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Archive for Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Egging us on: Easter? It’s time to mix up your holiday staple

Crabbed deviled eggs.

Crabbed deviled eggs.

March 30, 2010

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Forget the "chicken or the egg" dilemma. Here's the perennial eggs-istential question: A large, invisible bunny has left two dozen gaily decorated, hard-boiled eggs in your house on Easter morning. What do you do first?

The answer: eggs-periment!

There are plenty of ways to make plain hard-boiled eggs more palatable, but there's no better crowd-pleaser on a holiday buffet than a platter of stuffed eggs. (Note: The term "deviled" - meaning "cooked with hot seasoning" - isn't technically accurate for some of the variations we're about to suggest.)

Debbie Yarnell, who raises chickens at Homespun Hill Farm in Baldwin City, is a deviled egg traditionalist.

"I love them, any time of the year. Pasture-based chicken eggs with their deep golden yolks really add to the flavor," Yarnell says. "But I'm just a plain Jane when it comes to my deviled eggs. I think I have used the same standard recipe for 30 years with mayo and mustard sprinkled with paprika on top."

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Bob Christensen, Lawrence, likes to stuff his eggs with fish. "I add tuna to the yolks and fine-chopped celery and onion and spice to taste," he says "and, of course, a little Miracle Whip for the health-conscious."

And there are other ways to (ahem) eggs-pand your repertoire by putting new twists on the old standby.

To the basic recipe, which calls for approximately 1/3 cup of mayonnaise for 12 dozen eggs, plus 2 teaspoons of mustard and assorted seasonings, you can add sun-dried tomatoes, pesto, bacon, scallions, roasted garlic, carmelized onion, pickle relish, grilled red peppers Š you're only limited by your imagination.

Not feeling quite so adventurous? Try substituting yellow or Dijon mustard with ranch dressing, balsamic vinegar or one of the hundreds of gourmet mustards on the market, including wasabi, sweet and hot, or beer-infused styles.

If you want to get really fancy, try the recipes to follow. But first, be sure to cook your eggs properly for good color and a clean peel.

"Don't boil them; that's huge," says Douglas County extension agent Susan Krumm. "If you do, you'll turn them green due to the ferrous sulfide that forms between the white and the yolk. You want to bring them just to boil."

Krumm provides these instructions for eggs-ceptional eggs (sorry) every time:

Place eggs in a single layer in a saucepan. Add enough water to cover the eggs by at least 1 inch. Cover and quickly bring just to boiling. Turn off heat. If necessary, remove the pan from the burner to prevent further boiling. Let the eggs stand covered in the hot water about 15 minutes for large eggs (12 minutes for medium, 18 for extra-large). Immediately after cooking, thoroughly cool eggs in a bowl of ice or under running cold water for at least five minutes. Peel the eggs right after cooling for immediate use, or refrigerate them in the shell in the carton for use within one week.

Egg recipes

Crab Deviled Eggs

Fresh crab and spinach make this decadent twist on a classic party dish a favorite at the MarketBar in San Francisco. The eggs can be made the day before and served as an appetizer. Use canned crabmeat (rinse, drain and pat dry) if fresh is not available.

6 large eggs

2 cups packed spinach leaves, well rinsed

4 ounces fresh lump crabmeat, picked over for shell

1/4 cup good-quality mayonnaise

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Place the wet spinach in a small sauté pan and sauté over medium heat until wilted. Put the spinach in a tea towel and wring out all the water. Finely chop the spinach.

Cut peeled, hard-boiled eggs in half lengthwise and carefully remove the yolks, reserving the whites. Mash the yolks in a medium bowl with a fork. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix well. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Spoon 1 heaping teaspoon of egg yolk into each egg white half. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

  • From "Organic Marin: Recipes from Land to Table," Andrews McMeel Publishing

Horseradish Deviled Eggs

12 hard-boiled eggs, peeled, halved lengthwise

1/4 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons prepared horseradish

1 tablespoon sweet pickle juice (from pickle jar)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

24 fresh parsley leaves, for garnish

Separate the hard-boiled yolks from the egg white halves and place the yolks in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the mayonnaise, horseradish, pickle juice, salt, and pepper, and process until smooth. Taste and add more horseradish if desired. Transfer the filling to a small bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour before using.

To fill, trim a thin slice from the bottom of a cooked egg white half so it stands level. Either spoon 1 tablespoon of filling into each egg cavity, smoothing the top, or transfer the filling to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch plain tip and pipe the filling in. Garnish each egg with a parsley leaf.

  • From "The Berghoff Café Cookbook," by Carlyn Berghoff with Nancy Ross Ryan/Andrews McMeel Publishing

Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs

12 hard-boiled eggs, peeled, halved lengthwise

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup minced smoked salmon

1 1/2 tablespoons minced green onion

Freshly ground black pepper

Pinch of salt

Paper-thin slices green onion, for garnish

Separate the hard-boiled yolks from the egg white halves and place the yolks in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the oil, lemon juice, mustard and mayonnaise, and process until smooth. Add the salmon and pulse until smooth but not puréed. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and stir in the minced green onion, pepper and salt. Cover and chill for 1 hour before using.

To fill, trim a thin slice from the bottom of a cooked egg white half so it stands level. Either spoon 1 tablespoon of the filling into each egg cavity, smoothing the top, or transfer the filling to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch plain tip and pipe the filling in. Garnish each egg with 1 or 2 slices of green onion.

Caper Deviled Eggs

12 hard-boiled eggs, peeled, halved lengthwise

1/4 cup mayonnaise

3 tablespoons sour cream

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon mustard powder

1/4 cup minced green onion

2 tablespoons minced capers

2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Whole capers, drained, for garnish

Separate the hard-boiled yolks from the egg white halves and place the yolks in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice and mustard. Process until smooth.

Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and stir in the green onion, minced capers and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour before using.

To fill, trim a thin slice from the bottom of a cooked egg white half so it stands level. Either spoon 1 tablespoon of filling into each egg cavity, smoothing the top, or transfer the filling to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch plain tip and pipe the filling in. Garnish each egg with 1 to 3 drained capers.

Comments

shorttrees 4 years, 9 months ago

Spoon the filling into a ziplock baggie, seal and then cut a small corner off. Fills eggs quickly and neatly with minimal mess and cleanup. Just throw the bag away.

Aileen Dingus 4 years, 9 months ago

I've started making deviled pickled eggs- they're so pretty with the pink outside, white inside and yellow yolk mixture. Add a little horseradish to the mix, plus a shake of caraway seeds and YUM!

I must admit though, many people are leery of pickled eggs. All the more for me!

scopi_guy 4 years, 9 months ago

Those all sound really good. I may try one or two but for the last 30 years, I've always just used Miracle Whip, some mustard and pickle relish.

lilzcoop 4 years, 9 months ago

My Mother-in-Law made, Creamed Eggs on Toast. Just a cream gravy with chopped up eggs in it. Pretty good!

Robert Rauktis 4 years, 9 months ago

Are they sure he won't just send the toady, Marchiony?

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