Musing over my non-traditional Easter menu of roast salmon, I was missing an appetizer. I turned to a traditional favorite, my deviled eggs recipe. Deviled eggs are equally welcome at a spring dinner or a summer barbecue. Most everyone loves them. And the fun part is you can give them your own style and flavor by how you garnish them.
I’ve always made my deviled eggs with plenty of kick using Dijon mustard, horseradish, bright vinegar, and of course good mayonnaise. After that, you can use lots of extra goodies for garnish: chopped fresh dill or cilantro, regular or smoked paprika, tiny cooked bay shrimp, avocado, sun-dried tomatoes, you name it. Make them your way.
How to Hard Boil Eggs
To make perfect hard boiled eggs, gently place raw eggs in a pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Cover with cold water by several inches and add a pinch of salt. Place on the stovetop and bring to just under a boil. Immediately turn off the heat, cover the pan and move to a cool burner. Let the eggs stand in the hot water for 13 minutes (for regular large eggs), then place in the sink and run cold water over the eggs until they are cooled.
When preparing a dozen eggs, I always cook a few extra beyond the dozen to insure 24 perfect halves and plenty of filling. A couple of eggs always seem to get destroyed in the peeling process.
Peel and Fill Eggs
When cool, crack the egg shells all around and peel under barely running cold water. When perfectly cooked, the yolks will be bright yellow and have no green or gray ring. If they do, don’t worry. They will still taste fine.
Slice peeled, hard-boiled eggs in half and pop out the cooked yolks. Place the yolks and all ingredients in a food processor and puree until creamy. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, and a little more vinegar for zing or horseradish for heat. Pipe or spoon the filling into the halved egg whites and garnish to your hearts content.
If you don’t have a food processor, push the cooked egg yolks through a fine sieve with the back of a large spoon or flexible spatula. Then by hand, mix the yolks and other ingredients into a creamy, smooth consistency. That’s how I learned to make deviled eggs as a kid. Refrigerate filling until needed or serve right away.
When ready to serve, place the creamy filling into a piping bag (I keep the 18″ ones on hand) and pipe into egg halves. If you don’t want to use a piping bag, use a teaspoon to spoon into the egg halves. Garnish and serve.
Catering tip: if you are serving these at a location other than your home, place the filling into a piping bag fitted with a round or star tip. Secure the top with a rubber band. Pack your egg halves in a sturdy container for transporting. When you arrive at your location, place the egg halves on a plate, snip the tip off your piping bag and fill the eggs. Garnish and enjoy.
Creamy Deviled Eggs
Yield: 24 halves
12 large organic eggs, free of any cracks (I do a few extra for damage, sampling and plenty of filling)
½ cup reduced fat mayonnaise (I use Veganaise)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon vinegar – apple cider, white balsamic, or white wine
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Optional garnish – use your imagination
Paprika, regular or smoked
Finely chopped chives
Fresh chopped dill
Fresh chopped cilantro
Cooked bay shrimp
Sun-dried tomato strips
1) Gently place raw eggs in a large pan in a single layer. Cover eggs with cold water by one to two inches. Place pan over high heat and bring to just under a boil. Turn off the heat, immediately cover the pot with a tight lid and move off the heat. Allow the eggs to sit covered for 14 minutes for large eggs. After 14 minutes run cold water over the eggs until they are cool. You can also add ice to the water to speed the cooling process.
2) When eggs are cool, tap them all the way around on a hard surface and peel.
3) Using a thin, sharp-bladed knife, cut eggs in half lengthwise. Pop out yolks and place in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel knife. Add the rest of the ingredients and puree until smooth and creamy. Taste and season for your tastes with extra salt, pepper, Dijon, etc.
4) Place filling into a piping bag fitted with a large star or plain tip and pipe into egg halves for nice presentation, or just spoon into the egg halves with a teaspoon. Garnish and serve.
Note – if you don’t have a food processor, press the cooked egg yolks through a fine sieve into a bowl, then continue with the recipe. Mix the filling by hand with a large spoon.
How to Boil Eggs, from What’s Cooking America
Trivia and history on deviled eggs, from Wikipedia
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