Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Deviled Eggs




Deviled Eggs

Dorcas Annette Walker


One thing in my kitchen that gets used on a daily basis is eggs. There are many uses for eggs. You can scramble, fry, make omelets, poach, hard-boil, and use in custards and souffl├ęs not to mention that anytime you bake a cake or dessert eggs are used. I enjoy having fresh eggs on hand from the henhouse and a big feature for my grandchildren when they come to visit is gathering eggs with Grandpa. Eggs are an excellent source of protein and fit with any menu.

Humans have been eating eggs since the beginning of time with ostrich and chicken being the most common. In ancient times Romans ate peafowl eggs while Chinese were fond of pigeon eggs. Phoenicians ate ostrich eggs. Turtle eggs have been highly prized and in starvation situations even alligator eggs have been eaten. Today quail eggs are packaged and available in the United States and Japan as gourmet food.


The origin of deviled eggs began in Rome in the 13th century where stuffed eggs were concocted. The first recipes for hardboiled eggs were printed in medieval European texts. These eggs were stuffed with raisins, goat cheese, and sweet spices such as marjoram, cloves and cinnamon. By the 16th century the practice of boiling eggs, combining the yoke with spices, and refilling the shells was all the rage and by the 17th century hardboiled eggs became a staple in households. The word “deviled” first appeared in print in 1786 to describe highly seasoned fried or boiled dishes. By the 1800’s “deviled” became a culinary term to describe hot spicy dishes.

The average weight of a hen’s egg is 2 oz. The color of the egg is determined by the breed. Chickens with white feathers lay white eggs while hens with red/brown feathers lay brown eggs. Brown eggs have thicker shells. We have two speckled (black and white mixed breed) hens that lay a pale blue and pale green egg. Our niece, Stacy, who is over in England as an exchange student told us that colored eggs are very expensive and highly prized over there. Use fresh eggs to poach or fry as the egg will hold its shape better while older eggs are better for hardboiled eggs as the shell will peel easier.


I have eaten all kinds of Deviled Eggs or Angel Eggs at church dinners and family reunions ranging from pickles or sugar added to the stuffing, while others used only mayonnaise with the yoke, and fancy eggs where an icing tip was used to put the stuffing mixture into the shell. The neat thing about Deviled Eggs is that you can make your Deviled Eggs to suit your family’s taste buds or try something exotic like adding hot peppers or olives to your stuffing. My recipe for Deviled Eggs takes about 50 minutes total preparation time and this recipe makes one dozen stuffed eggs.


Deviled Eggs


Place six eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Add ¼ tsp of salt and bring to a boil. Boil for fifteen minutes, drain off the hot water, and immerse the eggs in cold water. Let sit for a couple of minutes, crack the shell, and peel the eggs. Place the peeled eggs in the refrigerator for ½ hour to chill.

Slice eggs in half and put the yolks in a small bowl. Crumble the hardened yolks with a fork and add:
1 ½ c mayonnaise
1 tsp mustard
Sprinkle of salt and pepper
Mix well then stuff the egg halves with the egg mixture. Sprinkle paprika on top. Cover and chill for a couple of hours before serving!


Weekly tip: You can tell when an egg is hardboiled by spinning the egg on its side- a fresh egg will spin smoothly while a hardboiled egg will wobble. To test an egg for freshness place the egg in a cup of water and add a tsp of salt. A fresh egg will sink!


Dorcas Annette Walker is a published author, columnist, speaker, freelance magazine writer, and photographer from Jamestown, Tennessee. Contact her at: dorcaswalker@twlakes.net. For more recipes check out her Creative Tennessee Mountain Cookin blog at: www.dorcasannettewalker.com

1 comment:

Dorcas Annette Walker said...

Another quick and easy way to make the filling for Deviled Eggs and not get your hands dirty is to put the cooked yolk in a zip-lock baggie, seal and mash. They add the remaining ingredients and mix together. Cut the tip of the baggie and squeeze the egg mixture into the egg. Throw away the baggie when you are done.