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Easy deviled egg recipes for Easter

Back in the day, when we didn't worry so much about bacteria and other evil things growing in our food, we made deviled eggs from Easter eggs. No matter that they had been hidden in the yard for hours or nestled in a basket for a day. We didn't want to waste a dozen eggs, so we deviled them or chopped them up for egg salad. Never mind that blue, pink and green dye had seeped through to the whites.

Today, Easter eggs are for hiding and hunting and not for eating, unless they've only been out of the refrigerator for a couple of hours, safety experts say. Still, hard-boiled eggs put me in a mind for delicious deviled eggs, so I readily plunk down another $2 plus change for an additional dozen. Whereas I always buy large eggs for baking and cooking, I purchase the jumbos for deviled eggs (and dyed eggs, too). I want them big.

It's such a treat to find deviled eggs among the other offerings at a potluck, and they are often the first to go. The double whammy of egg yolk and mayonnaise makes them something of a guilty pleasure, and the creaminess of the yolk mixed with crunchy celery and the tang of mustard, Dijon please, is perfection. They are tasty freshly made, but an hour in the fridge enhances the flavors.

This year, for an Easter brunch or just to celebrate spring, consider the deviled egg. You can make them classically, with mayonnaise and sweet relish sprinkled with paprika, or introduce other elements, such as barbecue sauce, curry, shrimp or feta cheese. There is plenty of room for interpretation, and your biggest decision might be mayonnaise or Miracle Whip. (I use Hellmann's.)

A shell game

The challenge in making deviled eggs is peeling the eggs. I find it's better to attack the job knowing that one or two eggs won't cooperate. For this story, I peeled two dozen jumbo eggs, and only one ended up looking like the cat helped. That's a record for me.

Don't despair if you have eggs that aren't picture perfect; that just leaves more yolk for the fillings. A bonus.

First, to cook the eggs, I place them in a large saucepan with enough elbow room, cover with water by at least an inch and bring to a boil. I let the water roil for about 1 minute then turn off the heat, and then I leave the eggs undisturbed to cook in the hot water for 15 minutes. This gentler approach keeps them from cracking, a danger if they jostle about in the boiling water, and prevents overcooking, which results in that dark gray ring around the yolks. The yolks of overcooked eggs, when allowed to boil too long, are rubbery and don't mix smoothly with other ingredients.

I dump the hot water and fill the saucepan with cold water to cool the eggs enough to handle. Now, for the peeling, which I think goes better when they are warm.

The trick is to get under the sheer membrane that's between the shell and white. Crack the egg on the rounded, thicker end where the pocket of air is. Start peeling from there, and if the membrane sticks a bit, run the egg under cold water. Fresher eggs are harder to peel.

Maybe it's just me, but I feel as if I've won the race when I peel off a large piece of shell in one hunk. It's the simple things, isn't it?

Slice the eggs lengthwise using your sharpest chef's knife, wetting the blade in a glass of water as needed to ensure smooth, clean cuts. Some folks like their yolks to be perfectly centered. I don't worry too much about this but do end up with a few halved whites that are paper-thin on one side and don't hold the yolk mixture well. Debbie Moose, author of Deviled Eggs: 50 Recipes from Simple to Sassy, (Harvard Common Press, 2004) suggests this technique to center the yolks: "The night before you plan to cook the eggs, place a rubber band around the carton, to hold it closed, and turn it on its side in the refrigerator." It's worth a try, though I haven't done it. I sort of like the element of surprise when I cut the egg in half.

Zip 'em up

Not much beats the classic deviled egg, but adding spices, including hot ones, or robust cheeses makes for worthy variations. The yolk mixture is forgiving, and if you add a bit more of what you like and less of what you don't, it will all turn out fine. Do a taste test before you fill the eggs.

For easiest filling, if you've got a pastry piping kit, you're set. Or make your own pastry bag, spooning the creamy filling into a zip-style plastic bag that has had one corner snipped. Gently squeeze and fill the whites.

If you don't have an egg tray, use a large platter mounded with freshly chopped lettuce or other greens, and gently nestle the eggs here and there.

Before chilling, cover with plastic wrap and use a few wooden picks to tent the plastic up and away from those artfully garnished tops.

Of the 13 deviled egg variations offered with this story, my favorites are the Greek, Buffalo and shrimp and dill. Oh, and the Stuffed Jalapeno Eggs, and the curried one. Green olive wasn't bad either, nor was the chipotle barbecue.

I guess I never met a deviled egg I didn't like.

Janet K. Keeler can be reached at jkeeler@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8586.

Recipes

Stuffed Jalapeno Eggs

4 hard-boiled eggs

1/3 cup guacamole, homemade or store-bought

1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon minced scallions

2 teaspoons (or more to taste) minced, seeded jalapeno pepper

2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish, optional

Carefully remove yolks from the eggs and mash in a bowl with guacamole, cilantro, scallions, peppers, lime juice and salt. Blend well. Fill the egg whites with the yolk mixture with a little mound on top.

