I am not a master chef. I'm not even the best cook in our immediate family. (I'm not even the 2nd best.) But there are a few things I have mastered. The most popular of these items are my Deviled Eggs. There are a few secrets in the recipe, but the most important part is starting with the perfectly cooked hard-boiled egg. I cannot stand an egg that develops the gray ring around the yolk. Just the sight of it will gag me. The gray is caused from overcooking and besides making the eggs tougher, overcooking makes them just look awful. Precise timing is important. I always start with cold eggs and cold water. I bring the eggs to a boil and immediately remove from the heat and let them sit in the hot water for exactly 10 minutes. Then I rinse them in cold water and let them sit for about 10 minutes in ice water to stop the cooking process. (Peeling eggs that are quite fresh can be a challenge as well. Adding 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda to the water prior to cooking will make the easier to peel after cooking.)
Hard-boiled eggs are one of my favorite snacks, although I have to admit that I don't eat the yolk. (Charlie gets that treat.) They are healthy (yolk-less) and so easy to have ready to go in the fridge. Learning to have more of this healthy-ready-to-eat food has been a challenge, but starting with this traditional stand-by has been easy. Who knew something so simple could be so good for me and so convenient. But I have to admit the greatest pleasure I get from these eggs is the satisfaction of a job well done (although very easy) each and every time I break one open. It sounds so silly, but it makes me feel really good that I've mastered a technique in the kitchen. It's a real ego boost.