Cooking Tips for Spring: Banish the Green Ring!

Banish the Green Ring

Eggs have long symbolized spring and the promise of nature’s rebirth.  Though it’s unknown when eggs were first dyed or decorated, the custom most likely began to welcome back the colors of the newly reborn, life-sustaining earth after a bleak winter.  Among Easter lore was the suggestion that eggs eaten on Easter Day would bring good luck for a full year.  You can have good luck with eggs too, if you remember that proper refrigeration, cooking, and handling should prevent most egg-safety problems.

Hard cooked eggs are a favorite of mine, any time of year.  I use to think that the green ring around the egg was normal.  However, I have discovered a secret to banish that greenish ring. This harmless but unsightly discoloration that sometimes forms around hard-boiled yolks results from a reaction between sulfur in the egg white and iron in the yolk. It occurs when eggs have been cooked for too long or at too high a temperature.

Now I use the termhard cookedeggs instead of hard boiled eggs — the gentle cooking will help avoid green rings around the yolk (not unsafe but unappetizing).  This method will also help prevent cracking of the eggs.

Directions for Hard Cooked Eggs:

Step 1: Place eggs in a saucepan large enough to hold the eggs in a single layer.

Step 2: Add enough water to cover eggs by 1 inch.

Step 3: Heat over high heat justto boiling.

Step 4: Remove pan from the burner and cover the pan.

Step 5: Let the eggs sit in the hot water about 15 minutes for large eggs, 12 minutes for medium and 18 Minutes for extra-large eggs.

Step 6: Drain immediately and serve warm.  Or, cool completely under cold running water or in a bowl of  ice water, then refrigerate.

Very fresh eggs can be difficult to peel. To ensure easily peeled eggs, buy and refrigerate them a week to 10 days in advance of cooking. This brief "breather" allows the eggs time to take in air, which helps separate the membranes from the shell. Hard-cooked eggs are easiest to peel right after cooling. Cooling causes the egg to contract slightly in the shell.

Hard-cooked eggs should not be left at room temperature for more than two hours. In the shell, hard-cooked eggs can be refrigerated safely up to one week. Refrigerate in their original carton to prevent odor absorption. Once peeled, eggs should be eaten that day.

You might want to try this salad.  It can be served as a starter, entrée, sandwich filling or in hollowed-out tomatoes.


Tomato and Avocado Egg Salad                             Dressing

6 hard-cooked eggs, sliced                                         2 Tablespoons mayonnaise

2 avocados, chopped                                                  2 Tablespoons sour cream

½ cup chopped tomato                                               1 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

½ cup chopped red onion                                           ¼ teaspoon salt

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley                                      ¼ teaspoon hot pepper sauce

Spinach leaves


Mix dressing ingredients in a small bowl.

Reserve and refrigerated 6 center slices from eggs for a garnish. 

Chop remaining eggs.

Combine chopped eggs, avocados, tomato, onion and parsley in a large bowl; toss gently to mix.

Add dressing; stir gently just until ingredients are evenly coated with dressing.

Refrigerate at least 1 hour to blend flavors.  Serve on spinach leaves, garnished with reserved egg slices.


Source: The Incredible Egg 

Shared by: Nancy Clark, ISU Nutrition & Health Program Specialist

1121 B Hwy 18 East; Algona, IA 50511

(515) 295-2469

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