Last week I phoned Williams-Sonoma and asked the saleswoman if they had any porcelain egg cups in stock.
She paused and then said, “It’s been a long day. What do you mean by ‘egg cup?’ Do you want something to hold decorated Easter eggs?” To which I replied, no, I just wanted a holder for a soft-boiled egg.
That’s how much things have changed: we don’t eat soft-boiled eggs anymore. We eat Egg McMuffins.
Long story short: after digging around in the stock room she found the egg cups, one of which you see here. She did not, however, have an egg topper (another request I made that sent her into the stratosphere!), but Sur La Table had them. It’s the Rosle brand, and the best doggone egg topper there is. It slices the top off an egg with one clean tap and no messy egg bits to have to bite around.
Cooks Illustrated recently ran an article about the way to cook perfect soft-cooked eggs and it’s easy and foolproof, in the real sense of the word.
Here’s what you do: fill a saucepan with 1/2-inch of water. You can use the tip of your index finger to approximate a half-inch. Then bring the water to a boil and gently (with tongs) place cold eggs into the pan, reduce the heat to the lowest setting, cover and cook for exactly six-and-one-half minutes. 6:30 min. exactly. The theory is that you’re steaming the eggs in a tiny bit of water rather than boiling them in lots of water, which is much less accurate. This works for from one to four eggs.
Take the pan to the sink and run cold water into it for about 30 seconds and you’re ready to eat. That’s all there is to it.
I downloaded a free kitchen timer for my iPhone and iPad and installed the sound of farm animals clucking, crowing and mooing when the 6 1/2 minutes is up. Sort of makes me feel like I’m cooking with real livestock rather than big dogs with hairdos.
The time-honored way to eat a soft-cooked egg is by dipping toast soldiers into the egg yolk. Yum. Thanks to Lugene’s husband, John, for showing me this method and the Rosle egg-topper.
If you don’t have a fancy egg topper, don’t worry: simply tap the egg along its equator with a knife, break it in half and scoop out the delicious runny, perfectly cooked egg.
Lesson learned on a snowy Spring Monday: even an old dog can learn something new from a friend. Now if we can just teach the saleswoman at Williams-Sonoma a thing or two about real cooking.