Did you know that modern technology was changing the way some cooks boil eggs?
I didn't know anything about it until I watched the History Channel this weekend.
Apparently a few years ago, a study confirmed that a number of English cooks were dumbfounded as to how to master using a timer and a pan of hot water to boil a perfect breakfast egg. This is apparently "eating a toasted soldier with a boiled egg" is a huge breakfast favorite in England.
The British Egg Information Service -- that really is the name, I kid you not -- galloped to the rescue and released information about their foolproof solution.
The service's quality assurance scheme, Lion Quality Eggs, designed heat-sensitive ink logos that changes colors during the egg cooking process. All customers have to do is buy specially marked packages for their preferred soft, medium or hard stage eggs.
Although I don't know if the eggs are available in the United States, I know my mother (and the rest of our household) would be excited if they were.
I loved egg salad as a child, but it wasn't a good idea to ask my mother to make it.
Whenever boiled eggs were listed as an ingredient in a recipe, the trail of smoke coming from the kitchen when the water finally evaporated out of the pan was usually her signal the eggs were done.
Scorched eggs are not only hard to peel ("We don't waste food, do we" she'd say to mine and my sister's astonishment.), but no matter how hard you try you can't mask that charred taste.
At 11-years-old I should have known better when I answered that question one time, "Then you shouldn't have burnt them."
It was initially a proud moment for me because my dad squirted lukewarm coffee out his nose while laughing. (That tells you a lot about my family, doesn't it?) However, my mom decide I needed to learn what a bar of soap tasted like for my absent-minded comedy routine.
Needless to say, I was happy to take over making my own egg salad when I was deemed responsible enough to use the stove on my own a year later.
Grandma Iva took me under her wing at that time and shared a few cooking tricks that I still treasure today.
One of which was using vinegar and salt to help keep the egg from escaping its shell while boiling. Add a half-teaspoon each of vinegar and salt to the water that is at least an inch higher than the eggs cooking in a saucepan.
Another tip for egg-cooking success is to bring the water to a rolling boil, remove the pan from the heat and let it sit, covered with a lid, for 10-12 minutes. Drain off the hot water to add cold water, and then let the eggs sit 3-4 minutes before peeling.
To make enough egg salad for a single sandwich, peel and roughly chop two large hard-boiled eggs and place in a small bowl. Add one tablespoon each of mayonnaise, sour cream, chopped green or red onion, fresh chopped garlic and crumbled cooked bacon into the bowl along with two tablespoons of finely chopped celery and a light sprinkle of dried dill, salt and pepper.
Mix it all together and let sit while toasting two slices of pumpernickel bread.
Make the sandwich using your choice of garnish.I like a slice of Swiss cheese, fresh tomatoes, lettuce and a drizzle of coarse horseradish mustard, but eat what you like.
What types of recipes are you interested in locating and cooking this holiday season?