Ready to leave those plain old white hard-boiled eggs behind? Umami is a popular term nowadays, but these eggs were bringing it centuries before we were using this special word to describe that rich meaty flavor.
I do not have a Sephardic background (Jews from Spain and the Levant). I was introduced to these in college at a Passover Seder – a festival meal where hard-boiled eggs are customary – and I was always fascinated by them. Marbling eggs using onions skins and coffee grounds… who knew?!
Nowadays, I pretty much just make these for seders because the fact is they do take time and effort and I have my handy dandy Dash Rapid Egg Cooker for my normal needs. That said, once you try these, I think you’ll agree they pack a flavor punch that regular hard-boiled eggs don’t come close to.
Besides, these will be quite the conversation piece at your seder, because these are still quite rare in the American Jewish mileu (and even rarer in the US in general). If you want to really up your Passover game, you can also make my Kvass Pickled Eggs. These two recipes are stunning served together, not to mention delicious.
With no further ado, let’s get to this recipe.
It is for roughly 12-24 eggs but you can increase that number; simply bump up the volume of the other ingredients too. You don’t have to be exact about the amounts and every family who traditionally makes this has their own variation.
You will need:
- Large cooking pot & stirring spoon
- Measuring cups & spoons
- Knife & cutting board
- Suggested: tongs for gathering eggs from liquid
- Suggested: kitchen gloves for handling hot eggs
- Suggested: mortar & pestle for lightly crushing whole seeds
- 12-24 eggs (or more as desired; increase volume of other ingredients)
- ~12-16 cups water, enough to submerge all eggs by at least 2″
- Ends, skins, and first couple of layers of 5-6 large yellow (Spanish) onions
- Whole head garlic, skins on
- 1/4 cup strong coffee grounds
- 1 TBSP salt
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 1 TBSP vinegar
- 2 tsp to 1 TBSP black peppercorns
- 1-2 bay leaves
Some add-on options:
- 2 tsp to 1 TBSP coriander seeds
- 2 tsp to 1 TBSP mustard seeds, coarsely crushed
- 2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tsp cumin seeds, coarsely crushed
- Hot peppers
1.) Combine all the ingredients (including the eggs) into the stock pot, and bring to a boil. Then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 3-4 hours.
2.) Using the tongs, remove the eggs. Crack them thoroughly all over but do not remove the shell. (If they’re too hot to handle, use the kitchen gloves.) This will provide the marbling effect. (If you want, you can remove the shell on some to have a variety of marbled and completely brown eggs.)
3.) Return the eggs to the pot. Increase heat to medium until you get a light boil again, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer again for 5-6 hours (or you can even let them go overnight).
4.) Remove the eggs. You can keep them in the shell (or remove the shell before serving) and serve them warm at your seder. Alternately, you can store them in the fridge in a container for several days.
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