Tom PapoutsisTom Papoutsis is a “Firehouse Chef” that currently holds the rank of Lieutenant with the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department. Tom’s experience in the Fire Service spans over 29 years, 19 of which have been with Fairfax County. The bulk of his firehouse culinary expertise has been practiced during his tenure there. He was a national finalist in the 2004 Tabasco Cook & Ladder Competition finishing in the top 10 of the nations Firehouse Chef’s, and traveled to New York City to compete in a cook off with his peers. He has also been placed on the “charity” auction block several times to prepare meals for the highest bidder. Tom likes to specialize in Italian and Greek cuisine being of the same heritage, but also enjoys preparing Asian and of course “Good Ole American” foods as well. He concentrates on entrées but also has a few hors d’oeuvres and dessert specialties as well, such as his versions of Bruschetta and Amaretto Cheesecake. For the past year he has been studying the practice of making homemade Italian deli meats and sausages. Tom’s motto: “It’s just cooking, not rocket science, take a chance…..you might like it!” Residing in Chambersburg, PA with his wife JoAnn, twins Jonathan & Katie and “Buddy” their Golden Retriever. Tom enjoys cycling, hunting, fishing, woodworking, raising his children and helping form today’s youth while volunteering with son Jonathan’s Cub Scout pack. Tom can be reached via e-mail at [email protected]
Tom Popatis: Hi! I'm Tom Popatis. Today we are doing simple egg dishes. One of the most simple things to do with an egg is boiling, hard boiled eggs. A lot of people they think, how long do I boil an egg? Well it's very simple, or do I boil the water first or -- we are going to clear that up for you today.
Very simple, what we do is we take our eggs. I have got cold water in this pot. We are going to take our eggs and we are going to very carefully drop them into this cold water, I shouldnt say cold if you more like not quite room temperature, we are going to put four eggs in there. Now, what we are going to do, we are going to take the eggs, if you try to boil this water first and then drop the eggs in, the shells are automatically going to break. So, you don't want to start out doing hard boiled eggs with boiling water. We want to bring those upto temperature slowly. What we are going to do, we are going to go ahead and set this at high. I'm going to bring my pot over on to my hot burner and let these come up to temperature. Once these start to boil, we are going to let these go for about seven minutes, five to seven, usually about five-seven minutes, they'll be good to go. We are going to take them off of the burner at five to seven minutes and then if you have ever seen eggs, hard boiled eggs that have like, when you eat it or you get into the yolk, they yolk is kind of grayish, well we have got a trick for that, how to keep those yolks nice and yellow. So, we are going to come back when these are done, and when we take them off and I'm going to show you that little trick that we have to keep our yolks nice and yellow, but for now we are going to bring these up to temperature and we are going to let them go for about five to seven minutes once they come to a rolling boil and that will be it.
It's been about six or seven minutes. we have let our eggs boil and what we are going to do at this point, we are going to turn the heat off. We are going to pull them off, I'm going to let them set for just about a minute and I want that to cool down just a little bit before we do this little trick that I have got. My trick is what we are going to do is we are going to take these over to the sink. I'm going to set this pot with these hot eggs and hot water in the bottom of the sink and we are going to start to put cold water in very, very slowly. So, you can see we stop boiling and actually the temperature has started to drop a little bit. I'm going to take these over and what I'm going to do is, I'm going to set these, just set them in the sink like this. I'm going to go cold water and I'm going to run very slowly, slowly about like that. We are going to start running cold water in there and what that's going to do?
A lot of times what happens is, is if you let these things sit in that hot water, until the water cools down that's where your yolks get grey. If you take in, you run cold water in there and bring the temperature up quicker then the yolks tend to stay yellow. So, what we are going to do is, I'm going to let that water run slowly like that for about three or four minutes. That's going to help to bring the temperature up and then once we get to a point, and when I say get to a point, what I mean is, is whenever this starts to get to the point where I can actually touch that, now that's still warm.
When I feel that water temperature start to get cool about, not quite this cold, tap water cold, but just a little bit more, I'm going to increase the volume and get the water flowing through there. Then once we get that water cooled down, we are just going to shut it off. Let those eggs sit for about 10-15 minutes and then, that will help cooling down to the point where you can actually work with them. If you really, if you want them cooler, let them sit longer put them in a refrigerator after that. The whole idea is cool the eggs down quicker by running water through them slowly. If you put too much water, and too fast, too much cold water too fast it will crack your shells. We don't want the shells to be cracked, so we go in nice and slow, bring that temperature up easy. That's how we are going to get our egg yolks that they don't turn grey. They are going to stay nice and yellow.