Photo by Judith Hausman
Out here in the East Coast, it’s the season of birth and rebirth, so it’s not surprising that eggs figure into the celebrations coming up. Whether it’s the chicks or the eggs that come first is another issue, but both the peeping yellow fluff balls and the sun-gold yolks of fresh-farm eggs mean spring.
In the Hudson Valley, N.Y., eggs help us wait for more local produce, too. I make soufflés and quiches with local eggs; the first fresh, local goat cheese and the first skinny, green asparagus. Rhubarb custard pie is a celebration in itself and depends on good eggs, as well.
Next week, I’m in charge of supplying several-dozen deviled eggs for a family gathering. They aren’t strictly traditional for Passover, although, a roasted egg is part of the symbolic Passover Seder plate, and my family still really likes them. I’ll be sticking to the classic recipe for this crowd — some things you just can’t mess with. I’m including a long list of variations to experiment with in this post. Try to avoid adding in too much juice or other liquid with any of these additions.
Keep in mind that farm eggs are somewhat harder to peel because the albumen has not shrunk away from the shells as it has in older supermarket eggs. And, of course, be careful not to leave egg products (or any mayonnaise salads) out of the refrigerator for too long, especially in hot weather.
Recipe: Classic Deviled Eggs
This homemade, locally sourced Christmas porridge would keep Goldilocks sustained for the whole day.
Cook time: 30 minutes (including cooling time)
Yield: Two dozen
- 1 dozen eggs
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon minced onion, scallion or shallot
- hot sauce or red pepper flakes 1/4 teaspoon
First, hard-boil the eggs. Drain the hot water, run cold water over the eggs and then let them rest in cold water for 10 to 12 minutes. Allow them to cool enough to handle. Carefully peel the eggs.
Using a sharp knife, slice each egg in half, lengthwise. Gently remove the yolk halves and place in a small mixing bowl, setting the egg white halves aside on a serving platter. Mash the egg yolks with the remaining ingredients until very smooth. Carefully refill the egg whites with a heaping tablespoon of filling. Sprinkle with a little paprika or use a tiny piece of parsley to garnish each one. Keep chilled until serving.
Additions and Variations
- Add about 2 tablespoons sweet relish to the mix.
- Add about 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish.
- Add about 2 tablespoons chopped green olives, with or without pimento.
- Add about 2 tablespoons minced roasted red peppers or sautéed mushrooms.
- Add 2 to 3 tablespoons crumbled bacon (avoid adding the fat).
- Substitute 2 tablespoons minced, fresh dill; chives or tarragon for the hot sauce.
- Substitute 1 teaspoon hot curry powder, chili powder or Spanish smoked paprika for the hot sauce.
- Use grainy mustard instead of smooth Dijon.
- Add 2 6-ounce cans of crabmeat or minced shrimp to the mix.
- Add 1/2 cup finely minced celery and carrots to the mix.