Spring is the season of the egg. The time of year when eggs become essential elements of Passover Seder Plates and the favored booty of the Easter bunny. So it's no surpise area grocery stores such as Schnucks and Shop 'n Save are stocking up, preparing for the seasonal egg run.
Hard-cooked/boiled eggs can be tricky but the American Egg Board has a simple recipe for the perfect hard-cooked egg. Just place eggs (free from cracks) in a single layer of a saucepan. Add enough water to cover the eggs by one inch. Heat over a high heat to a boil, then remove from the burner immediately, cover and let stand for 15 minutes (18 minutes for extra large eggs). Drain and cool by placing then under running cold water or in a bowl of ice water. When eggs have cooled refrigerate until ready to use.
Recently, making hard-cooked eggs in an oven has gotten a lot of attention, thanks to a recent Alton Brown segment. However, baked in-shell eggs aren’t anything new. Cooks have been baking eggs in their shells buried in hot ashes of a hearth for a millennium.
Today all you need is an oven set at 325 degrees. To make oven baked hard-cooked place clean crack-free eggs on the oven rack and bake for 30 minutes. As a precaution place a baking sheet under the eggs in case of breakage. Place the baked eggs in ice water and peel as soon as they’re cool enough to handle.
To perfectly peel a hard-cooked egg, gently tap egg on countertop until shell is finely crackled all over. Start peeling at large end, holding egg under cold running water to help ease the shell off. Hard-cooked eggs are easiest to peel right after cooling.
Fresh eggs are also the star of the spring brunches, often appearing in stratas, frittatas, omelets and bread puddings. At this year’s Pillsbury Bake-off eggs played a vital role in the Breakfast and Brunch category, which included 24 recipes of the total 100 that competed for the million-dollar prize. Among the Bake-off brunch favorites best utilizing fresh eggs were the Breakfast Crostatas, Smoky Onion Custard tarts and White Chocolate and Apple Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding.
If you plan to take advantage of seasonal egg sales remember to refrigerate eggs. According the Egg Safety Center, shell eggs can safely be stored refrigerated for up to four to five weeks beyond the carton displayed Julian date – the date the eggs were packed. Choose eggs that are clean and free of cracks and are not out of date. Look for the USDA grade shield or mark since graded eggs must meet standards for quality and size.