Monday, April 27, 2009

the deviled egg debate

note: originally, i was going to post this for easter. due to time constraints, i put it off. but with picnic season upon us(90 degree weather the last few days makes it feel like bbq time.), i thought it would be right on target.

certain foods are essential parts of easter dinner for me. even though i am a vegetarian, i have never had any holiday meals with all vegetarians. so, i always expect ham, asparagus, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole(one of my second mom's traditions that i happen to love made with canned yams.), and since its easter there must be eggs in the form of deviled eggs. the last few years, i have celebrated easter at my best friend's house. this year, due to time constraints with both my boyfriend and i working on easter, we decided to have easter dinner together at home.

and, thus began the great deviled egg debate. in general in my life, i am a tad addicted to change. in order to handle the constant reinvention in my life, i like to keep some things the same as exactly how i remember them from my childhood for instance egg salad, potato salad, and especially deviled eggs. now, i am sure many of you are used to simple deviled eggs with just mayo, mustard, and topped with a bit of paprika. yawn. not the way my mom made them, so i am sorry they bore me terribly. my mother put relish in hers, and i still to this day feel it is key to awesome deviled eggs. in researching my argument with my darling boyfriend, i found these listed as picnic eggs in listings for deviled eggs. but to me, no matter what you call them, they are awesome and how i want my deviled eggs. i have once before made the mistake of allowing the bf to make deviled eggs. he too is loyal to the way his mom made deviled eggs. she made them the "boring way", but instead of paprika topped them with a slice of olive. while this may be lovely, it is not what i wanted. and, for once, i was unwilling to waver on how i wanted my deviled eggs. amazingly, my bf who considers himself king of the kitchen allowed my the shall we say honor of making deviled eggs for easter.

so, here's my recipe which is pretty similar to how mom made it(with one new addition):

yeilds a dozen deviled eggs

7 eggs (trust me)

1 tbs mayo

1 tbs relish

1 1/2 tbs your favorite mustard

1 tsp horseradish(this is the new addition i decided to try and liked so much it will be part of my regular recipe.)

salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp of celery seed
1/4 of an onion minced

paprika if desired for color

i should note that in my house much like the way my mom made staples like deviled eggs all these measurements are approxiamate. she never measured with things like this. we just "eyeball" it or add "to taste" until you get it to taste the way you want. baking on the other hand by its nature was much more about exact measurement. so, you may want to make some adjustments to get to the exact consistency and taste desired.

  1. want pretty deviled eggs, then the night before you plan on making your deviled eggs by placing you eggs the longways in the egg carrier in the fridge instead of the normal way they sit in the carton. the carton will not close now, so be sure not to set anything on top of the carton. i find if you do this the yolk will center in the deviled egg better not only making for pretty deviled eggs but also ones that are easier to fill. sounds like i've had too much time to think about this, but what can i say i really like deviled eggs and often they are my main source of protein at friend's picnics. this time i didn't have time to do this since i made them the same day i bought the eggs.

  2. hard boil your eggs. now, it seems everyone i know has their own tips and tricks for hardboiling your eggs; so i wouldn't get into this.

  3. after they are thoroughly cooled(yes, this is necessary since you are adding mayo.), peel the eggs. i find it is easier to peel the eggs if you crack them, then place them back in water. let them sit in the water for a few minutes so that the water gets in between the shell and the egg. this makes it easier to peel and prevents the shell and membrane from sticking to the egg.

    as you can see in the picture, the egg on the left is cracked.

  4. cut each egg in half lengthwise with a nonserated knife and scoop out the yolk.

  5. reserve the yolks in a separate bowl along with any egg whites(usually 2 halves in the process, but hopefully no more) that tear or do not have a fairly centered yolk.
    see how that one egg white tore completely in half as i was cutting it.

  6. now, i find that some of the yolk may not come out cleanly leaving behind trace amounts of yolk.

    but, if i take a clean, wet finger i can rub it out leaving them pretty like these.
  7. then, you want to throroughly mash up the yolks until they reach a fine texture.
  8. add all the remaining ingredients except the paprika to the yolks.
  9. pipe or spoon the yolk mixture into the egg whites
  10. top with a dash of paprika if desired.

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