What is a "perfect" boiled egg?
It's very subjective of course, but let's try to list what's important:
- Its shell is whole, not cracked or split
- It is impeccably cooked: the white is set, completely, but not the yolk, which has remained liquid (otherwise it is a soft-boiled egg, or even hard-boiled)
- When you cut the cap (the top) you don't put small pieces of shell in the egg
- It is served with "mouillettes", an essential French concept, which deserves a real good bread
That's it, now let's see how to try to get as close as possible to this noble goal.
How to do it ?
A big effort on the cooking, you will have understood, and for that you must absolutely respect the basic rules of cooking eggs in water:
1) If possible, use fresh, quality eggs, and take them out of the fridge, if they are there (which is not necessary), at least 1 hour beforehand, so that they come back to room temperature, otherwise the cooking time becomes random
2) Everyone goes to the table at the beginning of the cooking, boiled eggs don't wait
3) We pierce the base of the egg shell with a needle or a nail, to burst the air pocket that is there, so the shell does not crack during cooking
4) Do not salt or vinegar the cooking water, it is useless
5) Put the eggs gently into the boiling water with a soup spoon
6) Cook for exactly 3 minutes, not less, and from the moment the water comes back to the boil, which means you don't have to worry about the number of eggs in the pan
That's it, most of the work is done. You put your eggs in egg cups and then directly to the table.
Classically, we cut the top of the egg with a knife by tapping and turning all around, gesture not very practical. If your family is a "big" consumer of boiled eggs, you can consider buying a "toc-oeuf" or "toqueur", it is a small, simple and not very expensive utensil, with a small spring and a weight that makes in 1 second an almost perfect cut of an egg cap, it is what all restaurants use.
If you have young children, or grandchildren, you will surely look like a magician to them, when they first use this tool.
There is no boiled egg worthy of the name without "mouillettes", i.e. small sticks of bread that you dip in the yolk to taste it, it is all the delight of boiled eggs.
The mouillettes deserve a special treatment, it would be a shame to just take a slice of bread cut into sticks (although... in case of a big laziness).
Instead, I suggest you bet on a good traditional baguette (trust your baker), no need for it to be fresh, a leftover from the day before will do just fine, and you could :
1) Cut a piece of baguette 7 or 8 cm long, depending on the age of your guests
2) Cut this piece in 2 in the height and put them in the toaster
3) Cut each piece into sticks and spread with a little butter
You can also decorate the mouillettes by putting on top, rather in thin slices, a little ham, salmon, cheese, etc. according to your taste.
Obviously, all this may seem a little complicated, a little long, but not so much, and you will see that in time, you will do it naturally without really making an effort.In summary
: Take particular care with the cooking, use a toc-egg if necessary, and make beautiful and good mussels.
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