Those who cook are probably already friends with, the Joy of Cooking, you know, large, weighs about 500 lbs (a lot when you have to bring it across the ocean in a little suitcase and the weight limit is 50 lbs), and is practically the bible when it comes to basics. Sometimes it pays even to look up the kind of things you thought you knew.
This morning, for example, I was looking for something to add to my lunch of leftover couscous, a tomato, and a slice of ham, and I was inspired by the French custom of often bringing hard-boiled eggs on a picnic. Ok, hard-boiled eggs aren't my favorite, but I had to do with what was in the fridge and could be easily packed. So, I thought to myself, "eating lunch at school in between classes is sort of like a picnic (only less fun and more rainy) so what the heck!" And I was inspired to look up hard-boiled eggs in the Joy of Cooking, just to see what it had to say.
Bring to a boil enough water to cover a single layer of eggs by 1 inch. Gently lower eggs (or egg in my case) into water. Return water to boil and immediately reduce heat to a simmer for 14 minutes. (This is what I did, although Joy also suggests 12 min for smaller eggs and 15 min for jumbo). Plunge eggs into cold water to stop from cooking further.
And let me tell you, it was the best hard-boiled egg I've ever had. Even the center stayed moist, though cooked through like it was supposed to be. Perfect with a little salt. Mmm-mmm.
So while we're at it, two for one, here's a recipe that Amy's aunt Louise taught me for the perfect soft-boiled egg:
Place egg(s) in a pot in a single layer and cover with cold water so egg(s) is(are) just completely covered. Bring water to a boil on high heat. As soon as water boils, remove pot from heat, cover
and start a timer for 3 minutes. After 3 min, run egg(s) under cold water to stop from cooking further. Break open top with a knife and eat or spoon out egg onto a piece of toast (I toast and butter toast during the 3 minutes and it usually works out pretty well).