The devil is in the details. Deviled eggs are an Easter, spring and summer party menu staple. But, sadly, not everyone makes a good deviled egg. We all start with the same familiar cardboard carton of a dozen eggs. It’s what we do with them after that can result in something beautiful… or something dreadful.
The biggest sin against hard-boiled eggs is that we tend to boil them to death. If an egg is boiled for too long and too hard, the white can become hard and rubbery and the yellow develops the dreaded green ring. That green ring is the result of the sulfur in the egg whites reacting with the iron in the yolk creating iron sulfide. Even scrambled eggs can develop a green tinge if they are cooked for too long at too high a heat. The best approach is a delicate one: lower temperatures and shorter cooking times.
The filling can be touch and go, too. Start with a good quality mustard, such as a Dijon. Throw in some fresh herbs, a dash of lemon juice, quality salt, real mayonnaise, and you are set. A wonderful trick for adding zip is to mince an onion or a shallot with a rasp zester. You’ll get the essence of the onion without the bite.
Paprika is passé. Finish your eggs with one of the new flavored and colored salts, such as pink Himalayan.
Add art to your deviled eggs by soaking them in highly tinted liquids such as beet juice or tea. These tints seep into the cracks of the shell. Once peeled, the eggs will look like marbled works of art. Use a piping bag with a decorative tip to make them even more special.
Improve your chances of boiled egg perfection using the times and tips below:
- Slightly older eggs will have a little more air inside making them easier to peel
- Eggs at room temperature are less likely to crack when placed in the simmering water
- Use a pot that is large enough to allow water in between the eggs
- Place eggs in boiling water, then maintain them at a simmer (not at a hard boil)
- Use a ladle, slotted spoon, or large strainer to gently submerge and remove the eggs
- Simmer eggs, do not hard boil
- Soft cooked: 3 -4 minutes*
- Medium cooked: 8-12 minutes*
- Hard cooked: 12-16 minutes (18 max)*
- Remove eggs using a strainer and transfer to a bowl of iced water until cool enough to handle
- Gently roll the eggs on the counter to crackle the shell. Start with the fat end as older eggs will have an air pocket there
- Peel under running water. Warm eggs are easier to peel than cold
- Save the shells and add them to your compost pile
- Slice eggs in half using a wet or oiled knife
*high altitude cooking times
There are other methods for boiling eggs, such as starting them in cold water and then bringing the water to a boil. Begin timing when the water reaches the boil. Use the times above less three minutes for each category. A variation on this method is to simply turn the heat off just as the water reaches a boil, cover, and let stand for 20 minutes.
MARBLED DEVILED EGGS
12 boiled eggs, shell on
2 teaspoons turmeric dissolved in 2 cups warm water
1 can sliced beets with juice, puréed
2 cups dark brewed tea
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon grated shallot
¼ teaspoon parsley, minced
¼ teaspoon fresh mint, minced
¼ teaspoon chives, snipped
¼ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
¼ cup mayonnaise
Himalayan Pink Salt, powder and rocks
Prepare three bowls to hold the three separate liquids. Gently crackle the egg shells and set four eggs into each bowl. Allow to soak for at least 30 minutes but not longer than 60 minutes. Peel the eggs under warm running water being careful not to tear the delicate whites. Cut the eggs in half using a wet or oiled knife. Break up the yolks by passing them through a fine wire mesh sieve. Combine the yolk powder with the remaining ingredients and mix well with a fork. Transfer the filling to a piping bag fitted with a star tip. Fill the white halves with the filling. Sprinkle with Himalayan pink salt and top with a snip of chive. Serve on a dish lined with Himalayan Pink Salt rocks.
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