05 April 2012

Getting creative with deviled eggs

Since I also write a food column, I must address every major holiday in order to be like everyone else and maintain my readership.  Honestly, Easter does nothing for me, though I do like a good zombie movie...but deviled eggs, on the other hand, are worth caring about.  I have loved these delectable little nuggets of chicken dropping ever since I was a wee lass, and my mom would obsess over the eggs, filling them with a pastry bag so they'd look fancy, then topping them with a little slice of pimento-stuffed green olive (the cheap kind).  They were beautiful, and they were delicious.  Why don't we make deviled eggs more often?  I dream of a cocktail party in which I lay out nothing but various flavors of deviled eggs to go with some tasty old-fashioned gin and bourbon cocktails.  Here's what I'd serve:

Basic Deviled Egg Recipe:
 6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and cut lengthwise (will yield 12 deviled eggs)
¼ cup Light Mayonnaise or Salad Dressing
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt 
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper 
Paprika for garnish

Remove the egg yolks and place in a small bowl and mash with a fork. Add mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. Fill the empty egg white shells with the mixture and sprinkle lightly with paprika.
And variations...
Sriracha Deviled Eggs: Add 1/2-1 teaspoon Sriracha (hot garlic-chili sauce), 1/2 teaspoon lime juice, and 1/2 teaspoon fresh chopped cilantro to the filling.  Replace paprika garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and pickled daikon and carrot.
Horseradish Deviled Eggs with Seared Steak and Blue Cheese: Add 2 teaspoons horseradish sauce, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon fresh chopped parsley to filling. Garnish with thinly sliced seared New York Strip steak and crumbled blue cheese. 
Pesto and Gazpacho Deviled Eggs: Add 2 teaspoons prepared pesto and 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice to the filling.  Garnish with minced cherry tomato, cucumber, and carrot. 
Green Chile Deviled Eggs: Add 2 teaspoons chopped Hatch green chiles, 1 teaspoon lime juice, and 1 teaspoon fresh chopped cilantro to filling.  Garnish sparsely with your favorite chunky salsa. 
Goat cheese and Asparagus Deviled Eggs: Add 1 teaspoon fresh goat cheese, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon chopped chives to filling.  Garnish with freshly ground black pepper and blanched asparagus tips (or you could use finely chopped green beans).
Curried Deviled Eggs: Add 1 teaspoon curry powder, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh mint or cilantro to filling.  Garnish with tiny pieces of roasted cauliflower or a couple of peas.