In our first egg column we gave a number of ways to use that nutritional powerhouse the egg. This week we are concentrating on hard boiled eggs. While we associate colorful eggs with Easter, there are many reasons to color eggs. Two of the most amazing are pickled eggs and dinosaur eggs.
We will be featuring two types of recipes this week. First, recipes which involve either cracking or fully peeling the eggs. Second, recipes which use unpeeled eggs (at first.)
The dyes used in this project were mostly natural, derived from ordinary produce. We tested red beets, yellow beets, red cabbage, carrot tops, tea, and red onion skins. The yellow beets were useless for standard egg dying as was tea. The prettiest eggs were the red beet dino eggs and the red cabbage dyed whole eggs and dino eggs. Red onion skins were supposed to give a jade green, but it was red! A nice red though.
I learned some valuable lessons about this process. It takes a long time, from 8 to 20 hours. After you have the dyes, you can store them for quite a while. At least 3 days. You need to turn the eggs with a spoon or rubber spatula. Turn 1/4 turn each 15 minutes for the first hour. Then turn about every hour for the next couple of hours. If you don’t do this the colors will be uneven and very splotchy on the bottom. The color is different from the tablets you may be used to—it deposits in a thick layer. Be sure not to disturb this layer as it can peel/rubs off. It hardens as it drys.
My recommendation would be, use red beets (red) and red cabbage (surprisingly blue). The carrot tops give a nice color eventually, but must steep a long time. Maybe it would have been better if I had used more carrot tops; I used tops from one bunch.
I also tried gel food color and used the recipe on the box. They were much quicker and more vivid, good color after an hour or so. VERY staining—be careful, especially with kids.
As always, prices are for this area and for Safeway and Fry's will require at least a Club Membership card. Some may require digital coupons as well. We try to indicate all restrictions, special conditions etc. Sprouts does not require any cards and does not have any special savings days. Sprouts does have double ad Wednesday, when you get last week’s and this week’s ad prices. All three stores have digital savings available to those with appropriate accounts Go to their web pages for details and directions. Fry’s at least will give you the advertised digital price if you state you do not have the needed technology. Safeway sometimes has coupons which you can access digitally or clip out of the ad.
To Boil an Egg: Searching for the ultimate best method
First we will go over the best ways to hard boil an egg. This may seem simple, but just wait. Most of the cooking experts say something like this: 1) put your eggs in a pan of cold water 2) heat the water to boiling 3) turn off the heat, cover the pan and let the eggs sit in the hot water for12 minutes 4) place the eggs in a bowl of cold water. Those people do not live in Prescott, let alone Flagstaff.
If you follow that recommendation, you will end up with half cooked yolks. Because of the altitude water boils at somewhere around 201 to 203 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on exactly where you live. For each 500 ft below 5000 ft add 1 degree. For each 500 ft over 5000 ft, subtract 1 degree.
Another recommended method is to boil the water. Carefully lower the eggs in with a slotted spoon. Adjust the temperature so that it remains at a medium boil (if you let it boil too hard, especially at the beginning, your eggs may crack.) Boil the eggs for 12 minutes (15 at my elevation.) Put the eggs in ice water. This works but you have to watch to make sure the water isn’t boiling too hard.
I have settled on a hybrid method. I put them in cold, heat the water to boiling, turn to a simmer, simmer 5 minutes, cover and turn off the heat, wait 15 minutes, plunge into ice water.
If I am using the boiled eggs for something where I will be removing the shells, I crack the eggs all over when they are cool enough to handle, only a minute or two, then return to the ice water until they are completely cool. I learned this trick from Jack Pepin. He said that the cold water gets in between the meat of the egg and the shell membrane which makes them easy to shell.
Another trick which will make them easier to shell is to buy your eggs a week or two before you plan to use them. Let them age a bit in your refrigerator. But not too long. I’m sure most of you know how to tell if raw eggs have gone bad. Just put them in a bowl of cold water to cover. If they stay on the bottom, it’s ok. If they float it is questionable. They can sometimes last a surprisingly long time. If you don’t have time to age in the fridge, look for eggs with the oldest sell by date.
