I’m a little embarrassed to be writing about deviled eggs. For those of you keeping up with the culinary trendsetters,you are surely laughing at me. Deviled eggs? That’s like wearing … well, there’s been a recent spat of such terribly bad fashion that I can’t even pick an appropriate simile. Deviled eggs may not have the glamour of a home-made charcuterie plate and they may have slid from their position as clever 60’s sophistication to their current culinary rung of populating Tupperware parties, but they are seriously delicious.
I haven’t been to many cocktail parties, so I don’t really know where I’ve cultivated my visionof deviled eggs as quintessential cocktailfare. Too much Mad Men perhaps? It is quite the 60s housewife as far as preparationis concerned. Those full skirts and tiny waists beckon me to abandon any thoughts of trendy ingredients like smoked salmon and goat cheese, let alone oven roasted anything. "Come," they say, twirling in a whirl of cigarette smoke and perfectly matte red lipstick, "Boil some eggs!" To which I can only acquiesce.
But deviled eggs should not be relegated to the old-fashioned corner forever. With its creamy texture and lightly flavored base, it can hold up to all sorts of re-interpretations. To cut down on the fat and punch up the zing, I swap out the traditional mayonnaise for yogurt and mustard. A puttanesca twist with anchovies and capers. A topping of marinated shredded beets. A pinch of garam masala for a curried twist. A blend of pesto or spicy roasted peppers.The possibilities are endless.
Basic Deviled Eggs
12 large eggs
1 tablespoon mustard
1 tablespoon thick Greek style yogurt
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 dash Tabasco sauce
salt and pepper to taste
Place eggs in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring the pot to a boil, then remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Run eggs under cold water. Peel and half the eggs, then scoop out the yolks and mash them together with remaining ingredients. Spoon or pipe the mixture back into egg whites. Refrigerate until serving.
Anchovies and olives
Chop up two anchovy fillets, 4 capers, 2 olives, and a very small bulb of garlic. Chop up all ingredients very finely and mash with egg yolks. No need to add additional salt.
Grate a raw beet and mix with 1 bulb minced garlic, 3 tbsp red wine vinegar, 3 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Leave to marinate for an hour. Top every egg with a spoonful of beet salad.
Roast one large spicy pepper directly over an open flame on the stovetop until blackened. Place the roasted pepper in a bowl and cover until it cools. Peel the skin off, but do not rinse the pepper under the tap. Remove the seeds and veins. Chop finely and mix with egg yolks.
Make a batch of pesto in a blender with 3 cloves garlic, 3 cups basil, ¼ cup of almonds, pine nuts, walnuts or sunflower seeds, ¼ cup of grated Parmesan and enough oil to get the blender working. Substitute the yogurt in the Basic Deviled Eggs recipe with a tablespoon of pesto. Freeze the leftover pesto and use it for pasta.