…With a fun twist.
From the Kitchen of DR Spires
Hang on to your hats, folks!
How to Boil an Egg:
To begin with, for a family reunion — or neighborhood / company gathering — I suggest not skimping. You’ll be praised for your choice of jumbo eggs for any pot-luck feast.
NO FRESH EGGS!!
For me, this is a hard and fast rule. For boiled eggs to peel properly, smoothly, the egg man* we used back in the 1960’s suggested we buy our eggs approx. 2 weeks before boiling, and it’s been a good rule ever since (I always aim for the 14th day back).
Room Temperature Eggs
Before cooking, bring your eggs to room temperature. The temperature of the egg at the start of the cooking process will affect the cooking time, requiring about 1 minute less if a bit warm, than eggs taken directly from the refrigerator. If the egg has been stored in the refrigerator, it can be warmed gently under the flow of hot tap water. I let them sit in a bowl of hot tap water for about 30 minutes before starting. While I’ve not seen any studies on this, it seems reasonable to assume that room temperature eggs may also resist cracking associated with heat-shock while boiling — maybe…?
1. Place the eggs in a saucepan and cover them with COLD tap water (just enough to cover all the eggs).
2. While gently stirring (I use a soft, silicon spoon), bring to a rolling boil over high heat (stirring the eggs to boil helps to center the yolk**). As soon as the water is at a rolling boil, immediately reduce the heat to a low medium boil and cook an additional 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
3. Remove from heat and very quickly place the eggs under ice cold water, or in a bowl of iced water to chill quickly (the quick chill helps to keep the yolk a bright yellow color).
4. Chill for a few minutes in the cold water, until the egg is completely cooled.
For a large job, take care of the above the day before, and go ahead and store the eggs over night in the refrigerator (I do this, simply because I hate doing any large task — 3~5 dozen eggs — all at once, which can lead to the last minute).
Now for some Easter fun
5. The next day, crack each egg on all sides, peel (as an FYI, boiled eggs peel much easier under water, and most comfortably under lukewarm water) and color — yes, color.
6. First, cover a large tray with paper towels, for setting colored eggs to dry.
7. With about 1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar and enough heated water to completely immerse an egg, mix your colors, using an approved safe food coloring agent (you could also use the staining power of vegetable extracts and gentle herbs for coloring purposes) (the vinegar, for those who recall high school chemistry and bouncing chicken eggs, in this case toughens the albumen just a bit, making them perfect for a clean slice without breaking — and adds a slight apple-vinegar flavor).
8. Color for approx. 5 minutes and pat dry.
9. Place freshly colored eggs on the paper towel tray in such a way that they do not touch each other, so they may now dry, while you color the next batch (if the egg has a slight mar — a scar from a cracked shell, a thin spot in the egg white — you should place the damaged area up or down on the towel. The paper towel may leave a faded spot on the egg, which you would slice to keep on the bottom, thus having the mar hidden on the bottom of the finished deviled egg).
Ingredients for 6 eggs:
Dash of Coarse-Ground Sea Salt (optional, of course, where the absence may require additional Mrs. Dash — adjust to taste)
Dash of Coarse-Ground Black Pepper
Dash of Dill Weed (the relish I use is good, but not a dill relish, so-o-o)
Dollop of Woeber’s Horseradish Sauce (sweetens the mix just a bit)
½ Level Teaspoon Salt-Free Mrs. Dash Table Blend
¼ Teaspoon Gulden’s Spicy Brown Mustard
1 ½ Tablespoon Salad Dressing (AKA Miracle Whip)
½ Teaspoon Vienna Chicago Style Relish
Smoked Paprika and/or Chopped Chives
1. Cut colored eggs into halves lengthwise and remove yolk, placing yolk into a small mixing bowl.
2. Using a fork, crumble the yolk, as well as any failed eggs, whites and all (sadly, but recoverably, sometimes a crack will occur during boiling, and the yolk will be sucked out into the water).
3. Cream yolk, salt, pepper, dill weed, horseradish sauce, Mrs. Dash, mustard, salad dressing and relish.
4. Fill the egg whites (I use the trusty Zip-Lock bag method, spooning the concoction into the bags, sealing them, and cutting a bottom corner, to squeeze the filling into the eggs — a lot easier, quicker, and neater than trying it with a spoon or fork).
5. Garnish with smoked paprika and/or chopped chives.
6. Mm-m — enjoy…
The Easter Display
To really wow the guests, and especially your own mother, on a large tray, spread a healthy layer of broccoli slaw (this is a dry, crunchy, colorful, string-shred mix with carrot and red cabbage, fresh from the bag) and arrange the deviled eggs. It’s always a nice result, with the appearance of the tasty treats sitting in the grass, just waiting to be found and, again, mm-m — enjoyed… Other decorations may include baby carrots, green onions, carrot and celery sticks, perhaps crackers. Instead of paprika or chopped chives, try a garnish of both — perhaps even a half and half tray — or your own choice of garnish, like diced red bell pepper, pimento, a favorite premixed concept from the rather extensive Mrs. Dash collection, or the like… Some are colorful, some are spicy, some are both. Have fun with it.
Imagine, Create, Enjoy
* Actual home delivery for eggs, milk, shoe repair, groceries, you name it, way back then…
** I’ve had about 80% success with stirring to center yolks, but sometimes it remains a bit of a crap-shoot.