A Few of My Favorite Things: Eggs Mashed-up in a Cup
February 22, 2009
As I’ve said before, I think that eggs are just about the perfect food. A good hard-boiled egg is about as close to perfection as you can get this side of the Garden of Eden.
When I first lived on my own I was suddenly struck with nostalgia for things that reminded me of my childhood. I started watching Coronation Street, for one, and it seemed that every Sunday morning I craved a hard-boiled egg. My mum used to make us “eggs mashed-up in a cup” when we were young; literally hard boiled eggs mashed-up with butter, salt and pepper.
Served in my Teddy Bear’s Picnic tea cup with white toast soldiers, it was the ultimate comfort food. Eggs were usually the first solid food you could have after a stomach bug and this was the best way to eat them. That tell-tale tea cup always signaled that you were on your way back to health and thus, the playground.
I don’t remember ever boiling an egg for myself when I lived at home and once I was on my own I could never remember the trick to a perfectly boiled egg. Whenever I was struck with a craving I had to call my mum and then when I was too emarrassed to admit that I still couldn’t remember how to do it I’d call my brother. Sometimes I’d Google, coming up with different techniques every time.
Almost four years later I’ve finally found the best way to boil an egg. I always thought as a hard boiled egg as fast food, but not so. They require a little bit of time and a lot of patience. And incidentally an egg should actually not be boiled, like ever.
For perfect eggs to be mashed-up in cups, mixed into mayo for sandwiches or deviled, follow this tried, tested and true technique.
HOW TO: Make a hard boiled egg
1. Place eggs in a pot that gives them lots of room; you don’t want them to bounce around and hit each other or the sides of the pot. Cover with cold water.
2. Heat eggs over an element set to 3.5 (I actually cook everything over 3.5 unless I’m boiling pasta). Heating the eggs gently will give you much better results.
3. As soon as the water comes to a boil, take the pot off of the element, cover and let sit for 11 minutes.
4. Place the eggs in an ice bath for 2-3 minutes to stop them cooking.
5. Tap the bottom of the eggs on a hard surface to crack and peel. I find that cracking them on the bottom makes it easier to get the shell off, the dimble in the egg lets you get your finger underneath the shell to get started.
If you want to mash them up in a cup, toss a couple in a tea cup or coffee mug, add butter, salt and pepper to taste and mash with a fork. The fork is important for mashing. My dad uses a knife and it changes everything — that makes eggs sliced up in a cup and is a completely different recipe.