Sunday, February 25, 2007

Gourmet? I can't even boil water

There's nothing like wielding a blowtorch in the kitchen to make you feel like a real chef. I do love to cook and my recent experience carmelizing sugar on creme brulee made me feel like a cross between Tim Allen and Julia Child. It was sort of a rush.
No sooner was I on my culinary pedestal before I fell off head first. I've always been baffled as I tried to hard boil eggs. Afterall, if you can boil water, you've got it made, I thought. But too many times I've been frustrated by gooey yolks or whites that peeled away with the shell. I even tried the "foolproof" recipe from America's Test Kitchen, but still my eggs peeled apart. Well, leave it to another power tool of sorts to set me straight. You see, my husband is a big fan of that PBS cooking show that tests recipes until perfecting them. On the show, an instant-read thermometer is frequently used to test the cooking process. After searching far and wide, and shelling out big bucks, my husband bought me one just like they use on the show for my birthday last fall. I've been using it a lot lately - testing chicken, checking the temperature of the water for our coffee and most recently as I was trying again to do the "foolproof" method of hard boiling eggs. When I thought my water was boiling, I thrust in the thermometer. It only read about 180-something degrees! No wonder my yolks were gooey in the past. Some gourmet - I couldn't even boil water!
- Liz Fabian

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