It's so easy to forget how luxurious a properly cooked hard-boiled egg can be. First, don't actually cook them until they're "hard," which is a misleading word to apply to eggs at this point, but it is what we call them so it shall remain. I'm really talking about a seven- or eight-minute egg, preferably made in the pressure cooker, with its firm-yet-creamy whites and yolk the texture of whipped velvet. An egg cooked just like this really doesn't need more than a shower of salt and pepper to be delicious, but often I even tire of this simple preparation.
So to up the luxe factor in my hard-boiled eggs, I grab my favorite herb and spices, a small skillet, some olive oil, and work a little kitchen magic.
Kitchen Witchery: Hot Flavored Oil for Your Eggs
I started making hot flavored oils for my hard-boiled eggs when I had a bit of tadka leftover from making dal. Tadka is the technique of tempering spices in hot oil or ghee, often used in South Asian cooking. This mixture is poured over soup, dals, and curries to add a final boost of flavor. The hot, richly seasoned oil creates the flavor that hits you first when you taste a dish.
My family often makes a tadka of black pepper and almost burnt garlic for our dal. It's pungent, astringent, and one of my favorite flavors and smells to create in my kitchen. When I found myself with a bit of leftover tadka and a cold hard-boiled egg waiting for the standard dash of salt and pepper, I decided to just put the two together. The warm oil took the chill off the egg and infused every bit with flavor. The extra bit of fat made every bite decadent and turned my snack of eggs into a meal.
I was hooked and started making hot oils for eggs ever since. Today, it's still one of my favorite ways to eat hard-boiled eggs and I find myself combining any number of herbs and spices to flavor my eggs.
How to Make Hot Flavored Oil for Eggs
This is very much a freestyle recipe, so play around and find a combination that works for you. A few things to keep in mind as you go about making your own concoction.
- A small skillet works best. It helps with portion control and helps you cook only the amount of oil you need.
- You're warming the oil and the ingredient in it until the flavors fuse together. Don't make the stove temperature high enough to cause frying.
- Swirl! A little agitation helps to get things going.
Pretty much any oil you enjoy and any spices and herbs you like are fair game. I'm partial to fruity, nutty Spanish olive oil or a fragrant coconut oil as the base. Here are a few combos I've tried with great results.
- Olive oil, crushed black peppercorns, turmeric, Himalayan pink salt
- Coconut oil, Aleppo pepper flakes, crushed thyme leaves
- Olive oil, crushed garlic clove (with the skin on), sliced ginger, black peppercorns
Once you have your warm oil, remove some of the larger ingredients, and spoon the oil over halved eggs.
Have you tried a hot flavored oil on your eggs? Curious to give it a try?