Between the sun peering through my shades waking me in the morning by its brightness to the rusted tin box containing over 50 years of collected recipes that I recently received from my grandma, I am seething with inspiration and brimming with hope as we approach the passing of the gray season and slowly begin to welcome in an entirely new cast of ingredients.
I stood at the kitchen counter chopping, roasting, baking and washing for most of the weekend stopping, momentarily, when the sun lured us outside. The only thing that could tear me away from the kitchen was the possibility of feeling the slightest bit of warmth from the sun as it reminded us that it indeed still exists.
Even though the calendar had declared the start of Spring sometime early last week while the snow continued to threaten, it was as the eggs boiled and I mixed in things like celery and capers with vibrant yolks that it began for me. And in between the hours in the kitchen when we found ourselves outside stretching our wintery legs and breathing in the air that “smelled like water” according to my 5 year-old, it hit me then too.
This sudden burst of inspiration led to not one type of deviled eggs but four. I dug through my pantry and refrigerator dreaming up ingredients that would easily lend themselves to being mashed with yolks and you know, I stopped at four varieties but could have easily continued.
A deviled egg is not unlike the perfect black dress with its versatility and ability to dress up and down. It may be a vintage recipe that gracesthe now yellowed pages of Betty Crocker but its adaptability makes it timeless.
When inspiration strikes you must seize it, even if it means a glut of deviled eggs. Actually, especially if it means a glut of deviled eggs.
These recipes are suited to my taste but are easily adapted. Feel free to make them your own. I’d love to hear what you come up with!
A few thoughts on perfect hard boiled eggs:
These eggs were placed in a pan of cold water that was then brought to a boil. Immediately when the water came to a rolling boiling I turned off the heat and set a 12 minute timer. Then they were submerged in an ice bath until cool.
Alternatively you can bake the eggs in a 325* over for 30 minutes. Chill in ice water until cool.
Beet Pickled Eggs with Fennel
2 cups water
1 cup distilled vinegar
3 small beets, washed and sliced
1 shallot, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons sugar
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon salt
6 hard boiled eggs, peeled
Combine all the ingredients except for the eggs in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil then simmer on low for 10 minutes.
Let the brine cool slightly before adding the hard boiled eggs. If the eggs are not fully submerged use the beet slices to help weigh them down.
Let marinate for at least one hour in the fridge.
When the eggs are done bathing in beets remove from the brine and carefully slice in half. Remove the yolks and mix with 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, 2 teaspoons dijon, ¼ teaspoon toasted and ground fennel seeds and a touch of salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.
Pipe or spoon filling back into the eggs then garnish with fennel fronds or Italian parsley.
inspired by Mourad: New Moroccan
6 hard boiled eggs
3-4 Tablespoons plain yogurt
½ teaspoon minced preserved lemon
pinch salt and white pepper
Mix the yolks with the above ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings before filling the eggs and garnishing with fresh mint.
Sour Cream and Tabasco
6 hard boiled eggs
3-4 Tablespoons sour cream
salt and pepper
Mix the yolks with the above ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings before filling the eggs and garnishing with fresh chives.
Celery and Capers
6 hard boiled eggs
2-3 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1 ½ teaspoons dijon
2 Tablespoons finely chopped celery
2 teaspoons capers
Mix the yolks with the above ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings before filling the eggs and garnishing with celery leaves and capers.