Monday, April 4, 2011

Classic Deviled Eggs

Cheap Eat Challenge: Watch as our family of 6 struggles to eat on $6/day without giving up an excessive chocolate habit (wish us luck).

I'm not really an egg person. I mean, we eat them fairly regulary--usually in scrambled or over easy form--they're easy, fast, and a good source of cheap protien. Occasionally, I'll even get a hankering for them, meaning that every once in a while I'll see someone eating a pretty little egg and get a wee craving. But generally, they're just not something I get that excited about. In fact, the last several years after Easter, I haven't even been able to choke down a single egg salad sanwich (the green and blue blotchiness left over from dying them, not helping at all) and although Kip has done his part, we've still managed to waste several eggs. This is not something I like to do, but when a food seems gross to you, a food seems gross to you. It's best not to fight those urges. Apparently, I prefer to eat my eggs in brownies. Oh dear.

However. Lately, I've been craving deviled eggs. Not kind of wanting, not thinking it sounds okay for dinner, but pining after, longing for, and preparing even when inconvenient.

One of the fun things about deviled eggs is that you can start with a basic recipe and dress them up in a bunch of ways. People use bacon, cheese, capers, olives, basil, dill, chives, tuna, onions, and even anchovies to accomplish such fancy schmancy-ness.

And the other great thing about deviled eggs is how well they go with spring salad greens. Spring perfection in every way.

Hopefully I don't burn myself out before Easter.

Classic Deviled Eggs
adapted from The New Best Recipe
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minutes
Cost: .80
(eggs: .70, condiments--oh, let's say .10)

Note on boiling eggs: I admit I just did mine the boring way and boiled them for 10 minutes, but The New Best Recipe (Cooks' Illustrated) claims that the very very best are done by bringing the water to a boil, then covering the pot, turning off the heat, and letting it sit for 10 minutes. I believe them and plan to do this next time. Besides it being, per the amazing Christopher Kimball and crew, the best hard boiled eggs, it's also an energy saving technique.

Note on mustard: The higher quality, Dijon-ish mustards you have, the better. However, if you just have crappy generic mustard this recipe still turns out just great. Yes, I know that from experience.

Note on mayo/Mircale Whip: Which to use? Which did you grow up on (if you liked what you grew up on, that is)? Whichever you grew up on is probably the one you'll prefer. Or live dangerously and mix the two. It's like Romeo and Juliet only more dramatic.

Note on vinegar: I liked the cider, but I'm confident that any vinegar you've got or love will do.

7 eggs, hard boiled
3/4 tsp mustard
3 Tbsp mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
1 1/2 tsp cider vinegar
1/4 tsp something else (here's the part where you get to improvise. The New Best Recipe suggests Worcestershire sauce and that's yummy, but you could also use dill, basil, chives, a dash of cayenne, or a combination of things--go wild, people)
salt and pepper to taste
paprika, for garnish

Boil eggs. Then, you can throw them in the fridge to cool them if you're the type of person to think ahead (or if you're trying to plow through the Easter eggs). Or you can run cold water on them for a few minutes (of course this will negate any energy saving techniques you used in boiling them without the heat on).

Cut them in half the long way. Pop out the yellow parts. Mash them up. Add the remaining ingredients and mix it all together.

Put the yolk mixture back in the empty egg whites. The New Best Recipe suggests using a pastry bag to do this to perfection. I think that Martha Stewart must have snuck something into their coffees before they wrote that part because it's clinically insane. If you are not Martha Stewart or clinically insane and if you drink coffee that hasn't been tampered with or better yet, no coffee at all, you will take a small spoon and simply scoop little blobs of yolk mixture back into the egg whites. And then you will eat them with salad greens. Because it is spring. On a plate.



  1. Hi Jean! I've been following your blog and *love* it. We are culinary kindred spirits, although you are much better at making cakes than I am. And you're funny! I've been meaning to comment and tell you that.

    Anyway, it is so worth putting the yolk mixture in a plastic bag and cutting off the corner. I just hate the spoon ordeal, the gook getting all over my fingers and not staying in the white makes me grumpy. It takes one minute to scoop it into a bag and squeeze it out in attractive little squirts. And I'm really not a pastry bag kind of girl; in fact, I don't even own one. Anyway, that's my tip of the day. Keep up the great work on the blog!

  2. Thanks Gina. I'm so glad you're enjoying the blog. And it's good to know that the folks at Cook's Illustrated aren't writing tips under the influence after all. Apparently I'm an unabashed finger-licker.



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