Healthy-ish Breakfast Comfort Food
Earlier in the week, my hubs and I lamented over England’s loss to Croatia in the World Cup semi-final. Instead of drowning our sorrows in the decidedly unhealthy chip butty (sandwich stuffed with fries), we opted for a healthy-ish British comfort food — boiled eggs and soldiers.
The important part is getting the boiled eggs just right so that you end up with gooey, runny yolk perfect for dipping soldiers (sliced toasts). As I typically boil 6 eggs (2 per person), the boiling time of large brown eggs clocks in at 6 minutes. If the eggs are left too long in the boiling water, they go hard. It’s best to be precise in timing your boiled eggs to get dippy yolk.
In scouring recipes online, I’ve seen a range of 5-7 minutes for boiling time depending on the number and size of eggs. Trial and error may be a factor in getting the eggs the way you want them.
Alternative to boiling eggs in a saucepan
One of the genius inventions that has helped us perfect the boiled egg is an Amazon best seller called the Dash Rapid Egg Cooker, which is currently available for $19.99 ($29.99 list price).
Behold the 6-egg capacity egg cooker
I had gifted it to my hubs as a Christmas gift (more for a laugh), but it’s gotten plenty of use. Boiled eggs and soldiers has become a staple weekend dish. And, it takes 10 minutes to make from prep to finish.
Really Short History
Always curious about the origins of food, I inquired about the history of boiled eggs and soldiers, only to find that it has a short story. The mentions of “eggs with soldiers” only dates back to the flower power loving ’60s.
The dish may have become dishy during a series of 1965 TV commercials promoting eggs, starring British comedian Tony Hancock. Nicolas Freeling’s novel The Dresden Green published in 1966 mentioned “toast soldiers” used for dipping in soup.
While the history of boiled eggs and soldiers is short and somewhat ambiguous, the dish is fit for a Queen.
Eggs are Nutrient Rich
Eggs are a great source of protein, as well as selenium, vitamin D,B6, B12, and minerals zinc, iron and copper. Eggs are also known for containing key nutrients such as betaine and choline, which is important for nursing and pregnant women, and essential for brain health. Since you’re boiling (and not frying up eggs in unnecessary oil or butter), you’ve got a heart healthy version of eggs.
Brekkie fit for a royal
Ready to eat like a healthy-ish royal? You’ll need 6 large brown eggs (all about equal in size). It’s best to use eggs at room temperature. So, if you’ve taken the eggs out of the fridge, let them sit on the counter for 30 minutes.
If you use an appliance like the Dash Rapid Egg Cooker, just follow the instructions and it will give you perfect dippy eggs.
Boil water in a saucepan (old school way)
If you don’t have a nifty egg cooker, then simply fill a saucepan with water (enough to completely submerge the eggs) and first bring the water to a boil.
Gently place eggs in boiling water
Then, carefully place the 6 refrigerated eggs into the boiling water using a ladle. Time it for approximately 6 minutes.
Toast and slice the bread
While the eggs are boiling, lightly butter the 6 slices of bread with some nice Kerrygold Irish butter. Then pop the slices of bread into the toaster (higher setting for crunchy soldiers). Each person gets two eggs and two toasts (sliced).
Once the toast is done, place on a cutting board and cut into even slices. Plate them up, along with the empty egg cups and teaspoon (or egg spoon). Crack some fresh black pepper over the toast soldiers.
Time’s up! Remove eggs
Don’t let the eggs linger in hot water. Once the timer goes off, immediately lift the eggs and place them each in an egg cup.
Crack and remove the egg shell pieces
Tap your egg spoon (or teaspoon) on the top of the egg and remove the shell pieces. Then spoon off the top of the egg and take that first bite.
Egg cups (to hold the eggs).
6 large brown eggs (equal in size)
6 slices of bread (gluten-free optional, Udi’s Delicious bread)
Irish butter (Kerrygold spreadable kind)
Salt to taste (optional)
With the runny egg yolk exposed, start dipping away with your toast soldier. Enjoy feeling regal and eating a healthy-ish breakfast of protein-rich eggs accompanied by gluten-free soldiers.