Category: Ingredient Info

Easy Peel Hard Boiled Eggs

Hard Boiled Egg

Hard boiled eggs are arriving at the stores more fresh than ever before, and because of this, you may have noticed that when they are hard boiled (or hard cooked as some say) the membrane in the egg tends to stick to the egg white, making the eggs difficult to peel. While fresh eggs are great, this annoyance can make breakfast (or an egg salad lunch) a distressing event. I have been known to lose half an egg just trying to remove the shell. There are, however two simple techniques that will allow you to easily peel hard boiled eggs in a flash, leaving you with perfect looking eggs. The first method makes peeling hard boiled eggs so unbelievably easy that they have become my staple breakfast, and is an incredible time saver

Method 1:
Add a tablespoon or two of baking soda to the water when you boil the eggs. This will increase the pH of the water, making it more alkaline, which will allow the membrane to slip off the cooked albumen (egg white) easily. You can pull the shell right off, or, if you want to make it interesting, crush both ends of the egg, hold it in your hand and blow. The egg will shoot right out of the shell and across the room.

Method 2:
Hard boil the eggs, remove from the water when cooked, and wait until they are room temperature. Do not put them in the refrigerator, just leave them on the counter. Room temperature cooked eggs are much easier to peel than hot or cold ones.

Personally, I prefer the baking soda method because I can’t wait and I like showing people the magic trick of the egg shooting out of its shell, but how you do it is your choice. Now hard boiled eggs are an easy meal!

Simple Syrup

simple syrup

Simple Syrup

Simple Syrup (also known as Bar Syrup or Rock Candy Syrup) is a mixture of sugar and water. Usually combined in the ratio of one part water to two parts sugar, it is very simple to make and useful to have around. It is the perfect sweetener for iced tea and other cold beverages as the sugar is already dissolved and will mix into a cold liquid without leaving undissolved sugar granules on the bottom of your glass. It is also used in mixed drinks, baking, and candy making. My favorite use is making sweet tea, though.

To make a simple syrup you first bring the water to a boil, add the sugar and gently stir. Once the sugar is fully dissolved, remove the pot from the heat and allow it to cool. Do not let the liquid boil for too long or it may become too thick, or caramelize, or a host of other problems that make for bad simple syrup. The resulting liquid is easily stored in the refrigerator in  a plastic squeeze bottle or jar which should make it easy to add to beverages as necessary.

You may see recipes for simple syrup using a 1:1 ratio of sugar to water. While this will certainly work, it will spoil much more quickly, and since I like to have a lot around, particularly in the summer for iced tea, I find that the 2:1 sugar to water ratio is a better solution (pun intended). If you have problems with crystallization, add a small amount of honey or corn syrup when you are dissolving the sugar to help make the syrup more stable. The presence of different types of sugar (fructose, for example) in the mix will help prevent the sugar (sucrose) from crystallizing during storage.

By adding any kind of spice or flavoring during the heating you can make interesting syrups to have around for any occasion. Vanilla, cranberry, cardamom, lavender, there is no end to the flavors you can add. Pretty much anything you can imagine may be used to flavor simple syrup, so don’t fear to experiment.

Tip summary
Tip #1 – 2:1 sugar/water is the best ratio for storage.
Tip #2 – Don’t over boil.
Tip #3 – Add a touch of honey or corn syrup if crystallization is a problem.
Tip #4 – Add flavors for fun.