…and I’m not talking a contest between the chicken and the egg, but a contest between Easter eggs and deviled eggs. Assuming the hunt was for dyed hard-boiled eggs, and further assuming they were brought home, deviled eggs have throughout my memory always been the solution to what to do with ‘all those eggs’ (there were four of us hunters in my family, making for a lot of eggs).
Deviled eggs, in addition to being easy, are excellent foils for an unending parade of flavor profiles, so lets do some playing around.
Pictured above are deviled eggs at Blue Door Kitchen in Chicago. Blue Door Kitchen changes their deviled eggs according to the chef’s whim, focusing on seasonal items. This particular time it was pickled onion and Fresno pepper; microgreens contrast. I can tell you from experience they were yummy!
But let’s step back a moment. Deviled eggs are made by combining the cooked yolks with mayonnaise, mustard (yellow or Dijon – your choice), and maybe a splash of cream to get to a desired consistency. Both mayonnaise and mustard have some salt in them, so my preference is to leave salt, pepper, or similar seasonings out, choosing instead to incorporate those in the topping. The same goes for adding relish, or the like, to the mixture before filling the yolks – it’s just more fun to experiment with the topping than to fill the yolk with a completed filling.
At this point I’d be foolish to try and tell you how you finish your deviled eggs. There are just too many. However, I have experimented and so am sharing some favorites of mine, hopefully inspiring some fun experimentation on your part.
If I were a betting man, I’d bet that my first brush with deviled eggs was this ‘garden variety’. Paprika and a slice of stuffed olive. Plain and simple, picnic ready, and guaranteed to be one of the first platters emptied. Smoked paprika adds some oomph, and I highly recommend it. The olive will usually add enough salt – another reason not to put salt in the filling.
This is another from Blue Door Kitchen in Chicago. A plain filling is topped with fried black-eyed peas and, again, some pickled onion, finished with chopped parsley. I’ve not tried to fry black-eyed peas, but the next time I open a can I plan to put a few aside and give it a try. I suspect it’s not difficult, and for sure would not merit getting any heavy-duty pan out to fry them.
Several years back I had an opportunity to visit The Spice House in Chicago. Seeing, but never having never heard of tomato powder, I felt the need to try some, and trust me, it gives a burst of fresh tomato flavor any time you want and/or need it. This version of deviled eggs has a dusting of tomato powder and some crisp bacon bits. Top it with some chopped greens and you’ve got an egg with a hit of BLT riding on the top. Yum!
Deviled eggs, because of the nature of the hard-boiled yolks, have a somewhat dry feel on the tongue. And that’s not bad at all, especially when you enhance that with some Feta cheese crumbles and some thinly sliced pieces of bell pepper. And what a color riot!
If you are ever in NYC and have the time, make a stop at the King Cole Bar in The St. Regis Hotel. The King Cole Bar claims to have invented the Bloody Mary (and they are good). One of the most outstanding bar bites ever is their trio of deviled eggs, and they, alone, are worth the detour. What you see is their presentation style. Create a flat bottom, and cut enough of the top to allow you to get the yolk out. A stand-up showpiece.
This subject could go on forever; but without accompanying photos, let me suggest the following:
(1) Chopped Kalamata olives and Feta cheese crumbles.
(2) Pickled jalapeño (a slice, or some chopped) and crumbled queso fresco (and this may be one of the times that a sweet jalapeño pickle might serve you well; depends on what else is on the table.
(3) Crisp-fried pancetta can usually carry it’s own weight.
(4) If you go the bacon crumble route, add some crated cheddar cheese, a small dollop of sour cream, and them sprinkle with finely chopped chives.
(5) Got an avocado that’s still on the hard side? Finely chop it and put some on the top, and finish it with either a bit of your favorite salsa, or even some queso fresco. Avocado with tomato powder and onion powder will give you a guacamole feel, especially with some chopped cilantro.
And now it’s your turn. Take a moment and comment with your favorites. Better yet, create something new and share it.
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