On Sale This Week
Deal of the Week
$.77/each—Strawberries, 16 oz box
$.79/each—Grapefruit, large red
$1.25/bag—Carrots, mini, peeled, 1 lb bag, Az Grown
$2.99/box—Blueberries, 6 oz box
$2.47/lb—Beef, ground, 80% lean, 3 lb package
$4.77/lb—Beef, T-Bone Steak, Super Value Pack, limit 2
$2.77/lb—Beef, Roasts, chuck, shoulder, bottom, top, eye or round or tip
$2.99/lb—Pork, Center cut chops, bone in OR Shoulder steaks or country style ribs, bone in
$1.29/lb—Chicken, Drumsticks or Thighs, Heritage Farm, bone in
Other Good Deals
$1.88/each—Bread, Private Selection (Fry’s Brand), select varieties, 24 oz
$.88/each—Ice Cream, Blue Bell, 16 fl oz, Select varieties, limit 4
$.99/each—Eggs, Fry’s brand, 18 count, limit 4
$.88/each—Chobani Yogurt, select varieties, must buy 8 or more
$3/each—Lunch Meat, Oscar Meyer, select varieties, 7-9 oz
Fry’s Buy 6 Get $3 Off (must buy in multiples of 6)
$1.78/each—Lean Cuisine or Stauffer’s Entrée,jm;./s, 6-12 oz, select varieties
$1.49/box—Honey Nut Cheerios, 10-13 oz, select varieties
$1.78/each—Nabisco Snack Crackers, select varieties
$2.99/lb—Butter, Land ‘O Lakes
Deal of The Week
Buy One get 3 Free—Pork, loin back ribs, previously frozen, if you find 4 nearly equal in value, it works out to $2.25/lb
$.75/lb—Grapes, red or green seedless
$.97/each—Haas Avocados, medium
$.99/lb—Squash, Yellow or zucchini
$.50/each—Radishes, Green onions or Cilantro, per bunch
$1.79/lb— Potatoes, Baby red or Yukon, fingerling
$2/each—Tomatoes, grape, 11 oz box
$.97/lb—Pork, Sirloin chops, family pack, bone in
$1.69/lb—Pork, Sirloin roast, boneless, sold in bag
Buy One Get 2 Free—Pork, center cut loin chops, boneless
$4.99/lb—Beef, ground, super lean 93%, any size pkg, ground fresh in store
$1.77/lb—Chicken, breast, boneless skinless, from full service butcher block
Other Good Deals
$2/each—Lunchmeat, Land O Frost, deli shaved, 9 oz or Butterball smoked turkey sausage,13 oz, select varieties
$5.99/lb—Sliced fresh in Deli, Signature brand, roast beef, pastrami, corned beef, swiss cheese
$.60/each—Yogurt, Yoplait or Dannon, select varieties
$1.25/pkg—Candy, Peeps, Brach’s jelly beans, Whoppers eggs, Reece’s eggs
$2.99/each—Bread, Oroweat, 24 oz
Click or Clip Coupons (digital or cut them out), prices given are with coupon
$1.88/each—Kellogg’s cereals OR Smucker’s jams and preserves, select varieties, limit 6
$.69/each—Eggs, dozen, Lucerne brand
$.88/each—Greek Yogurt, Dannon, Yoplait, Chobani, select varieties, limit 10
$1.49/each—Daisy Sour Cream or cottage cheese, Mission tortillas, select varieties, limit 6
Safeway’s “Big Book of Savings” for April is out. Didn’t see any outstanding values, many are the same items as in the weekly ad, but some of the coupons might be helpful.
$1.69/each—Land ‘O Lakes spreadable butter, 7-8 oz, limit 4
$.99/each—Plastic storage bags, 15-50 count, Signature Home brand
$.69/each—Greek Yogurt, Open Nature brand, select varieties, limit 8
$2 off—Pampers, 18-37 count, limit 1
Deal of the Week
$.77/each—Blackberries, 5.6 oz box
$.88/lb—Navel Oranges OR Minneola Tangelos
$.50/each—Green Bell Peppers OR Cucumbers
$1.98/pint—Organic Mini Peppers
$1.98/each—Organic, On-the-Vine Tomatoes
$2.98/each—Organic Valencia Oranges OR Organic Grapefruit, 4 lb bag
$2.98/each—Organic Strawberries, 1 lb box OR Organic Blackberries,5.6 oz box
$1.69/lb—Chicken thighs, boneless, skinless
$4.99/lb—Turkey, ground, 93% lean, OR Empire Kosher, 85% lean
$2.99/lb—Pork, Shoulder steaks or country style ribs, fresh, never frozen
$7.99/lb—Pacific Rockfish, fresh, wild caught
$2.99/lb—Beef, Chuck steaks or roasts, AZ Grown
Other Good Deals
The Organic Sale continues. Over 650 Items throughout the store are on sale
35% off—All Simpy Organic brand items
35% off—All Wholesome Sweeteners brand items
$2.00/each—Imagine Broths, 32 fl oz
$6.99/lb—Bulk Gourmet Coffee
Sprouts 72 hour Sale—Fri, Sat, Sun
Buy one Get 2 Free—Blue Diamond Nut Think, select varieties,
$2/lb—Colby Jack cheese, Bulk Cut (in the cheese case)
Sprouts “Deals of the Month” catalog for April is available. Some of the items are:
$2.50/each—Siggi’s Drinkable Yogurt, 32 oz bottle
$2.99/each—Fresh Baked Muffins, 4 pack
There are 4 pages of manufacturer’s coupons, everything from $1 off any Earth Balance product to $.50 off Sprouts Organic Chocolate Sauce or Salted Caramel sauce
Recipes for Peeled Eggs
Pickled Beet Eggs
For pickled beet eggs you need to start with pickled beets, use whole or sliced from a jar if you can find it, or make your own.
