WND – The Curse of the Devilled Eggs is Lifted!June 26, 2008
The single most useful part about this blog, for me at least, is keeping track of what I’ve made when. My mother keeps a small journal of the meals she makes for guests so that she doesn’t repeat them. While acknowledging the usefulness of this, I remain faintly horrified at the thought of being that organized. It’s a little too Martha Stewart for me to wrap my head around.
I sat on my couch on Sunday morning in search of inspiration, which is a more polite, if less accurate, way of describing looking blankly at a wall and complaining to my roommate. What I really wanted was devilled eggs – because clearly I’m a masochist and wanted to try again despite three fairly spectacular failures – but I felt like we’d had a dinner of summer salads just the other week. But! The blog revealed that the last time we had summer salads was in the beginning of May, it’s just biscuits that I’ve made more recently, and really, I ask you, can you have too many biscuits?*
I love a dinner of summer salads. The only problem is making sure that it’s balanced and that there’s both enough protein and vegetables on the table – for some reason my roommate, much like my mother, doesn’t accept fruit as an acceptable substitute for a vegetable. I had a running argument with my mother all through high school about whether tomato sauce should count as a vegetable. It wasn’t an argument I ever won. My mother had the power to overrule me, my roommate just raises her eyebrows at me, which is actually also fairly effective.
The problem with summer salads – or at least this type of summer salads is that they’re all based on a creamy dressing and too much creamy dressing on the table is both monotonous and heavy. So the trick is to find other things to put on the table, which usually leads to enough food to feed a small army. Fortunately while Dinner couldn’t decimate you with anything except their wit, they often eat like they’ve spent the day staging small coup d’états.
*Short answer? Yes, yes you can. A few summers ago a strange confluence of events had us going to several pot luck events where biscuits had been requested and we’d had biscuits at Dinner the week before. I made something like eight batches of biscuits in 20 days and was so heartily sick of biscuits by the end of the three weeks that it was months before we had them again. However, we only had a single batch of biscuits two weeks ago, so I’m probably okay this go around.
Tomatoes & Mozzarella
I just about held my breath when I made these. However . . .
No exploded eggs
No weeping egg whites
Egg yolks of a normal shade
No strange odors
I think it’s safe to say the Curse of the Devilled Eggs has been broken.
That sound like an Agatha Christie novel – in which the hapless heiress is killed by a bad egg? Actually it sounds more like a Nancy Drew novel in which someone is brained by a falling platter of devilled eggs, but being written by Agatha Christie sounds like more fun.
I figure on about 1.5 eggs per person, and I always hard boil two more eggs than I plan on using because at least one of them will crack during boiling, and two is a safety net. Plus the extra egg yolks mean that you don’t run out of filling before you run out of shells to fill.
The dish I use to serve devilled eggs very neatly holds 10 eggs, so I usually just go ahead and hard boil a dozen. Leftover hard boiled eggs never last long enough in my fridge to be an inconvenience.
Shell your eggs and slice lengthwise. Carefully remove the yolks and place in a small bowl.
Mash the yolks until crumbly.
2-3 (scant) soup spoons mayonnaise
1-2 soup spoons plain yogurt
1 soup spoon sour cream
¼ (scant) soup spoon mustard
Drizzle (very small drizzle) vinegar (white/cider/white wine)
Salt & pepper to taste
Mix together. Add more wet ingredients as necessary. I always go easy on adding the wet ingredients the first time around because you can always add if it’s too dry, but you can’t subtract if it’s to runny.
Refill your egg shells, smoothing the filling over the entire shell. Somehow it never seems like there will be quite enough filling to go around, but logically there should be so persevere. Sprinkle with paprika. You won’t be able to taste it but it looks pretty.
If you want to get fancy you can add 1+ Tbsp of curry powder and make curried devilled eggs. In this instance I would make the filling in advance because the flavor mellows nicely over night, although don’t fill them until you’re ready to serve them. They get a little soggy if they sit in the fridge overnight.
3-4 apples, diced
1-2 stalks celery, cut into slices
Handful of raisins
Handful of pecans (but not if you’re serving the nut allergic)
2-3 soup spoons mayonnaise
2 soup spoon plain yogurt
1 soup spoon sour cream
Tiny dab of mustard
If you’re thinking that this looks eerily similar to the filling for the devilled eggs, well it is. It’s a very versatile creamy dressing. If you add tarragon, salt and pepper you have a great dressing for chicken salad. If you add some sweet pickle relish it’s the base for tuna salad. If you chop up eggs into a dice and mix it all together you have egg salad.
Tomatoes & Mozzarella
The best ham to make ham biscuits with is leftover Smithfield ham. It’s rich and dense and salty and it explodes with flavor. I’ve never found anything in a supermarket that comes even close to being a substitute. But, making a whole Smithfield ham takes days and will leave you with enough leftovers to feed you and all your closest friends through the next millennium, so unless you’re planning for the apocalypse sliced ham from the deli works just fine.
Recipe previously given: Farewell to Summer Dinner
When I said that given my druthers I’d eat cantaloupe for breakfast, lunch and dinner during the summer I really wasn’t kidding. I wasn’t even employing the judicious use of hyperbole. It’s possible that other people don’t share my obsessive love of melon, and I’ve taken care not to ask lest I feel guilty for imposing it on them all summer.
I will warn you, eating too much fresh pineapple with scour the skin off the roof of your mouth and leave it feeling like sandpaper. It will also do the same to the skin on your hands when you’re cutting it. I always end up with tiny little blisters on my fingers after I’ve cut up a pineapple. It’s worth it, but be aware.