The Perfect Egg

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As someone obsessed with producing the perfect soft-cooked egg, with the white tender and completely set, and the yolk still runny, my eyes lit up when I saw the February issue of Cook's Illustrated. Right at the top of the coming attractions contents list is "Truly Foolproof Soft-Cooked Eggs (We Made More than 1,000)"

So nice to know I am not alone in this preoccupation.

The technique, worked out by Andrea Geary, in the Cook's Illustrated test kitchen is simplicity itself. All you need is a saucepan with about 1/2 inch of boiling water. The secret is steaming the egg or eggs instead of simmering them. I should have figured this out long ago as Krups, the equipment manufacturer from Germany, produced an egg cooker in which the timing was controlled by the evaporation of water. The eggs were set in a tray with water beneath it, the water heated, turned to steam, evaporated, and then the machine shut off and eggs were cooked. The instructions had you add the amount of water for the number of eggs and the desired degree of cooking.

The stovetop method depends on a kitchen timer rather than a specific amount of evaporating water to determine the degree of doneness. The timing is the same for large, extra large, or jumbo eggs. Here it is in an 'egg shell.'

Perfect Soft-Cooked Eggs

1 to 6 refrigerated eggs, preferably Safest Choice Pasteurized, and a saucepan large enough to hold them in a single layer

Fill the saucepan with about 1/2 inch of water and bring it to a boil.

Using tongs, carefully lower the egg(s) into the water, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook 6-1/2 to 7 minutes.

Uncover and remove the pan to a sink. Place it under cold running water for 30 seconds to stop the cooking. Remove the egg(s) from the pan and serve.