I am about to make my biggest confession of the year. It’s only the beginning of March but I am sure I won’t have another confession this monumental in 2016. You’ve probably all heard the idiom, “She can’t even boil an egg.” It is not a compliment. It refers to someone who is a really lousy cook. I’ve never understood it because I am a good cook who has never been able to properly boil an egg. Oh I can boil one all right, I just can’t get the damn peel off without tearing off half the white. It is obvious that whoever made up that saying knew nothing about cooking.
I have tried every conceivable way to boil an egg to get them to easily peel. I’ve started them in cold water, in boiling water, cooking them off the heat, on the heat. You name it. I’ve tried it. I’ve even left them in the fridge for weeks because I’d heard that old eggs peel easier. That helped a little, but for the small amount of success, it didn’t pay off. The only constant was that I always took them off the heat and put them into a bowl filled with ice water.
It looks like I’m not the only one with this problem, because in the last 2 months three national food magazines have articles on how to boil eggs so the peel slips right off. Cooks Illustrated even has a report card on Eggs Peelability. Mine fit in the mangled category. Mangled describes the eggs as well as my frustrated brain.
I tried this new, simple technique and am so excited that I can’t stop boiling eggs. Old ones, new ones, they all peel the same. I have 24 in the fridge right now. If you can relate to my egg peeling miseries, here’s a discovery that will have you boiling eggs everyday until the sheer joy becomes common place. It’s simple. Instead of boiling the eggs in water, steam them.
- Fill a saucepan with 1-inch of water and bring it to a boil.
- Arrange 6 eggs in a steamer basket in a single layer.
- Cover and cook on medium-low heat for 13 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer eggs to a bowl filled with cold water and 3 hands full of ice cubes for 15 minutes.
If you don’t have a steamer basket, you don't need to run out and buy one. You can boil the eggs in 1-inch of water and they will still peel perfectly. You don’t even need to peel the eggs right away. They will peel just as easily after being refrigerated for several days.
Now that I am an expert egg peeler, I have begun playing around with deviling the eggs. The term deviled has been around for centuries and originally referred to hot and spicy foods that symbolize the devil. In recent decades most cooks have forgotten the devil part and the stuffed eggs I've tasted are bland. But not mine. I have altered the name slightly to set them apart. But don’t worry, they aren’t too hot, unless you have some of the devil in you!
Devil’s Eggs with Jalapeños & Cumin
The easiest way to pipe filling into the whites is by filling a small heavy-duty plastic bag or a pastry bag fitted with a large plain or star tip.Devil’s Eggs with Jalapeños & Cumin
If you don't have a steamer basket, this same technique works by cooking the eggs in 1-inch of water. The directions remain the same.
6 large eggs
3 tablespoons regular or light mayonnaise
1 tablespoon minced pickled jalapeno peppers, to taste
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
12 sprigs Italian parsley, for garnish
Coarse or flake sea salt, such as fleur de sel or malden
In a medium saucepan, bring 1-inch of water to a rolling boil. Place eggs in steamer basket and place in saucepan. Cover, reduce heat to medium low and cook for 13 minutes. Fill a deep pot with 2 cups water and 2 cups of ice. Using spoon, transfer eggs to ice water and let sit for 15 minutes. Peel before using.
Using a small knife, cut each egg in half lengthwise. Carefully remove yolks to a small bowl. Mash with a fork until smooth. Stir in mayonnaise, Jalapenos, mustard, cumin and salt. Spoon or pipe yolks into whites.
MAKE AHEAD: Filled eggs can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated up to 24 hours.
Before serving, sprinkle a few grains of salt over each egg and garnish with a small sprig of parsley.
To print this recipe, please click here.