The Right Way to Make Hard Boiled Eggs

May 1, 2014

The Right Way to Make Hard Boiled Eggs

Boiled eggs are one of the most versatile and healthy foods around. You can make egg-salad sandwiches, prepare delicious deviled eggs, or eat them as is. Many people prepare several hard-boiled eggs at the beginning of the week to use as quick and easy snacks to grab later, on the go as needed.

As easy as boiling eggs may sound, an astonishing number of people get it wrong. Often the eggs end up overcooked which can leave an unappetizing greenish color around the yoke. Instead of making waste of one of these wonderful little packets of nutrition, learn how to properly boil eggs so that you can always have these treasures on hand for whatever use you may need them for.

Put Water and Eggs in Saucepan

Some people choose to boil the water before adding the eggs, but this can lead to cracking of the shell caused by either dropping the egg into the water, or the egg being thrashed about by the boiling water before it has a chance to begin firming up.

Put the water in the saucepan and immediately add the eggs, which will give them a chance to begin to cook before the water becomes too rough. You can add 1/2 tsp of salt to the water as this may prevent cracks and allow you to peel the egg more easily afterward.

Bring Eggs to a Boil and Remove

Once you add the eggs and you have turned the burner to a “high” setting, bring the water to a boil. The moment it begins to boil, remove the pan from the burner. Although many people continue to boil the eggs at this point, it is a leading cause of overcooked eggs.

Return to Burner

After you have turned your burner to “low” and your eggs have sat at room temperature for approximately one minute, put them back on. When they have been on the burner for another minute, remove them again and cover the saucepan.

Wait 12 Minutes

At this point, allow the eggs to sit untouched for 12 minutes. During this time they will be ever so slowly cooking to perfection, without the risk of overcooking that continued boiling brings. When you believe the eggs may be ready, test one out by opening it and taking a peek at your finished product.

Cool in Ice Water

Once your eggs have slowly cooked to exactly the stage you would like to eat them at, remove them all from the saucepan and gently immerse them in a bowl of ice water. When they have cooled, you can drain the water from the bowl and remove the eggs.

You may now eat and enjoy your delicious treat and marvel at how perfectly cooked they are, or save them for later. If so, place them, shells still on, in a covered bowl, to keep them from giving the fridge a distinct scent. Eat them within a period of five days.

Eggs are one of nature’s most perfect foods. Now you know how to cook them in a manner that will keep them as close to perfect as they began. Follow these steps and get started in making your next meal of hard-boiled eggs now.

How to Grill Vegetables Properly

May 1, 2014

How to Grill Vegetables Properly

Grilling vegetables may be one of the easiest and tastiest ways to prepare them. Summer lends itself well to this style of cooking, but it is also a great way to make them all year round. Grilling doesn’t take much time, but it will yield a dish that anyone will enjoy. If you are looking for an easy way to impress your company, this is it.

can't beat eggplant on the grill
Creative Commons License photo credit: woodleywonderworks

Prepare the Grill

Start with a clean grill in order to ensure that your veggies will hold the best flavor and that old food tastes will not leach off of the grill while cooking. A fast and effective way to clean it is to cut an onion in half, and then rub the cut side all over the grill swiftly and with pressure. This will help disinfect the grill, as well as adding just a hint of mild flavor to your vegetables.

Choose Your Veggies

Many veggies work well when grilled. You can choose a combo that goes well with your main dish, or else just use whatever is in the fridge. Either way will do. Some vegetables that are known especially for their delicious flavor when grilled are bell peppers, onions, asparagus, tomatoes, squash, mushrooms, eggplant and corn on the cob.

Prepare the Veggies

Next, you will need to prepare the vegetables. Cut them to approximately equal size as this will ensure that they all cook at about the same speed, and will prevent undercooking and overcooking alike. If you are cooking a variety of vegetables together, begin the dense ones first as they will take longer to cook through. If you are cooking a larger vegetable that remains whole, such as corn on the cob, then skip this step, as you will place them directly on the grill when ready.

