Devil may care
April 14, 2011By Kim Dannies
It’s spring — time for shenanigans, reckless cooking, and general revelry. Egg-themed-everything is in the celebratory air, so why not make a feast out of the little devils? Go ahead! Abandon traditional deviled eggs and that high-cholesterol filling, and go wild with some new and intense combinations of savory temptation.
Filling choices are limitless: tuna, mayo, and capers topped with minced red onion; pulled pork and BBQ sauce topped with shredded cabbage; guacamole, chopped tomato, and bacon bits; tarragon shrimp salad; hummus, fried onions, and sesame seeds; almond butter & jam dollops; chopped smoked salmon and yolk, with crème fraiche and dill.
OK, OK. I’ll play the devil’s advocate and vote to keep the classic fix, but how about we shake things up a bit and add spicy horseradish and lots of hot paprika to the mix?
For perfectly well behaved hard-boiled eggs, consider using organic (they taste better). Eggs should be one to two weeks old. Gently place a couple dozen eggs in a large pot and cover with lots of cold water. Add 2 teaspoons of salt, cover the pot, and bring to a boil. You don’t need to boil the water hard to cook the eggs – the trick is to let the water come to a full boil, and then move the pot to a cool burner. Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to the pot and cover it (vinegar will make the eggs easier to peel). Set a timer for 30 minutes, and let the eggs sit.
Next, drain the eggs and cool in ice water for 20 minutes. This prevents the greenish ring from forming around the yolk. The green hue is the chemical reaction of iron in the egg yolk with sulfur from the egg white; these combine to make green-gray ferrous sulfide and the resulting smelly “rotten eggs” hydrogen sulfide gas. Gently crack each egg and set it back into the water. When the eggs are all cracked, remove the shells. Rinse eggs and rest them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before slicing into halves with a clean edge knife. Remove yolks and fill the egg with desired ingredients.
Kim Dannies is a graduate of La Varenne Cooking School in France. She lives in Williston with her husband, Jeff; they have three college-aged daughters who come and go. For archived Everyday Gourmet columns go to kimdannies.com.