Sunday, July 10, 2011

Back Porch Evenings - (Deviled Eggs Two Ways)

What a great weekend.  Steve's playing in a tournament at Croasdaile, I did my part to stimulate the local economy and had fun Saturday exploring historic Hillsborough, and last night we kicked off a series of  “back porch” evenings that bring folks from our neighborhood together for beverages,  appetizers and a really good time.

The makin's for great deviled eggs:
farm fresh eggs, savory flavorings,
and my electric egg cooker. 
My contribution seemed to go over well – deviled eggs two ways.  But then, I don’t think I’ve ever met a person (especially of the male persuasion) who does not enjoy a good deviled egg. 

The inspiration for yesterday’s batch was a trip to Blue Sky Oil and Vinegar, a cute little shop that just celebrated one year of business bringing the best quality olive oils, infused oils and balsamic vinegars to the Chapel Hill area.  Blue Sky has a great jalapeño white balsamic vinegar and I’d heard that it is good in deviled eggs.  Based on the comments and empty egg pate last night, I think I heard right.

Since everyone can’t get their hands on jalapeño vinegar, I’m also sharing my normal everyday deviled egg recipe.  I took this one to the party last night as well, and it also received good reviews.  It’s a bit more savory that most DE recipes, and features celery seed (NOT celery salt) as a key ingredient.  I hope you enjoy it as well.

Recipe #1 - Holly’s Basic Deviled Eggs:
Makes 12 pieces

  • 7 fresh eggs (I know, the recipe says it makes 12 and you are cooking 7 eggs.  Stick with me here)
  • 2 green onions – diced VERY fine
  • 1 ½ to 2 tsp apple cider vinegar (if you have small eggs opt for the lesser amount)
  • 1 ½ Tbs good mayonnaise (Helman’s, Best Foods – or if you are in the South, Dukes)
  • A good pinch of Kosher salt and 5 or 6 grinds of black pepper
  • 1 tsp celery seed (not celery salt)
  • 12 capers, for garnish (optional) – you can also dust with a little bit of paprika for a more traditional look.

Recipe #2 Holly’s Essence of Jalapeño Deviled Eggs

  • Same as the basic ingredients, but substitute:
  • Blue Sky Jalapeño White Balsamic Vinegar rather than apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh seeded jalapeños for the celery seed
  • ¼ pickled jalapeños rather than capers for a first garnish
  • Add a very light dusting of chili powder as a second garnish

Method for either variety
Note About Cooking Eggs:  First off, if you don’t have an electric egg cooker  - buy one.  They are CHEAP and make perfect hard-boiled eggs without sticking. Worth the extra appliance.  My mother had one of these babies when we were growing up and I have had one since I move out on my own.  Frankly, I really don’t know how to boil an egg otherwise.
  • Hard boil and cool the eggs (drop them into a bowl of ice and cold water if you are in a hurry), slice them in half and separate the yolks into a bowl and set 12 of the 14 empties on a platter.  Toss the extra egg white, or feed it to the dog. The extra yolk will ensure that you don't have skimpy eggs.  
  • Using a fork, crumble the eggs into a fine texture
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and combine into a smooth mixture.  This may seem a bit drier than you are used to; but trust me – you really don’t want a gloppy egg. 
  • Taste and adjust seasoning, as you desire
  • Now using a teaspoon (or pastry bag, but that is just too much clean up for me) fill the egg whites
  • Add the garnish and chill until it’s time to serve