Thursday, April 28, 2011

Heavenly deviled eggs

Southern Living
One dish that always shows up at our Earth Day dinners at St. Paul's is deviled eggs, because so many people in the Charlottesville area either own laying hens or have a source of eggs from cage-free, free-ranging chickens. I don't know if the eggs are any better for us humans, but the yolks have a deeper color and a single yolk can flavor a half-dozen egg whites for an omelet or scrambled eggs.

Wikipedia notes:
The term "deviled," in reference to food, was in use in the 18th century, with the first known print reference appearing in 1786. In the 19th century, it came to be used most often with spicy or zesty food, including eggs prepared with mustard, pepper or other ingredients stuffed in the yolk cavity.
In some parts of the Southern and Midwestern United States, the terms "salad eggs" or "dressed eggs" are used, particularly when the dish is served in connection with a church function - presumably to avoid dignifying the word "deviled."
Here's my recipe. The measurements are approximate; I usually just add enough mayo to make it creamy, and the capers can certainly be to taste. My garnish of choice is smoked Hungarian paprika.

Lori K's heavenly deviled eggs
Makes 24

1 dozen eggs (make sure they are at least a day old)
1 tablespoon capers, drained
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup of Duke's mayonnaise (more or less)
Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste
Paprika (smoked adds a little extra zest)

Put eggs in a large enough pan so that they fit close together but not crowded. Cover completely with cold water and add a teaspoon of salt and a tablespoon of vinegar (this supposedly helps keep the shells from cracking, and if they do, keeps the whites from oozing all over the place). Bring to a FULL rolling boil, then turn off the burner. If it's chilly, cover the pan. After 25 minutes, transfer the eggs to a bowl of cold water. When they are cool, shell and rinse the eggs, dry, then half lengthwise. Remove the yolks and put them in a bowl. Put the whites on your serving plate; if you don't have indentions, use curly parsley to keep the eggs from rolling around on the plate.

Mash the egg yolks gently and mix the rest of the ingredients except the paprika. It's best if you start with about half the mayo and then add just enough to make the mixture creamy. Fill the egg white cavities with a spoonful of the yolk mixture, then sprinkle with the paprika. Chill, then serve.

If by any chance you have leftovers, chop them up and use them for sandwiches the next day.