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The Devil in Deviled Eggs and How to Exorcise Them

 Deviled Eggs, it seems to me, are THE most popular item at a picnic or a cocktail party. At Eastertime we all start making them because of so many dyed hen eggs. This past Easter I began to think about “The Deviled Egg.” (My grandson observed that at Eastertime, perhaps they should be call angel eggs.) Why the name “deviled”? Wikipedia connects this dish to deviled ham, and maybe that is true. However, after much contemplation (at least 30 minutes) I think the name derives from the fact that, unless certain procedures are followed, the are the “devil” to prepare. And that leads me to the real intent of this blog: How to Take the Devil Out of Deviled Eggs.

Many people contributed to these instructions. And here are the “secrets.”
1. Do not start with fresh eggs.
2..Make a small hole in the larger end of the eggs.
3. Place eggs in a sauce pan and cover with tap water.
4. Add salt. Just a tablespoon, may be two.
5. Bring to a boil.
6. Remove from  heat, cover and let sit for 15 minutes–or 12 or 13–just not too long..
7. Drain quickly and shake pan to crack shells.
8. Put eggs in a bowl or pan of ice and water and allow to cool.
With any luck the devil will have been exorcised and the shells will just peel right off.
This blogger does not guarantee smoothly peeled eggs, but if you do all of the above, at least you will know you have done your very best.

I am more confident about what to do next:
Cut in half either lengthwise or crosswise (if crosswise, cut a little of the white from each end so that the egg half will sit straight).
Remove yolks, mash and mix something really yummy with the yolks and refills the halves. I like mayonnaise–real–dill, a little vinegar or dill pickle juice and celery seed.

Some other suggestions for the yummy “stuff” as in stuffed:
From JOY OF COOKING–2006 Edition:
Mayonnaise or cream or sour cream or butter with vinegar and sugar or pickle juice. Season to taste with salt, pepper, mustard, red pepper, curry powder, jalopenos or other peppers.
Other additions: anchovy, caviar, curry powder, crumbled bleu cheese, chopped chive, tarragon,  parsley or, basil, salsa,  etc,
And more specifically, two recipes from “Bon Appetit.”

Chipotle Deviled Eggs
12 large eggs
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 to 3 teaspoons finely chopped canned chipotle chiles*
24 fresh cilantro leaves

Place eggs in large saucepan. Add enough cold water to cover. Bring to simmer over high heat. Reduce hear to low; simmer gently 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let stand  10 minutes. Drain eggs; cover with ice and water and let stand until cold.

Peel eggs and cut in half lengthwise. Spoon yolks into small bowl; arrange whites on platter. finely grate yolks on small holes of of box grater into medium bowl. Mix in mayonnaise, the 2 teaspoons chopped chipotle chilies. Add more chopped chilies, if desired, for more hear. Season filling to taste with salt, if desired. Using pastry bag fitted with 1/2 inch-diameter star tip, pipe filling into egg whites. Cover and Chill eggs at least 2 hours and up to 1 day. Press l cilantro leaf into filling each egg and serve.

* Substitute the Homestead Chipotle Mayonnaise available at Gourmet Gallery.

Eggs Stuffed with Smoked Salmon and Caviar

3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 fresh lemon juice
12 ounces thinly sliced cold-smoked salmon, finely chopped
1/4 cup salmon caviar
12 hard-boiled eggs, shelled,  halved, whites and yolks separated

Additional chopped chives
Lemon wedges
Assorted fresh herb sprigs

Line rimmed baking sheet with paper towels. Blend 3 tablespoons chives, oil and lemon juice in medium bowl. Mix insmoked salmon. Fold in caviar. Chop four egg yolks (reserve remainder for another use) and stir into salmon mixture. Season to taste with ground pepper. Pile 1 generous tablespoon salmon mixture in cavity of each egg-white. Arrange eggs on prepared sheet. Cover with plastic; refrigerate up to 8 hours.

Place eggs on platter. Sprinkle with additional chives. Garnish with lemon wedges and herb sprigs.
“Bon Appetit”. August 2004. p.83

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