Whenever I spend time with a chef, I learn something, and this week's lesson is from Andrew Feinberg of Franny's restastaurant. I've learned a lot from Andrew over the past few months, since we started working on the Franny's Brooklyn Cookbook together. He's taught me how to get brick oven-style pizza out of my home oven, how to pefrectly season pasta with a combination of sea salt, lemon juice, and more good olive oil than I ever thought a person would use, and now, I've mastered the never-fail route to the perfect hard-boiled egg.
This method with forever expunge that sulphurous green ring around the yolk and give you a lovely sunshine-orange center that's always creamy and never dry. It probably goes without saying that you'll get the very best results by starting with fresh-from-the farmers'-market eggs (or even better, fresh from your own chicken coop - not something you see a lot of in my Brooklyn neighborhood). Fair warning: you might find the directions a tad on the persnickity side. But, I ask you, when was perfection ever achieved without a at least a modicum of fuss?
Here's what you do: To make 1 to 4 eggs, use a small, 1-quart saucepan. (Use a larger saucepan for more eggs, the goal is to have the eggs in a relatively small space, so try not to use 2 eggs in a stockpot). Cover the eggs in cold water and bring to a full boil. Turn off the heat and let the eggs sit, uncovered, for precisely 9 minutes. (Andrew likes 8 1/2 minutes, and his eggs are still a bit runny-yolked, but I prefer mine a tad more solid, so feel free to experiment with the time to suit your taste).
After 9 minutes, use a slotted spoon to transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water (this is the key step) in order to stop the cooking.
After the eggs cool enough to pick them up, rap the eggs on the table top to crack the shell (especially on the top and bottom). Put the cracked eggs back in the cold water and let them sit to loosen the shell. The peel will come off easily.
When Andrew peels his eggs, they are perfect, of course. Mine as you can see are a bit tattered around the edges. But I'm getting better with egg peeling practice and a lot of patience. Perfection is worth waiting for.