Garnish top with cilantro. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour before serving.

Makes 8 deviled eggs.

Curried Deviled Eggs

6 hard-boiled eggs

3 tablespoons plain yogurt

1 tablespoon chopped chutney

1/2 teaspoon curry powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Chopped peanuts for garnish

Halve the eggs lengthwise and scoop yolks into a small bowl. Mash yolks thoroughly. Stir in remaining ingredients, except peanuts. Mix well and refill whites.

Garnish with chopped peanuts. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour before serving.

Makes 12 deviled eggs.

Source: Adapted from Family Circle

Green Olive Deviled Eggs

6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

6 green olives, minced

1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

Halve the eggs lengthwise and carefully scoop yolks into a small bowl. Mash yolk thoroughly. Stir in remaining ingredients. Mix well and refill whites. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour before serving.

Makes 12 deviled eggs.

Source: Deviledegg.org

Best Deviled Eggs

6 hard-boiled eggs

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 1/2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish

1 teaspoon mustard

1/8 teaspoon salt

Dash pepper

Paprika

Slice eggs in half lengthwise and carefully remove yolks. Mash yolks with mayonnaise. Add relish, mustard, salt and pepper; stir well. Spoon yolk mixture into egg whites. Garnish on top with shake of paprika.

Cover and refrigerate at least one hour before serving.

Makes 12 deviled eggs.

Source: Southern Living

Buffalo Deviled Eggs

6 hard-boiled eggs

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup soft blue cheese, such as Gorgonzola

2 tablespoons finely chopped celery, more for garnish

Wing sauce to taste

Slice eggs in half lengthwise and carefully remove yolks. Mash yolks with mayonnaise and blue cheese. Stir in celery and wing sauce. Spoon yolk mixture into egg whites. Garnish with chopped celery or celery leaves.

Cover and refrigerate at least one hour before serving.

Makes 12 deviled eggs.

Greek Deviled Eggs

6 hard-boiled eggs

1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/4 cup feta cheese

1 teaspoon dried oregano

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons chopped kalamata olives, more for garnish

Slice eggs in half lengthwise and carefully remove yolks. Mash yolks with yogurt, feta cheese and oregano. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in kalamata olives. Spoon yolk mixture into egg whites. Garnish with olives.

Cover and refrigerate at least one hour before serving.

Makes 12 deviled eggs.

Chipotle Barbecue Deviled Eggs

6 hard-boiled eggs

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon yellow mustard

2 tablespoons barbecue sauce

Chipotle Tabasco sauce, to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

Sliced scallions, for garnish

Slice eggs in half lengthwise and carefully remove yolks. Mash yolks with mayonnaise, mustard, barbecue sauce and hot sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon yolk mixture into egg whites. Garnish with chopped scallions.

Cover and refrigerate at least one hour before serving.

Makes 12 deviled eggs.

Shrimp and Dill Deviled Eggs

6 hard-boiled eggs

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/3 cup chopped, cooked salad shrimp plus whole shrimp for garnish

1 tablespoon finely minced fresh dill

Salt and pepper to taste

Slice eggs in half lengthwise and carefully remove yolks. Mash yolks with mayonnaise and lemon juice. Stir in shrimp and dill. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon yolk mixture into egg whites. Garnish with whole shrimp.

Cover and refrigerate at least one hour before serving.

Makes 12 deviled eggs.

Source: St. Petersburg Times

Goat Cheese Stuffed Eggs

6 hard-boiled eggs

1/4 cup mayonnaise

2 to 3 tablespoons herbed goat cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Chopped pecans, for garnish

Slice eggs in half lengthwise and carefully remove yolks. Mash yolks with mayonnaise and goat cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon yolk mixture into egg whites. Garnish with chopped pecans.

Cover and refrigerate at least one hour before serving.

Makes 12 deviled eggs.

Black and Blue Deviled Eggs

6 hard-boiled eggs

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup soft blue cheese, such as Gorgonzola

Salt and pepper to taste

Caviar, for garnish

Slice eggs in half lengthwise and carefully remove yolks. Mash yolks with mayonnaise and blue cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon yolk mixture into egg whites. Garnish with caviar. Serve immediately after adding caviar because the liquid from the caviar will discolor the eggs.

Makes 12 deviled eggs.

Bacon Horseradish Deviled Eggs

12 hard-boiled eggs

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon prepared horseradish

1/4 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

4 slices cooked, crumbled bacon; save some for garnish

3 minced green onion stalks

Salt and pepper to taste

Slice eggs in half lengthwise and place yolks in a mixing bowl; set the whites aside. Mash the yolks with the back of a fork and add mayonnaise, horseradish, sour cream, Dijon, bacon and green onion. Mix well and salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon yolk mixture into egg whites. Garnish with bacon. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour before serving.

Makes 24 deviled eggs.

Easy deviled egg recipes for Easter 04/19/11 [Last modified: Thursday, April 21, 2011 12:13pm]
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