Summer is not a time when you want to have the oven on, it’s a time when you want to serve cold things, things that don’t heat up the house. Some would even say it’s a bad time to be doing a lot of entertaining and dinner parties, but hey, this is me we are talking about and dinner parties are what I do. So lately, as you regular readers will know, I have been trying to develop menu items that are easy to make and don’t require a lot of heat to make.
One of the things I have been making that have turned out to be a huge hit are soft hard-boiled eggs with Aioli and anchovy. This kind of surprises me, anchovy is always a quasi controversial ingredient and these eggs don’t have tons of mayo in them like a traditional deviled egg. They are a very quick and easy assemblage one that has any number of variations and when I first served them I let my guests add their own Aioli. After that though I have been pre-assembling them myself. That way, if you are game, you can just pop one in your mouth no muss no fuss.
A few friends have tried making these and in my original post I was rather cavalier with my instructions so here dear readers is a blow-by-blow break down on how to make these delightful eggs with at least 2 techniques that you can use again and again for all sorts of other purposes.
Making the Perfect Soft Cooked Hard Boiled Egg
Sounds kind of funny right, soft cooked hard-boiled – which is it a hard-boiled egg or a soft-boiled egg – it can’t be both? Well it can, sort of, hard-boiled eggs can often be dry horrid affairs, sometimes if you over cook them the yolk can turn dark black/green which is why so many housewives in the 1950’s turned to mayonnaise to rescue them.
Recently I learned a valuable technique to guarantee a perfect egg every time, so perfect that you may want to just put salt and pepper on it and eat as is.
Put a pot of water on to boil. Take out as many eggs as you want to cook.
And most importantly get a timer. Once the water is at a full boil you will gently place the eggs is for exactly 9 minutes. Unless of course you want it softer in the middle in which case you could go as low as 8. Anymore than 9 and it starts to get solid and dry.
While the eggs are cooking get a bowl and fill it full of ice and water and set it on the counter besides your cooking eggs. The minute the alarm goes off after 9 minutes quickly, but carefully remove the eggs and plunge them promptly into the ice bath.
It only takes a few minutes for these eggs to cool right down. Once they are cool to the touch take them out of the ice bath and crack them several times on the counter then return them to the ice bath….after about 5-10 minutes water will seep in between the cracks and make it easier for you to peel them.
At this point what I like to do is slice the eggs in half add a small dollop of Aioli to the yolk and then lay over a half fillet of oil soaked Anchovy.
My friend Edward made this dish and was disappointed in how strong the Aioli tasted. The key to any mayonnaise is to use an unflavored oil like organic Canola, Sunflower, grape seed etc. NOT olive oil, which can be very peppery, bitter and acrid. Here is my recipe for never fail Aioli and yes it is made in a blender! I’ll also give you a variation that will let you make it in a Food Processor as well.
In a blender add: 3-4 cloves of garlic, a 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 2 Tablespoons of non-flavored oil like Sunflower Seed Oil. Puree till the garlic is well broken down (about 10 seconds) then add: 1 whole Large Egg and 1 teaspoon of Dijon Mustard put the lid on the blender but remove the middle part. In a measuring cup have 1 cup (minus the 2 Tablespoons you’ve already used) of oil, I like to use about 3/4 cups non flavored oil and 1/4 cup of olive oil. Turn the blender on and slowly pour, in a consistent stream, the oil, into the mustard, garlic mixture. As this happens the mixture will start to get much thicker. After all the oil has been added pour in 1 1/2 Tablespoons of lemon juice and 2 Teaspoons of hot water. Turn off blender, taste and adjust seasoning with salt and freshly grated black pepper or a pinch of cayenne.
If you make this in a Food Processor simply add an egg yolk in addition to the whole egg and proceed as above.
If you want to you could add Anchovy to the Mayonnaise so none of your friends would know that there was any in the dish (shhhhh don’t tell anyone!) I like the look of the fillet on the egg, but it’s up to you. Capers and fresh Tarragon also can be added – this Aioli can be used for all sorts of things from Crab Cakes to Potato Salad. Personally, I love it best on these eggs!