If you have neighbors with chickens you might be getting a lot of eggs right now. And really, it makes sense. If I were a northeastern chicken I would not be giving up the goods until just about now. We had quite a winter. And now that it’s relaxing its grip, we’ve got eggs.
This is a good thing, because as it turns out, the aforementioned salad week is actually going to have to be salad month. The past week has reminded me of all the great salads out there, like edamame avocado citrus, shaved asparagus, massaged kale, as well as all the delicious ways to create a deconstructed lunch. It leads me to think, why wasn’t I doing this all along? But that would take away the springtime angst I depend on for balance.
Today, we’re talking about salad toppers. One staple in our house is coconut “bacon.” I did a little blind taste test with my peeps (who are admittedly a bit gun-shy of my experiments after discovering black beans in their brownies and shredded cauliflower in their mac and cheese. Poor dears.) Anyway, like real New Englanders they again gave two thumbs most enthusiastically up to the maple syrup versions that I tried, so I’m sticking to those.
I tend to go a bit overboard on food combining, especially when it comes to toppers. But nothing gives mealtime heft to a salad like the ordinary and incredible egg. Furthermore, fully self contained eggs are the ultimate portable food so they are a natural for Bring It!
Hard boiling eggs ought to be easy, but still every time I do it I have to refer to a grimy index card tucked behind my stove that tells me exactly how many minutes to boil them, let them sit covered and then rinse in cold water. Here are two awesome methods—baking and steaming—both of which will set you free from the grimy index card. The first lets you cook a heap load of eggs—as many as you can fit on your over rack. The second takes slightly less time and the resulting eggs are slightly easier to peel. At any rate, if egg peeling challenges you watch this video (spoiler alert: run them under cold water while peeling.)
So here you go, you future queens and kings of deviled egg overabundance. Chickens, get on your marks!
Method 1, from Alton Brown.
Position an oven rack in the middle of your oven. Thoroughly dampen a kitchen towel and lay it over the rack. Load that rack up with as many eggs as you like, as long as they don’t touch. Turn your oven on to 320° F and let your eggs bake for 30 minutes. Then, pull the rack out and grab the four corners of the towel to create a little cradle for the eggs. Carry the towel with the eggs out of the oven and transfer the eggs to an ice bath. Let them chill out until you can handle them. Dry them off if you’re making Easter eggs, or peel them if you plan to eat them.
- Pros: Volume volume volume! Yes of course you need two dozen!
- Cons: Takes more total time (but it’s brainless time)
And Method 2, from Ali Slagle
In a big pot with a metal steamer inside, bring 1 inch of water to a boil. Add your eggs directly from the fridge to the steamer—6 fit without overcrowding. Cover the pot and let the eggs cook for 12 minutes (6 minutes for soft boiled). If you plan to eat them cold, transfer the eggs to an ice bath and let them chill out until you can handle them, then peel them.
- Pros: Quick—you’re boiling an inch of water, not an entire pot; you can easily make them soft boiled too.
- Cons: You can’t go for mass production as with the oven method.