I have hard boiled many an egg in my thirty-five years of existence. Aside from maybe a good over-medium cooked egg (a la Bif), the hard boiled variety is my favorite. I like to cook them in large batches and then eat them throughout the week. They make great, quick breakfasts or snacks (when prepared in advance) or toppings for a salad or they can be easily turned into egg salad sandwiches. Sometimes I remove the yolk and just eat the egg white since a dozen of them a week isn't the most healthy thing, from what I hear. I have even been known to sneak my unused egg yolks into Elijah's food when he isn't looking for a little burst of calories and nutrients.
Enough about my love for the hard boiled egg, and onto how to make them!
This technique can be used for boiling a large batch of eggs, or just one or two of them.
Pour enough water into a saucepan that when your eggs are immersed, there will be about one inch of water above them.
Carefully place the eggs into the pan and place the pan on your stovetop. Turn the burner on High. Once the water comes to a rapid boil, immediately remove the pan from the burner. Set the pan on another burner of the stove that is turned completely off.
Cover the pan tightly with a lid and set your timer for 15 minutes. While you are waiting, get out a large bowl (or a small bowl, if you are only cooking a few eggs) and pour cold water into just over half of it. A large, slotted spoon will also come in handy.
When the timer goes off, you must act quickly (but carefully)! The eggs will continue to cook when hot, even if they are no longer in the hot water. Take a large slotted spoon and carefully transfer the eggs from the saucepan into the bowl of cold water. I take an extra step beyond this to ensure the eggs don't continue cooking. Once they are in the cold water, I take them out one at a time and hold them under the faucet (turned to cold, obviously) for about 20 seconds apiece.
If I am making a smaller batch, I peel the shells off right away because they always seem to come off a lot easier immediately after being cooked. However, eggs keep longer in the refrigerator when their shells remain intact, so keep this in mind. Hard boiled eggs with shells will be good for one week in the fridge. Without shells, they are only good for four to five days in the fridge. And they should always be in the fridge!
To peel the shells, knock the egg gently but firmly on the countertop so the shell cracks. Peel the cracked shell away from the egg until it is completely off and rinse under cold water again.