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May 20, 2013 06:38 PM

What favorite food is such a labor of love, time, technique or even money that rarely make it but when you do…

You swoon as do those who you deign to share it. The don't to be classical french or fussy or involve things like sous vide but meals that you that you love making but don't often get the time and attention to make.

The top ones that come to mind are my homemade, hand rolled meat or cheese stuffed tortellini.

Lasagne Bolognese

Peking Duck with all the fixings

Beef Wellington

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  1. Devilled eggs w/ fancy toppings....the labor of love is getting the eggs peeled in one piece!

    20 Replies
      1. re: grangie angie

        It's been mentioned on these boards before, but try steaming them next time. I always used to have trouble peeling hard boiled eggs, but not since I started steaming instead of boiling.

        1. re: grangie angie

          Use week-old eggs. Makes a huge difference. I always do that for Easter and when making massive quantities of homemade potato salad for our Elks Lodge summer family picnic at the lake. They peel without effort.

          1. re: pilotgirl210

            How often would you know you have week-old eggs? Even the farmer's market folks I buy 'good/great' eggs from in season won't tell me how old the eggs actually are.... they are very to pretty fresh, but I don't know the age.

            Nice idea, but impractical unless you have a hen house.

            1. re: gingershelley

              If I know I'll need hard boiled eggs I buy them a week a head of time. Normally I tend to buy a new carton when the old is down to 3-4 eggs. Then I keep the few old ones to hard boil as needed.

              Another trick is to let your newer eggs sit at room temperature for a few hours before cooking. IIRC I once read that each hour at room temp "ages" the eggs a day.

              1. re: meatn3

                They age 1 week for every 24 hours at room temp.

                1. re: Candy

                  Source for this, please? I never refrigerate my fresh eggs (of course, they hardly ever last a week), and find this to be rather.... surprising.

                  1. re: linguafood

                    The Deluxe Food Lovers Companion Herbst

              2. re: gingershelley

                I merely buy the eggs a week before I plan to hard-boil them. Then I know they're at least a week old -- or older. Works for me.

                1. re: gingershelley

                  I think they meant "at least a week old". We had a backyard flock, and those eggs weren't ready for boiling-and-peeling for a good month. And they rarely lasted that long, because they were so great fried or poached.

                  1. re: gingershelley

                    I've read to use older eggs in many different articles about hard boiling eggs and while they may peel more easily than fresh eggs, I think it's far from foolproof. I get my eggs from a regular old grocery store which I feel pretty confident are at least a week old from the get go. I can boil up a dozen from the same carton and have 2/3 peel just fine and the others come out a mangled mess. I first came across the tip for steaming them on a blog about raising chickens, and they say steaming them works even on extremely fresh eggs.

                  2. re: pilotgirl210

                    To tell the freshness of eggs, drop one (lightly) into a mixing bowl 3/4 full of cold water:

                    If it sinks to the bottom and lies on its side, it's fresh.
                    If it sinks and sits at a 45° angle, it's 3 to 5 days old.
                    If it goes to the bottom and sits vertically, it's 10 to 14 days old.
                    If it floats, throw it away.

                    Consume hard-cooked eggs within 1 week

                    Using week-old eggs and steaming them does indeed make them much easier to peel. A couple of other things help too:

                    1) Roll them after cooking to crack the shells slightly, then straight into ice water (and then even into the fridge for fifteen minutes if you have the time and the space).

                    2) The right tool for the occasional one that still resists: a teaspoon.

                  3. re: grangie angie

                    I keep 3-4 cartons of eggs, in my Big Girl porch refrigerator - with the bought date on the outside in marker/big size and make deviled eggs every week. Use oldest 1st. Eggs last fine for several weeks if chilled. I use the simmer 2 minutes, off heat and sit for 9 minutes - use a timer. Crack all and let sit in cool water till ready to peel. Crack means lightly tap egg all around.
                    Cool water gets between membrane and shell. Sometimes I hard-boil, crack and refrigerate, mark 1 egg in the carton w/a dot of food color to let me know this batch is boiled, refrig after fully cool. Shell and prepare next day. Never fails. (maybe 1 egg out of a dzn).

                    Extra work - for pretty. Hard boil, cool, shell, then cover eggs w/beet juice - NOT pickled unless you like that - or deep red dye if you're OK w/that. for a few hours. Cut eggs and stuff as usual, sprinkle w/minced green herbs: parsley, basil, thyme etc = Rosy pink and white eggs w/yellow stuffing and green garnish on an old-fashioned pressed glass deviled egg dish. People swoon, eat like crazy. Then you bring out the extra plate you had hidden. People cheer! you are hero.

                    Everyone should have 2 deviled egg plates, everywhere.

                    1. re: kariin

                      I think I would hesitate before putting cooked eggs back into the raw egg carton - ? I don't think the cartons can be considered free of salmonella.

                      1. re: sandylc

                        I do it all the time. Haven't died yet.

                        1. re: Firegoat

                          I have had salmonella poisoning once in my life. That was WAY MORE than enough times. Took months to get back to normal and I was young and healthy. Weighed 80 pounds when the worst of it finally ended.

                          So, I like to be careful for a very real reason.

                          1. re: sandylc

                            Did you get it from putting hard boiled eggs in an egg carton?

                    2. re: grangie angie

                      If your shells are sticking to the egg they are too fresh. You need to plan ahead or, you can age the eggs by keeping them at room temperature. They will age 1 week per day at room temp, and no they won't go bad.

                      1. re: grangie angie

                        OK, so it's pricier, and I don't know i you live near one, but when I want to make devilled eggs I just get the bag of already cooked and peeled eggs from TJ. It may be cheating but devilled eggs are a cinch!

                        1. re: cheesemonger

                          Me, too I have made it twice for family, and we all loved it, but what a lot of work!

                        2. I've done Julia's Wellington recipe a couple times so I get where you're coming from, but something I do more often is stuffed cabbage. It doesn't seem like much, but preparing the leaves from 3 heads to make enough of the tight little rolls my family enjoys to fill the very large pot I use...well it takes a lot of time.
                          My 93 year old mother always used to say that chicken/turkey croquettes didn't get enough respect considering how much time she spent making them.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: grampart

                            Try the jumpy man's beef willington 's recipe . It's pretty simple. I omit the chestnuts.


                            1. re: C. Hamster

                              As OP I can say that I am not looking for shortcuts. I love my end results as do my friends and family. The "labor of love" is worth it anc probably what makes it so good is that special-ness.

                              I could buy fresh pasta, take short cuts with my beef Wellington or go out for Peking Duck. Sometimes I do but it's just not the same.

                          2. stuffed cabbage
                            mole sauce

                            Maybe once a year if that on all four. Always make enough to freeze for 3-4 more dinners.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Panini Guy

                              +1 on the enchiladas, but they're so good I have to make them fairly often.