Terry Golson, author of the Farmstead Egg Cookbook, gave this advice in the April/May issue of Backyard Poultry magazine:
Is the recipe for hard boiled eggs necessary first? Yep! If you’ve ever had an egg that was so tough you could bounce it off the wall,, or an egg with a green lined yolk, or an egg that you couldn’t peel, you need these directions.
That ugly green tinge to a hard-cooked egg yolk is from a reaction of the iron and sulfur in the egg yolks that occurs at high heat. To prevent that just use this method, which cooks but doesn’t boil the eggs. This low temperature will yield a firm, but not rubbery, texture.
Fresh hard cooked or hard boiled eggs can be notoriously hard to peel. Just try removing the shell from an egg laid the previous day, and you’ll end up tossing out half of the white along with the shell. As an egg ages, the membrane around the white begins to separate from the shell. This allows for easier peeling. However, as an egg ages the flavor deteriorates, so the best eggs to hard-cook are between one to two weeks old.
To hard-cook eggs:
Place the eggs in a pot and cover with 2 inches of water. Bring the water to a simmer. Don’t let the water come to a rolling boil. As soon as the water is simmering, cover the pot and remove from the heat. Set a timer for 12 minutes for small, 16 minutes for large, and 18 minutes for jumbo eggs.
Meanwhile, fill a bowl with ice water. When the timer goes off, drain the water out of the pot. Then shake the pot back and forth so that the eggshells crackle all over. Immediately immerse the eggs in the ice water. The water will seep under the shells and loosen them from the whites.
When the eggs are cold to the touch, remove them from the water and peel. Any tiny pieces of shell stuck to the eggs can be rinsed off under the tap. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to four days for optimum quality.
Now that you have the perfect hard-cooked eggs, whip up a batch of heavenly deviled eggs.
6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and cut lengthwise
1/4 cup mayonnaise (I add this a spoon at a time till I get the right consistency)
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1 Tablespoon juice from Sweet Pickles (the secret ingredient)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Paprika or Old Bay Seasoning for garnish
Remove yolks from whites, place in a small bowl and mash well with a fork. Add remaining ingredients and mix until smooth. Fill the shells with the mixture and sprinkle lightly with paprika. Cover and refrigerate. ENJOY!
Variations: You can add one (or more) of the following ingredients to change the flavor or add some kick to your deviled eggs:
1 teaspoon horseradish
1 teaspoon chives
Green olives, cut lengthwise
2-3 dashes hot sauce
1 teaspoon sweet red pepper, scallion or green onion or celery (each finely chopped)
1/2 teaspoon onion, garlic or celery salt
1/2 teaspoon Worcester Sauce
(Eliminate table salt when using any of these ingredients.)