eggs for boiling 1 week before you plan to cook them. If you have to buy them on short notice purchase eggs nearing their “sell-by” date.
Inspect eggs to make sure they are free from cracks and allow eggs to come to room temperature before proceeding with the recipe below to aid in preventing shells from cracking during the cooking process.
Don’t overfill the pot. Place no more than a dozen large eggs in a single layer in a sauce pan or deep skillet (stacking eggs leads to overcooking and the dreaded green ring) and completely cover the eggs with cold water by 1 inch.
Bring water and eggs to a rapid boil, immediately turn off the heat, cover the pan and let the eggs sit for 13 minutes. Rinse under cold water for 10 minutes.
Refrigerate until ready to use. Hard boiled eggs can be stored for five days. Make sure eggs are dry before dyeing.
To peel a hard boiled egg, gently tap the top and the bottom of the egg three times on the counter. Tap the entire surface of the egg gently on the counter to crackle the entire shell. Roll the egg back and forth three times between the palm of your hand and counter. Start peeling the egg from the rounded bottom of the egg (not the pointy top) and take care to pull the membrane with the outer shell. When done right the crackled shell should come off in large sheets or even one large piece! Rinse peeled eggs before proceeding with your favorite recipes.
Don’t call them “Easter Eggs”
Oak Park blogger, Alma Klein, grew up dyeing eggs for her family’s Passover seder plate. This year she shared tips and a link on her blog, Marketing Mommy (www.marketingmommy.blogspot.com), on how to make natural egg dyes. She and her daughters came up with some creative coloring combinations that would be suitable for an Easter basket or a Passover seder plate. This isn’t an exact science. Feel free to experiment with ingredients; Alma even turned it into a guessing game for her kids. Give it a try!
Place a handful of one or two of the coloring ingredients in 2 cups of water (or colored fruit juice) in a saucepan and bring to boil. Simmer for 15-40 minutes or until brightly colored. Strain the liquid and add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar. Place hard boiled eggs into a glass jar and pour the hot dye over the eggs. Cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate overnight.
Ideas for coloring ingredients: purple cabbage leaves, cinnamon sticks, red and yellow onion skins, beets, tumeric, carrots, paprika, dill seed, instant coffee, wine or tea.
Melissa Elsmo is an Oak Park mom, wife and chef/foodie. She speaks regularly about reclaiming the family dinner hour with nutritious meals. Check out her food blog at www.outofmelskitchen.blogspot.com.