3-4 fresh beets (red or yellow, use red for pickled eggs)
1 small cinnamon stick
4 whole dried allspice berries
1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 dried bay leaf
4 whole dried cloves
3 cups white vinegar
1/2 cup white sugar
First cook your beets. Cut off the tops about 3 inches above the top of the beet. Trim the root to about 3 inches. Place in a pan which will hold them all and cover with cool water. Bring to a boil on high heat, reduce to med/low and cook covered until a toothpick can be inserted easily to the center of the beet. Remove from water and let cool. You can refridgerate for a day or two before you proceed or pickle them now. Remove the skins and trim the top and bottom of each beet. If your beets are small enough you can pickle them whole, otherwise slice in half from top to bottom and then cut each half into thick slices.
Place the vinegar, sugar, spices and beets into a non-reactive pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for about 1/2 hour.
While the beets are cooking prepare a jar or bowl by washing it in hot water and then pouring boiling water into and over it (and lids if any.) These beets are not intended to be kept more than a week or so, so sterile technique and boiling water baths are not necessary.
When the beets are ready, soft but not mushy, use a slotted spoon to remove from pan and place in jar(s). Pour boiling liquid over contents of jar, include the bay leaf but remote the cinnamon stick. Our just pour the whole thing into a bowl. Keeps a week or 10 days in the refrigerator
Now The Eggs
Start with cool, peeled whole eggs.
Use 4 eggs, peeled (more if you want, but you will have to scale up the other ingredients)
1 cup of beet juice from your own beets or the jar
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
If you made your own pickled beets, the liquid should be spicy enough. If you are using pickled beets from a can or jar add:
1 dried bay leaf
6 dried cloves
3 dried allspice berries
1/2 red onion, halved top to bottom, then sliced into thin spears
Place all ingredients except eggs in a non-reactive pan. Heat to boiling. Place eggs in a clean jar, add onion spears. Pour hot liquid over the eggs, cover with clean lid. Store in the refrigerator. Best after at least two days—even better after 4 days. The color will penetrate the eggs. For a pretty presentation, halve lengthwise and place on a salad, or turn into deviled eggs. Or just devour them whole.
Food safe dye, either gel dye or home made vegetable dye
Hard boiled eggs, as many (or few) as you want
An empty egg carton or some other device for drying
This works best if you dye the eggs as soon as they are cool. Boil them, place immediately in an ice water bath. As soon as they are cooled, whack them with the back of a spoon to crack. You want big cracks but not to start the shell peeling off. Only experience can teach you how to do this. Place the cracked eggs into bowls or cups of prepared dye. Nine ounce plastic drinks cups work well for one egg.
Vegetable dyes take quite a while, from 12 to 20 hours (in the refrigerator of course.) Gels mixed with hot water and vinegar will work faster, but it still takes some time for the dye to penetrate into the egg, my brightest one was a gel dye which soaked for 12 hours
When you think they are ready, take one out, rinse it, remove the shell. If it needs more time, have that one for lunch and keep the others in a while longer.
Kids think these are amazing, and adults like them too. Eat some as is. Chop up the rest and make egg salad or put in a chicken salad etc.
This was harder than I expected it to be.
Chicks and other Animals
If you want to really surprise your friends and family, make these hatching chick eggs or one of the many animals on line. The process is similar to making deviled eggs. First you will need hard boiled eggs, with their shells removed. Cut a small slice off the bottom so it can stand up. Now cut a larger slice off the top. Leave the yolk in the top and set it aside.Remove the yolks from the bottom pieces, and put them in a medium bowl. For four yolks you will need:
2 teaspoons mayo
1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
2 teaspoons finely chopped dill pickle
1/2 teaspoon pickle juice
Mix the above together until smooth. A mini food processor is good for this. Also the texture will be better if you make your chicks soon after boiling your eggs. If you like, cut the upper edge of the bottom into jagged points. A pair of scissors makes this easy Either with a spoon or with a pastry bag and a large plain tip, fill the bottoms of the eggs, bringing up the yolk mixture so as to leave room for the eyes and beak. Use a thin slice of baby carrot for the beak. Cut two triangular pieces and place them in the middle of the “face” area, one above the other. Cut small circles out of a black olive for eyes, a straw can do this. Or use a dark colored baby carrot and cut circles with a knife.
For Dinosaur babies, begin as above only cut your eggs lengthwise, remove the whole yolk. Make the filling. Now use gel dye to dye the filling green. Pipe dinosaur shapes in and over the “egg shells.” Use various vegetables to make eyes, crests, noses, etc. Look for the dragon babies on the Pinterest board.
All these shapes look more natural with some lettuce underneath.
Other Uses for Hard Boiled Eggs
- Egg Salad—Of Course
- Green Salads
- Nicoise Salad
- Sliced Egg Sandwich
- Curried Eggs
Want to keep the Cre-EGG-Tivity going?
Here are some really cute Mouse Eggs:
More Egg Art
(The audio on this is kind of annoying. If you turn it off, it won’t matter at all.)
This is a technique to “Van Dyke” an egg:
If you have wwwaaaayyy too much time on your hands, try making this Long Egg:
Check out our Pinterest Board for Hard Boiled Eggs