Back from the farmer’s market with lots of veggies and some free-range eggs. It is going to be hot today and nothing sounds better for lunch than fresh tomatoes layered with fresh basil from the garden, deviled eggs and a tall glass of iced tea.
Years ago, I learned how to make eggs from Julia Child. While it is a bit “fussy”, the result is a beautiful boiled egg, without the green edge around the yolk.
INGREDIENTS: (Yields one dozen)
6 fresh eggs
1/4 cup mayonnaise (or Miracle Whip for a sweeter taste)
1 teaspoon Dijon or other good prepared mustard or 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
Dash of cayenne or hot sauce
Optional extras (see below)
1. First, hard-boil your eggs. Julia Child’s procedure involvss simmering the eggs, shocking them in a bowl of ice, then reheating, all in an effort to make them easy to peel and to eliminate that purportedly unsightly green edge around the yolk. All that’s necessary, really, is to avoid overcooking the eggs. Put them in a saucepan with plenty of water to cover. Bring it just to a boil, then cover the pan and turn off the heat. Let the eggs sit undisturbed in the hot water for 20 minutes, no more, then cool them under cold running water until they’re cool enough to handle. Crack and peel immediately. (INGREDIENT NOTE: I’ve become a true believer in fresh free-range eggs, preferably locally produced. They can’t be beat for color and flavor, and extra credit for freshness if your supplier openly dates the packages.)
2. Using a sharp knife, cut the eggs neatly in half lengthwise. Carefully lift out the hard yolks and put them in a bowl. Mash them with a fork if you like a coarse texture, or push them through a strainer with the back of a spoon if you prefer a silken-smooth puree.
3. Blend in the mayo, the mustard and the seasonings to your taste. Now’s the time to think about those optional add-ins if you like them: A few snipped chives or scallions, a little bit of pickle relish, a few capers, a dash of soy sauce or Worcestershire or even something more exotic. (NOTE: a secret ingredient I add is a spoonful of dill pickle juice. It gives a layer of favor that is hard to beat.)
4. Put the filling back into the whites, using a spoon or pastry bag as noted. A colorful sprinkle of paprika is a traditional garnish, or chopped parsley. You can go non-traditional with cilantro or thin-sliced basil or other fresh herb.