Monday, July 1, 2013

Eggs and Soldiers

I have no idea how my mom made soft boiled eggs. From a child's perspective I never realized how tricky it was to make soft boiled eggs. I have a childhood memory of these cute little blue bird egg cups that my mom would use to hold a soft boiled egg. She would cut my toast into strips so that I could dip them into the egg yolk. Then I remember going to the bus stop and going to school. Yes, my mom made this breakfast for me before school. Wow. I didn't recognize how special this breakfast was until now. I saw a movie where the Mom asked if her son wanted "eggs and soldiers." I wondered what that was.  I Googled it, and found that it was soft boiled eggs and toast strips (soldiers).  Okay, now it's time to make this recipe for myself. Hopefully, my experimenting (which I mostly got from other websites) will save you time.




Eggs and Soldiers
1 or 2 eggs
1 slice of toast, buttered and sliced into strips


First Try: Heat water to a rolling boil, gently drop the egg, boil for 1 minute, cover,  remove from the heat and cook for 3 minutes. Rinse under cold water, place the egg in the holder and crack the top with a spoon. Result: complete fail, most of the white was completely runny.






Second Try: Place egg and cool water in a pot and heat to a rolling boil. Turn the heat down slightly to a gentle boil, and boil the egg for 4 minutes. Rinse under cold water, place the egg in the holder and crack the top with a spoon. Result: almost there, the white was not completely set but it was so close.




Third Try: Place egg and water in a pot and heat to a rolling boil. Turn the heat down slightly to a gentle boil, and boil the egg for 5 minutes. Rinse under cold water, place the egg in the holder and crack the top with a spoon. Result: ever so slightly over cooked, the white was completely set but the yolk was barely runny.

Fourth Try: I used my "Egg Head" cooker. I don't remember using "Egg Head" for soft cooked eggs. I think I've only used it for hard cooked eggs (as in "Mom's Potato Salad" recipe). Rinse under cold water, place the egg in the holder and crack the top with a spoon. Result: almost there (like my second try) the white was not completely set. However, the second egg that sat for another whole minute before I cracked it was perfect. Hmmm. Interesting clue.



Final Thoughts: The second, third and fourth tries were all very close and within 1 minute (give or take) of being perfect. Given a choice I would rather my egg be slightly overcooked than undercooked in this case. That is a personal preference and I'm sure others will not agree. That means I'd rather eat the third try version more than any other version, even thought there is not a lot of "dunking sauce" for the soldiers. When I try the second or fourth try version again I'll leave the eggs alone for an extra minute before I rinse and handle them. That should make them perfect.  The third try version would have been perfect if I cooked it for 4 minutes and 30 seconds.

1. Experiment and find your perfect egg cooking method.

2. While the egg is cooking make the toast. I used Pain Ordinaire from a bread machine.

3.  When the egg is done crack the top with a spoon.




4. Peel the top of the egg with your hands or scoop the top off with a spoon. Or, peel the entire egg and place back into the egg holder. Dip the soldiers and enjoy.





Helpful links:
The Perfect Soft Boiled Egg by For the Love of Cooking
How to Soft-Boil an Egg by theKitchn
Eggs with Toast Soldiers by Exotic Eating

6 comments:

  1. Ooo..this looks so yummy ❤

    ReplyDelete
  2. This recipe brings fond memories of days when my mom made these for me.
    It made breakfast fun. m

    ReplyDelete
  3. We always drop our eggs (gently!) in water at a rolling boil, remove after 5:00 at full boil, immediately run under cold water for about 30 seconds, peel, and serve. We've had nothing but perfect soft-boiled eggs every time!

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    Replies
    1. Coesy,

      YES! Thank you for the confirmation of my 3rd try. The main picture at the top is from the method you describe above and if I were to make a soft boiled egg this morning I would make it just like you.

      Thanks,
      Michele

      Delete
  4. No, you're making it too hard. If you take the eggs from the fridge you need to warm them first - let them sit in hot water from the tap for a minute or so - this will stop them cracking when you immerse them in boiling water. The temprarture and size of the egg will also effect the cooking time. Four to four and a half minutes for a largish egg palced, very gently into boiling water should be enough. DON'T peel, just place in an egg cup and slice off the top. Have a tiny pile of salt and pepper on the side of your plate for periodic seasoning. Dip the soldiers in the runny yolk and finish off by scraping out the remainder with a teaspoon.

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