Ok, I’ll admit, I can never remember how to hard boil an egg. As a result, I have to always reach for the Joy of Cooking.
My copy is from 1964. I have no idea what the new versions look like, but for the “basics” of cooking this is my source for everything.
I picked up some free-range chicken eggs last week at the farmers market and decided to turn them into deviled eggs. So, Joy of Cooking had to come off the shelf to help me in my time of need.
Hard Cooked Eggs/Deviled Eggs
Joy of Cooking
Place in sauce pan, preferably glass or enamel, unshelled eggs. Cover them with cold water. (About an inch above the top of the eggs.)
Put the pan over medium heat and bring the water to boiling point. (I put on high heat.)
Reduce the heat to below boiling point and let the water simmer. Now watch your time, which will depend on how large and how cold your eggs are. Allow the following time for 70 degree eggs. If they come right out of the refrigerator, you will have to add at least 2 minutes to the timing…
Hard-Cooked Eggs – Allow 15 minutes after you reduce the heat. Plunge the finished hard-cooked eggs in cold ater at once to arrest further cooking and to prevent the yolks from discoloring.
Shell the eggs. (I still haven’t found the “perfect” method for doing this. It’s usually at this point why I remember why I don’t make deviled eggs that often. I usually do the “bang on the counter a few times, roll it in the palm of my hand, then peel under running cold water method”. Next time, I’m going to do the “roll the eggs around in the cooking pot like my life depended on it and let the eggs crack the other eggs” method.)
Cut them in half lengthwise or slice off both ends, which leaves a barrel shaped container. (I will try the barrel shaped container next time…) Remove yokes carefully so as not to damage the whites.
As for seasoning the egg yolks, here is how I do it. Stir in some mayonnaise and some stone ground mustard. Do not use the fat-free mayo as it will make the egg mixture taste too sweet. Sprinkle in a little salt and mix up but not so much that it gets mushy.
Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t include this brilliant passage from Joy of Cooking about what to add to the mixture. Please enjoy:
Crush the yolks without packing them (packing them?) and moisten them pleasantly (pleasantly?) with:
French dressing or mayonnaise, sweet or cultured sour cream, soft butter with vinegar and sugar, lemon juice or sweet pickle juice. Season to taste with: salt and paprika. Or one of more of the following: A little dry mustard, catsup, a dash of cayenne, curry, or hot pepper sauce, worcestershire sauce (vegetarian, of course!)
Exotic additions to the yolks are: (I’m going to list only the vegetarian suggestions): chopped ginger and cream cheese, chutney, grated roquefort, chopped chives, tarragon, chervil, parsley, burnet or basil.
Garnish with: Olives, capers or truffles.
Put the filling back in the whites. You may use a pastry tube for elaborate effects. (Or, put mixture in plastic bag and cut off the tip. This time around I just used a spoon.)
Remove from the refrigerator 1/2 hour before service for improved flavor and texture.
My version of the recipe, of course, is not suitable for bringing to a picnic because of the mayonnaise.