At some point, you need to know how to cook an egg.
I am back on the Body Type Diet, something I was on several years ago and lost a lot of fat on. I say “lost fat” instead of “lost weight,” because my weight is slightly too much for my height and frame, but only slightly. What I really need is to lost a lot of fat and put on a lot of muscle. Did you know that if you do not exercise your muscles for only 4 weeks, you lose 17% of your muscle strenth? Depressing, no?
Anyway, back to the Body Type Diet. I am a T-Type (thyroid type), which means I need to avoid foods that overstimulate the thyroid. The main culprits are caffeine, refined sugar, and refined (white) grains. Mmmmhello? What do I crave throughout the day? How many cups of coffee and/or tea do I drink throughout the day? Who goes and eats sweets whenever he’s feeling “run down”? Well, the reason I’m feeling run down is that I’m taking my body on a roller coaster ride with all the caffeine, sugar, and refined grains!
One of the things T-Types need to do is eat two eggs a day. Yes, two eggs. And although the diet says “any style”, I usually opt for hard-cooked eggs, so I can save the fats for other things (such as a little Smart Balance on my whole-wheat toast, a handful of almonds, some cheese in the afternoon, or some dressing on my salad at lunch or dinner). I like 3-minute eggs too, but seeing as 1) We have no egg cups and 2) that is definitely a sit-down and eat sort of thing, and 3) breakfast for me usually needs to be quicker than that, I opt for the hard-cooked variety since they can be eaten on the run.
Guys, if you don’t know how to hard-cook an egg, you need to. The first time I ever cooked one, I was in high school. My mom was out and it was lunch time and I wanted tuna salad. I like a couple of eggs in my tuna salad. What’s a guy to do? I looked it up. In the trusty old Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook. That book was a great one. Still is. It not only tells you how to do everything from how to hard-cook an egg to how to cut up a chicken, it has lots o’ pictures, which is always a good thing.
Now listen up guys (and gals–we shouldn’t be sexist here and assume that women innately know how to cook eggs, should we?):
- Take an egg, or two, or however many you want, and place them in a saucepan for which you have the proper cover. (That part is important.) Place the eggs only one layer deep. (If you need to cook more than that, get a bigger pot or cook several batches.) If they are more than one layer deep, they will not cook evenly.
- Cover the eggs with cold tap water. Use just enough water to cover the eggs. Make sure the pot is deep enough. you don’t want water sloshing everywhere.
- You are going to hard-cook the eggs. You don’t want hard-boiled eggs. Boiling eggs turns the egg whites into rubber. This is probably why so many people don’t like hard-boiled eggs. Low and slow is the way to go with eggs. (This is true of fried eggs, too: turn the temp down and cook them slowly and they will be tender. Cook them at a high temp and they will be tough.)
- Turn the stove on “High” and bring the water just to a boil. (Just until the bubbles break the surface.) Right before the water comes to a boil, add some salt to the water. (Don’t salt cold water, ever. It will put pits in your cookware.) As soon as the water comes to a boil, turn off the eye and cover the pot. That’s right, turn it off.
- Allow the eggs to cook in the hot water until done. How long will that be? It depends on the size of the eggs. According to the American Egg Board (the “Incredible Edible Egg” people), these are the ideal cook times for hard-cooked eggs: 12 minutes for medium eggs, 15 minutes for large eggs, 18 minutes for extra-large eggs. (Another site adds the cooking time of 20 minutes for jumbo eggs, but I haven’t seem jumbo eggs for some time.)
- Don’t cook them too long. That’s what makes the yolks looks sort of grey and have that greenish coating on them. That’s a chemical reaction caused by the heat. The same thing will happen to your scrambled eggs if you cook them too long. Green eggs and ham, anyone?
- As soon as the timer goes off, take the pan off the stove, pour off the hot water, and rinse the eggs several times with cold water. You can also plunge them into ice water. Tap the eggs to crack the shells and put them back in the cold water or peel them under cold running water. This helps get that nasty membrane off. Salting the cooking water helps with this too. Peel the eggs as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the harder it will be.
- Want to make sure fewer eggs crack when cooking (such as when you’re doing Easter Eggs)? Let the eggs come to room temperature before cooking them. You will need to knock one minute off the cooking time.
What about soft-cooked eggs? Same procedure, just less cooking time. I like a three-minute egg. It has a white that is cooked and a yolk that is hot but still liquid. Kind of like a sunny-side-up egg on the halfshell. Bring the water to a boil as above, then turn off the stove, cover the pot, and let it cook for three minutes. Some people prefer a five minute egg. To eat a soft-cooked egg, you really need egg cups and egg spoons. Put the egg in the egg cup, whack a little off the top with a knife, and eat it out of the shell with the egg spoon. For presentation, I think brown eggs work better than white ones for soft-cooked eggs.
Ever hear someone ask for a coddled egg? That’s a one-minute egg. The white is not clear anymore, but it’s still soft. The original Caesar Salad recipe calls for coddled eggs, not raw eggs.