Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Have you ever heard of baking eggs in the oven instead of boiling them for deviled eggs? Me either...... Hard-boiling an egg is certainly not a challenging task. When I want Deviled Eggs, I don’t want to risk the possibility of having to delay my having a plate full of wonderful, summery, golden, tangy eggs just because I tried baking rather than boiling!

The idea of baking the eggs is probably not new, but it is new to me. I ran across the method while reading one of my favorite blogs, Not Without Salt. Check out Ashley’s blog at http://notwithoutsalt.com She has several great recipes, including one for Beet Pickled deviled Eggs. They are a beautiful deep pink in color! Perfect for your Easter dinner!

Deviled eggs scream “SPRING!” after winter, even after a mild winter. I cannot imagine a family Easter dinner without Deviled Eggs. What Ashley has done to a simple hard-boiled egg in preparation for deviling is quite refreshing! Check it out.

Read more: http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2012/mar/27/ann-vogel-make-deviled-eggs-as-fiery-as-you-dare/#ixzz1qMN4r7iB

"Deviling" probably originated in the 18th century and referred to highly seasoned foods that were boiled or baked. The term might derive from the French “diable” or “à la diablé”, meaning "highly spiced." Nowadays, "deviled" usually refers to foods laced with cayenne pepper or mustard. In other words, sinfully delicious.

The perfect hard-boiled egg……

One thing that has always bugged me about hard-boiled eggs is how quickly overcooking an egg causes a green ring around the yolk. (I wonder if baking that egg would increase or decrease the likelihood of that green ring appearing?) I have used the same method for boiling eggs for years.

1st clue….don’t use fresh eggs, they will never peel neatly! Use eggs that are close to  their expiration date. At least 24 hours in advance,
lay the entire carton of eggs on its side (I balance it against the refrigerator wall). This will help center the yolk.

2nd clue….place eggs in a saucepan so all eggs are in a single layer. Cover eggs with 1 to 2” of cold water. Add 1 tablespoon of salt.

3rd clue….Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to and simmer the eggs for only 30 seconds. Remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 11 minutes.

4th clue….Immediately plunge into a large pot of ice water to cool quickly. After several minutes, lift each egg out, one at a time, and gently crack shell all over, then return to ice water. This will make peeling the eggs much easier!

So, now we have perfectly hard-boiled eggs. How you make the filling is entirely up to your taste, your traditions. Some like them with diced pickle mixed in, others think that is committing a crime! Some of the conversations I’ve heard concerning the recipe for Deviled Eggs, would amaze you. It is a “family thing”, a “regional thing” a “personal thing”. It’s like fried chicken….you know very well that everyone has “the perfect way to fry chicken”!

Here are a few of my favorites.
From one of my favorite cookbooks, Screen Doors and Sweet Tea by Martha Hall Foose.

Sold My Soul to the Devil-ed Eggs

12 large eggs, hard-boiled, peeled, and cut lengthwise
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 green onions, white and green parts, finely chopped
2 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
1 tablespoon dill pickle relish
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
Paprika for garnish

In a small bowl, mash the egg yolks with a fork until smooth. Stir in the salt, onions, butter, relish, mustard and mayonnaise. Spoon or pipe the mixture into egg-white halves. Sprinkle with paprika.

From Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa, we have a much more elegant version.

Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs

(Question....No Mustard, No Cayenne Pepper….is it truly “deviled”?)

8 extra-large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons good mayonnaise
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives, plus extra for garnish
4 ounces good smoked salmon, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces salmon roe

Peel the eggs and then slice them in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks carefully. Place the yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and arrange the whites on a platter in a single layer with the cut sides up and sprinkle with salt.

To the egg yolks, add the sour cream, cream cheese, mayonnaise, lemon juice, chives, salmon, salt, and pepper. Beat on medium speed until fluffy. With a small spoon, fill the egg whites with the egg yolk mixture. Cover loosely with plastic wrap (you don't want to flatten the filling) and refrigerate for 30 minutes for the flavors to blend.

When ready to serve, garnish with a dollop of salmon roe and some extra chopped chives. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve.

Deviled or not, they are delicious!

So, what is my favorite deviled egg recipe? I don’t use a recipe. I think the more simple you can keep it, the more classic it is.

Kay’s Deviled Eggs

12 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut in half, lengthwise
Yellow mustard
Salt and Pepper
Maybe a dash of Cayenne, depending on my mood!

The consistency of the filling is key for me. I want it absolutely smooth, absolutely creamy. Some deviled eggs are too dry for me, Therefore, the amount of mayo depends on how creamy you want them. As for the mustard, once again, I taste, I add or not. Oh, and I make my filling in the food processor.
I actually can eat this filling by the spoonful….don’t look at me that way! I bet you eat raw cookie dough!

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