Serves 12 / These beautiful eggs, arranged cut-side down, complement any hors d'oeuvres tray. It's a modern rendition of a classic technique and fills the kitchen with savory aromatics. Prep tip: For best results when peeling, begin with eggs that have been kept in your refrigerator for at least one week.
6 large eggs, at least one week old
1 teaspoon coarse salt
12 points (broken-off tips) of star anise
1 4-inch hard cinnamon stick or 6-inch soft cinnamon stick
12 whole black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
2 tablespoons loose-leaf Assam black tea
2 tablespoons loose-leaf Earl Grey black tea
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 cups cold water
1. Place eggs and 1 teaspoon coarse salt in a saucepan large enough to hold eggs in one layer. Add cold water to cover by several inches. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat and maintain a very low simmer for 20 minutes (do not cover).
2. Drain eggs and rinse under cold water or set in an ice bath to cool completely.
3. Tap each egg with the back of a wooden spoon to create a web of cracks. Place eggs in a heavy pot. Add all Batik Dye ingredients. Bring to a boil quickly, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 2 hours. Add more hot water if needed.
4.Remove pan from heat but keep covered. Let eggs sit in the coloring liquid at room temperature for 6-12 hours.
5. Remove eggs from liquid and store, unpeeled, in the refrigerator. To serve, peel carefully to retain surface pattern. Cut into halves or quarters and arrange cut-side down on a cold platter. Any extra eggs will keep in the fridge, wrapped, for five days.
PER SERVING (1/2 egg): 37 cal, 62% fat cal, 2g fat, 1g sat fat, 106mg chol, 3g protein, 0g carb, 0g fiber, 62mg sodium