Easter Prep Deviled Eggs, March 29, 2021
The Covered Dish
Debbie Dance Uhrig
This is definitely the week to purchase all your eggs for making deviled eggs. DO NOT wait until they go on sale the week of Easter. This means a great struggle when it comes to peeling. Fresh eggs are a ‘bite’ to peel.
I hate not to run a column about deviled eggs because I adore them. When I prepare eggs I also end up eating the majority. Possibly another reason why I don’t make them more often.
One of my latest tips for deviled eggs is transport tips. It is one thing to fill and deliver 2 dozen eggs at a destination an hour away from home. It’s an entirely different situation when you are driving 4-12 hours and you’ve volunteered to bring the eggs. First and foremost don’t fill the eggs before you go. I would gently clean the egg whites and lay them on a lint-free T-towel to dry. Then place them inside a bag or container that will allow very little movement. Also make sure you set them on a solid shelf in the refrigerator to avoid metal rack lines on the eggs. I make the filling and place it inside a large Ziploc bag. Call the host in advance and request an egg platter, add the top décor and you’re ready to travel.
I’m also attaching some very interesting bits of information on eggs that you’ll find interesting and amusing. This week I was asked about what changes the color of the egg yolks? Let’s see if I can give you a well-rounded answer. If your chickens are fed wheat supplements along with bugs and greens, etc. their yolks will be paler. Chickens fed corn supplements along with their insect consumption and greens will have a much more prominent yellow yolk. You can feed your chickens tomatoes, red peppers and carrots to increase their carotenoids which will also darken the color of the yolk.
Also nice to know is that certain breeds of chickens can produce different egg colors and egg yolks. A duck egg is often sought after by many pastry chefs due to the high amount of fat content in the yolks. The pastry is richer and flakier.
As Easter approaches many seasoned cooks fail to realize how many novices virtually have no idea how to prepare a deviled egg. So here we go…………….
Deviled Eggs 101.
First, I won’t tell you how to boil your eggs!! There are many different ways from every home and region. I was brought up to place the eggs in cold water, bring them to a boil for ten minutes, remove from heat, drain and cool in cold water.
Another common direction is to put the eggs in cold water and then bring them to a boil for 3 minutes, cover with a lid and remove from the heat source for 7 minutes. *Excessive over cooking renders a green ring around the yolk or worse. Sometimes you will hear how certain stirring methods during the cooking will render a perfectly centered egg. The easiest way, in my way of thinking, is 24 hours ahead of cooking place the eggs tip point down, in the carton.
Fresh eggs are extremely difficult to peel, even if you use all the tips I recommend in this column. You usually want an egg that’s a week to two weeks old for deviled eggs. Another suggestion is to place a wedge of lemon or a tablespoon of vinegar in the egg water. From a scientific angle here’s what is happening: The acidity helps more alkaline to develop in the shell, making them easier to peel. This also causes the egg white protein to bond to each other.
Another method for an easy peel boiled egg is to prepare them in your pressure cooker or insta-pot. The instructions I am sharing will be pretty much the same, except for one feature. In a regular pressure cooker directions state to cook the egg on low pressure. Most insta-pots say to cook the eggs on high pressure. Which would I choose? Definitely the low pressure. So here are the simple instructions, (even for just purchased eggs). For around 8 eggs, place the eggs in the steamer basket and put 2 cups of cold water underneath. Cook on lowest pressure for 5-6 minutes, then remove from heat and allow temperature to drop naturally for 5 minutes. Then use the quick release to remove the remaining pressure. Transfer to and ice water bath, (sometimes I semi-crack mine) for 30 minutes. This method does save time, but it renders near to perfect eggs.
Many chefs recommend placing cooked eggs into ice water because it will help separate the egg membrane from the shell. I just use cold water without ice, unless the eggs are real fresh! Another acquired approach is to gently shake the eggs, in the pan, cracking the shells, before they are immersed in the ice water.
A few years ago everyone was into baking eggs in their muffin tins. I wasn’t interested in this venue because when you use metal muffin tins it’s a great way to warp the pans. If you use silicone this method might be more feasible.
Currently the new rage is to steam the eggs! (Which is about the same as a pressure cooker.) Around an inch of water in the steamer and then place six eggs in to steam for about 13 minutes. I may or may not try this method. Perhaps I’m old-school enough that when something works really well I like to stick with it.
Be sure to take at least 2 dozen deviled eggs because they disappear faster than you can say: ‘Mother may I?’
I haven’t quite decided what to feature for our Easter Dinner this year. I’ll have to come to some final decisions this week. Have an egg dinner this week and enjoy the protein packed egg! Simply yours, The Covered Dish. www.thecovereddish.com
2 dozen cooled, hard-boiled eggs
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons prepared mustard
2 teaspoons vinegar or pickle juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon creole seasoning or multi-seasoning spice
Slice peeled eggs in half lengthwise and place yolk in a bowl. Using a metal fork, crumble the yolks as fine as possible. To the yolks add the remainder of the ingredients and blend until very few lumps remain. Using a spoon or spatula, place the filling in a zip-lock bag. Cut a very small tip from one corner and fill egg halves accordingly, squeezing the bag from the top down.
You may add additional ingredients to your filling as desired, such a pickled relish, dry dill, bacon, chives, onion or seafood to name a few. And, like potato salad, temper with more mustard or vinegar until arriving at your own ‘special’ egg recipe. If you do not have a Creole spice on hand, substitute with salt and pepper or a seasoning salt of choice.
Over the top of the eggs you may wish to sprinkle additional seasonings, paprika, roasted red pepper pieces or pimentos. Slivers of green onion are attractive as well as a slice of an olive. Personally I prefer bacon as a top garnish versus putting it inside the filling. Inside the yolk filling it gets rather soggy.