Brush the pieces lightly with the oil of your choosing – many people use olive oil. You can add salt if you enjoy a more intense taste. You can leave it at that, or else add any other spices of your choice, depending on the particular vegetable and the style of your meal. A few ideas are black pepper, basil, rosemary, or thyme. For an extra kick, you can add balsamic vinegar as this will deepen in intensity on the grill and provide a subtly sweet flavor.

Time to Grill

If you have prepared your grill to the correct temperature, it should be on medium heat. Place small vegetables or vegetable pieces in either a basket or on a skewer, to keep them from slipping between the slats on the grill. For larger pieces, place them directly on the grill. Check them often and flip them if in a basket, and turn them repeatedly if they are on a skewer. If necessary, brush them again with oil to prevent them from drying out.

You will know they are done when the skin begins to brown and they are soft throughout. Be sure to sample one of each type of vegetable to be sure that all are done correctly. At this point, you can take them off the grill and serve them alongside the rest of the meal.

Grilling is easy and delicious. If you have never cooked your vegetables this way, you will surely be hooked when you try it for the first time. Follow these easy steps and create a delicious side dish to impress your guests today.

Hearty Dinner Salad Ideas

May 1, 2014

Hearty Dinner Salad Ideas

Salad is the perfect food for dinner. Extremely versatile, it can be as simple or complex as you want it to be. Although some skeptics try to smear salad’s reputation by referring to it as rabbit food or diet food, nothing could be farther from the truth. A salad can make a surprisingly hearty dinner, even for the hungriest person. Here are some dinner salad recipes that can fill anyone up and leave them completely satisfied.

Chicken Curry Salad

This simple salad can be made in minutes. All you need is some cooked chicken and a few more ingredients.

Cut up the cooked chicken – leftover and chilled is fine. Stir some curry powder into several tablespoons of yogurt, add salt if necessary, and gently stir the sauce into the chopped chicken. Place over a bowl of romaine lettuce and add to the top a few tablespoons of walnuts and a handful of grapes. Enjoy.

Taco Dinner Salad

Who wouldn’t want the delicious taste of tacos with all the benefits of a nice, big salad? This dinner salad is also easy to make, and is quite filling.

Start by cooking 1 pound of ground beef, and drain off the fat. Into the ground beef, stir 1 cup of water, a 6-ounce can of tomato paste, and 1 package of taco mix. Continue heating on low for 20 minutes. Spread tortilla chips over a plate and sprinkle the ground beef mixture over the top. Add any desired toppings such as chopped onions, tomatoes, lettuce, black olives, grated cheese or sour cream.

Easy Tofu Greek Salad

You may be vegetarian, or just wanting a change from your regular meat-centred meal. No matter the reason, here is a salad that will tempt your taste buds and give you a change of flavor. This is heartier than your usual Greek salad, and is more than filling enough to be dinner’s main star.

Chop lettuce and lay it over as many plates as you need for each guest. Stir 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tbsp wine vinegar, 1 tsp basil, and 1/2 tsp each of salt, oregano and black pepper. Chop tofu into 1/2 inch cubes, stir with olive oil mixture and let it sit for a minimum of 1 hour. Add feta cheese, diced cucumbers, diced red onions, sliced tomatoes, and black olives. If you prefer a vegan dish, simply omit the feta cheese and you are ready to go.

Smoked Salmon and Sunflower Salad

This is a great salad when you want something a little fancier than usual. To bulk it up and make it more filling, sprinkle chickpeas over the top along with the other ingredients.

Stir 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar with the juice of 1 lemon, 3 tbsp olive oil, some lemon zest and salt if necessary. Stir mixed greens with 1 tbsp of capers. Gently stir the prepared dressing into the greens and divide into separate serving plates. Tuck several pieces of smoked salmon on each plate and sprinkle each serving with sunflower seeds and remaining bit of lemon zest. Chickpeas may be added at this point also.

As you can see, salads don’t need to be boring or leave you starving as soon as you are finished. Make one of these salads for dinner and see how satisfied everyone will be at the end of their meal. Choose your favorite and make your next meal enjoyable and unique.

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