Thursday, July 27, 2006

Devilishly Good Dijon Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs – Do people still bring them to parties like they used to? I never seem to see them anymore, not that I go to that many parties… We still make them, though, particularly for holiday gatherings, like Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. Especially Easter. We’re boiling eggs anyway, so why not make some deviled eggs, too, right?

I’ve had some pretty nasty tasting deviled eggs. People put all kind of stuff in them, like pickle relish, chutney, or the nastiest of all nasties, miracle whip ( I know it should be capitalized, but I just can’t bring myself to do it…).

This is my version of the hors d'oeuvres, refined through many iterations of trial and a few errors. I usually make a dozen halves, plenty for our usual gathering of the 3 of us and Karen’s folks, but I always cook seven eggs instead of just the required 6 (I’ll do the math for you: 6 eggs = 12 deviled eggs). Why seven? Simple – after years of boiling eggs, I’ve learned that I will ALWAYS have one egg that cracks in the pot and turns out all ugly. Making seven assures me of 6 pretty eggs to halve, plus (BONUS!), it gives me one extra yolk to use to make the filling. And with the extra yolk, I can overstuff the eggs a bit. After all, it’s all about the filling, isn’t it?

Deviled Eggs
7 Large Eggs
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
3 Tablespoons Mayonaise (Real Mayo, please, not that nasty Kraft M.W. stuff)
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper

The first step, of course, is to hard boil the eggs. Sounds easy, right?

Not so fast… If you do it wrong, you’ll get runny under cooked yolks or over cooked super hard eggs, or a dark green, chalky, sulfer filled, stinky outer layer around your yolks.

Oh, so many things that can go wrong, but there is one really easy way to fix them - and we can thank Julia Child for spreading the gospel on that…(See the Georgia Egg board site for her inspiration).

How To Boil Your Eggs (as described by the Late Great Julia Child, from The Way To Cook, 1989):
The cooking: Lay the eggs in the pan and add the amount of cold water specified. (water should cover the eggs by 1 inch). Set over high heat and bring just to the boil; remove from heat, cover the pan, and let sit exactly 17 minutes.
The 2-minute chill: When the time is up, transfer the eggs to the bowl of ice cubes and water. Chill for 2 minutes while bringing the cooking water to the boil again. (This 2 minute chilling shrinks the body of the egg from the shell.)
The 10-SECOND boil: Transfer the eggs (6 at a time only) to the boiling water, bring to the boil again, and let boil for 10 seconds - this expands the shell from the egg. Remove eggs to the ice water, cracking the shells in several places.
Preventing that dark line around the yolk: Chilling the eggs promptly prevents that dark line from forming, and, if you have time, leave the eggs in the ice water (adding more ice if needed) for 15 to 20 minutes before peeling. Chilled eggs are easier to peel, too.

Alright, back to the Deviled Egg Recipe…

-Dry the peeled eggs gently on a paper towel.
-Slice the egg in half lengthwise with a sharp knife.
-Remove the yolk with a small spoon to a bowl. Be very careful not to damage the egg white. (the bowl should be big enough to hold all the yolks and the fillings with enough room to blend them well).
-Put the egg white half on a large clean plate (or your deviled egg plate if you’ve got one.
-To the yolks, add the Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, salt & pepper, then mash and mix until blended and smooth. Very smooth. If the mixture seems a bit too dry, add a bit more mayo.
-Fill the egg whites with the yolk mixture by piping the mixture into the whites. I do this by putting the yolk mixture into a Ziplock bag and cutting a small piece off the corner (no more than ¼ inch), then using the Ziplock like a pastry piping bag (Don’t use a cheap sandwich baggie – it’ll split from the pressure).
-Sprinkle the filed eggs with paprika (generously, if your me…), then cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.



Mean Jean said...

Yes people still bring deviled eggs to parties. And they go like hot cakes. Sometimes I put some crumbled bacon in mine.

Lorence, Columbus, Ohio said...

I'm with ya on that, Mean Jean. My son loves these and we bring them to gathering and parties pretty regularly.
Gonna have to try the bacon variation. From what I hear, everything's better with bacon!