Does anyone remember the cooking school scene in Julie & Julia where Julia Child becomes vexed when asked if she knew how to boil an egg? It may have been a put down, but in reality it's an easy to fail test.
I learned my lesson about eggs years ago at Easter when I opened a Tupperware container (yes, they have those kind of parties over here, too) of my homemade American potato salad in my French in-laws' kitchen. Their gasps made me want to disappear into a hole as the odor of the overcooked eggs wafted up to their very sensitive olfactory organs.
Today is lundi de Pâques, a French holiday and a day when many are busy making des oeufs à la diable. Here's the no-fail method to the first step of the process, cooking the eggs correctly:
Bring eggs, covered with at least an inch of cold water, just to a boil. Reduce heat immediately and let simmer for 10 minutes. Do not boil. Place eggs immediately in icy-cold water for 3 minutes, then tap or roll them on a board or countertop till their shells are cracked. Put them again in cold water and let sit for 5 minutes before peeling. Their shells should slip off easily, and the egg yolks should be delicious and neither have a gray tinge nor be smelly.
un oeuf: an egg
le diable: the devil
des oeufs à la diable: deviled eggs (à la sauce diable)
Photo courtesy of Marianne Lecron (telle mère, telle fille!)
©2012 P.B. Lecron