We are a little past Easter but I am still into eggs. Most people know how to make deviled eggs and this is just a reminder. We were at a friend’s house for lunch a couple of weeks ago where they served deviled eggs and they stayed on my mind ever since. I prepared them to serve as a quick bite this afternoon. As you can see from some of the images I have a slightly different presentation by slicing the egg off at the top instead of slicing them in half. I made the recipe twice so I have images in both styles.
Cooking eggs to hard boiled is very simple. Here is my system: Place the eggs in a pot, cover with cold water and bring to a boil. As soon as the water boils remove the pot from the heat, cover and let stand ten minutes. No more, no less. Then remove the eggs and rinse in cold water or immerse in ice water to stop the cooking. This method will ensure that they do not develope the grey layer that envelopes the egg yolk when the eggs are overcooked. Between undercooking and overcooking a hard boiled egg I think it’s better to err on the side of undercooking. The sulphur odour of an overcooked egg is something you want to avoid. So far so good.
Problems can arise when you peel the eggs. Sometimes the shell sticks to the egg white and the only way to separate them is to pick the shell off piece by piece leaving the egg surface not as smooth as you’d like it to be. I have heard of a few methods to alleviate this problem, some contradictory: peeling the eggs when they are still warm, refrigerating them for before peeling, piercing the egg on the wide end with a tack before placing in the water, peeling the egg under water. Who knows. Fine Cooking magazine researched the subject and concluded that adding a teaspoon of baking soda to the water in which you boil the eggs prevents the albumen in the egg whites from sticking to the shell. Old eggs are supposed to be better than new eggs because they shrink and form a space between the egg and the peel. . The The Kitchh has an article about cooking eggs in pressure cooker which they say is the way to go. I haven’t tried it yet but plan to do it soon. If you have a sure system let me know.
Working with the eggs brought back our market shopping experiences in France and Spain. Egg vendors at the markets sell their eggs fresh and unrefrigerated. There are many varieties of eggs and I noticed long discussions between vendor and customers regarding the eggs they were buying. We saw giant ostrich eggs, looking almost artificial in their plastic-like shell.
One of the things on my “list” in France was to find speckled brown eggs from French Maran hens. Black Maran hens, raised in western France, produced dark chocolate brown eggs, sometimes speckled. My favourite fiction character, James Bond ordered breakfast in London in one of Ian Fleming’s books:
“Two cups of very strong coffee from de Bry in New Oxford Street, brewed in American chemex,
one speckled brown egg from French Maran hens, boiled 3 1/3 minutes,
whole wheat toast, Jersey butter,Coopers Vintage Oxford Marmalade
and Norwegian heather honey from Fortlum and Mason,
all served on dark blue Minton China.”
Need I say more.
6 eggs, organic with deep orange yolks
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoon greek plain yogurt
1-2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 large radish, minced
1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
Place eggs in a heavy bottom pot that fits the eggs together snugly.
Add the baking soda and bring to a boil.
Remove eggs from pot and rinse under cold water or place in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and cool.
When they are cool enough to handle peel the eggs trying to keep the whites intact.
Cut each egg in half and scoop out the yolk into a bowl. For a different presentation you can slice off the top 1/4 of each egg and cut a thin slice off the bottom so the egg can stand straight.
Add yogurt and mustard and whisk with a fork until light and fluffy.
Add salt and pepper, the chopped radish and the chives and mix together. Reserve some radish and chives for garnishing the plate
With a spoon (or a pastry bag if you’d like) spoon the yolk back into the egg white cavity.
Arrange on a plate, garnish with the remaining chives and radish.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.