Deviled eggs have to be one of the easiest things in the world to make and one of the most popular dishes on the salad table. Men absolutely love them as well. I am not sure why that is, but, it's true. If you bring a platter of deviled eggs to a pot luck party . . . you will be the most popular person at the party and everyone will be scrambling for your recipe! Tis true, cross my heart.
Some people like to put pickle relish and all sorts of other things into their picked eggs . . . but I like to keep it simple and it works. These eggs quite simply have nothing but mayo, some grainy mustard and a bit of seasoning in them. I cannot tell you the number of times a week I had to make these little babies when I was working as a Chef in the big house down south. There had to be a plate of them in the refrigerator at all times. They just loved them. They're a portable snack too.
Perfect in the picnic basket as well. You can put them together in pairs and wrap them up as a set. You just put the filling sides together and there's no mess at all. Easy peasy, lemon squeasy. I do think these are the best I've ever eaten myself. I like to garnish with a few fine-chopped fresh chives . . . the green looks so pretty against the egg yolk and the flavour is so mild it takes nothing away from the eggs themselves. Look for a few hints below on making hard boiled eggs.
*Perfect Deviled Eggs*
Makes 12 servings
I wish I had a pound for every one of these I have cooked in my lifetime. I'd be sitting real pretty on a huge pile of dosh right now! These are excellent. Always the first things to disappear on the buffet table.
12 large free range eggs, hard boiled and peeled
110g of good quality mayonnaise (1/2 cup)
2 TBS grainy dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
paprika to garnish
Slice the eggs in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks to a mixing bowl. Mash the yolks thoroughly with a fork. Whisk in the mayonnaise, mustard, salt and black pepper. Mix until smooth. Spoon or pipe into each egg yolk half, dividing the mixture equally. Dust lightly with paprika to serve.
Note: If you are not serving these right away, cover and chill in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. Dust with paprika just prior to serving.
Tips for Creating Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs:
1. Older eggs are a lot easier to peel than newer eggs. I always use eggs that at least one week old, if not older. If you have eggs that are close to their expiration date, so much the better. It's true!
2. Boiled Eggs, should actually NEVER be boiled! Keeping them at a steady simmer is much better. Boiling toughens the yolk. Also, never add salt to the water. I do add a tiny bit of vinegar, which helps them to peel easier.
3. Always bring your eggs to room temperature before boiling. They are less likely to crack if you do this.
4. Don't stack your eggs in the pot. Have them laid out in one layer. If you have too many eggs to do this with, you need a larger pot! You only need about 1 inch of water over the top of the eggs. More than that and it takes too long to boil. Less than that and your eggs won't stay covered.
5. As soon as your water comes to the boil, remove your pot from the heat, pop a lid on and let them set in the boiling water for (17 minutes) large eggs, (20 minutes) jumbo eggs. At the end of that time, drain and then run cold water over them until they are cooled down. Let them sit in cold water for about 10 minutes and then drain. For ease of peeling roll them around and allow the shells to crack while they are still in the water. Let sit for a few minutes.
For ease in peeling these things help alot . . . using older eggs, beginning at the large end of the egg, peeling under running cold water. I usually tap the large end on the counter until it cracks, then give the egg a gentle roll all over before peeling them under a slow running tap. You will get perfect results almost 100% of the time.
I also have one of these hard plastic egg timer thingies. They work a charm and you end up with perfectly cooked Soft, Medium or Hard boiled eggs every time.
And now for a giggle. Here's a few things I baked over the past few days for Easter that never made the cut for the blog for aesthetic reasons. In other words, they didn't photograph well.
This is my Easter Lamb Cake. I had always wanted to do an Easter Lamb Cake, but did not have the proper pan. I decided to use a Scottie Dog Shortbread tin, which kinda worked, lol. But I laughed and laughed when I saw it done. Here is the recipe I used for the cake itself, which is a excellent recipe.
*Kentucky Butter Cake*
Makes 12 servings
A buttermilk pound cake with a delicious Butter Sauce.
For the cake:
420g plain flour (3 cups)
380g sugar (2 cups)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
225ml buttermilk (1 cup)
240g butter, softened ( 1 cup)
2 tsp vanilla or rum extract
4 large free range eggs
For the Sauce:
140g sugar (3/4 cup)
80g butter (1/3 cup)
3 TBS water
1 to 2 tsp vanilla or rum extract
Icing sugar to dust
Preheat the oven to 165*C/325*F/gas mark 3. Generously butter a bundt tin and dust with flour, shaking out any excess.
Combine all of the cake ingredients in a large bowl. Blend at low speed with an electric mixer until moistened and then beat at medium speed for about 3 minutes. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 55 to 70 minutes, until the top springs back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
To make the Sauce, combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until the butter melts. DO NOT ALLOW TO BOIL. Using a long tined fork, pierce the cake 10 or 11 times. Pour the hot sauce over the warm cake. Allow to stand and absorb for about ten minutes before tipping out onto a serving plate. Just before serving, dust with icing sugar.
The other cake I baked was this Easter Basket Cake, which was a recipe I have had in my Big Blue Binder. It was clipped from a magazine and was supposed to be in aid of Sunmaid Raisins and Pet Evaporated Milk. It's a lovely cake. For some odd reason however, this time my cake stuck to the sides of my pan. You win some and you lose some! Its a cake I made quite frequently when my children were growing up.
*Easter Basket Cake*
Makes 15 servings
Studded with raisins and flavoured with almond and nutmeg this is a recipe from my Big Blue Binder.
400g tin of evaporated milk (13 ounce tin, NOT sweetened condensed milk)
125g butter, softened
287g granulated sugar ( 1 1/2 cups)
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
2 large free range eggs
350g plain flour (2 1/2 cups all purpose)
1/2 tp salt
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
200g raisins (1 1/3 cups)
for the lemon syrup:
120ml fresh lemon juice (1/2 cup)
195g sifted icing sugar ( 1 1/2 cups)
For the frosting:
2 TBS softened butter
290g sifted icing sugar (2 1/4 cups)
2 TBS reserved evaporated milk
few drops almond extract
Decorations as you choose
Preheat the oven to 170*C/325*F/ gas mark 3. Butter a 9 cup fluted tin/bundt tin, really well, lightly dust with flour, shaking out any excess. Set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in the almond extract and nutmeg. Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder. Remove 2 TBS and shake the raisins with this. Remove 2 TBS of the evaporated milk and set aside for the frosting. Beat the flour into the creamed mixture, alternating with the evaporated milk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Fold in the flour dredged raisins. Spread the batter into the prepared tin. Bake in the preheated oven for 55 minutes, until well risen and the top springs back when lightly touched.
Boil the lemon juice and icing sugar together for one minute. Brush this over the top of the warm cake, allowing it to absorb completely. Tip out onto a wire rack to cool completely and then place onto a serving place flat side up.
Cream together all of the frosting ingredients with an electric mixture until thick and smooth. Spread on top of the cake and decorate as desired.
I don't think I will ever be able to find work as a Cake Decorator, lol. Happy Easter!