Easter hasn’t always been a big holiday in my family. We typically use it as an everyday get-together, and for the last couple of years we’ve been spending it around a dinner table at P.F. Changs. Definitely not your typical Easter dinner, but still delicious. Instead, my family stuck more toward the whole bunnies and eggs aspect of celebrating Easter. In the mornings, I’d get a basket full of goodies — chocolate eggs, bunnies and, of course, peeps. Sometimes we’d go on Easter egg hunts or have my picture taken with some creepy man in a bunny suit. But the one activity I remember always getting excited over was coloring eggs. Watching those tiny tablets change into vibrant colors with just some vinegar and water was enchanting to my childhood self. Writing secret messages on the eggs then watching the words take shape was magical. It’s a tradition I intend to continue now that we have a home of our own. However, this year I decided to mix up the concept of coloring eggs, as well as make some delightful deviled egg recipes, courtesy of my Food Network magazine.
1. HARD BOILED EGGS. If you don’t know how or have never made a hard boiled egg, fear not. It’s practically the easiest thing to make (aside from pasta) and hard to mess up. Place a carton of eggs (about 18) in an empty pot and fill with cold water until all the eggs are covered. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Immediately after, drop the heat to medium low and simmer the eggs for 10 minutes. Once they’re ready to drain, make sure to be extremely careful when you drop them in the strainer. A few of mine cracked upon impact so take them out with a spoon one at a time if needed. Stick the eggs back in the carton and leave in the fridge overnight. Having the hard boiled eggs stay cold makes it easier to peel the shell off later. Now this is the part where we deviate a little from your typical egg coloring traditions. If you prefer the original way, leave the eggs as they are until you’re ready to color the shells. But if you’re up for having a little more fun, follow these instructions. The peeling process can be a bit tricky for eggs. Tap the bottom of the egg to your bowl or counter and simply massage your fingers over the shell and egg white until the two separate. Don’t feel bad if you completely mutilate the egg — it all tastes the same. Once all your eggs are peeled, chop them in half and spoon out the yolk into a bowl, mash them with a fork and set aside for later.
2. COLORING EGGS. The next step is definitely the most fun. Find an egg coloring kit at your local grocery store and follow the directions on the box. Typically, you should use about a tablespoon of vinegar and 1/2 cup room temperature water for each color tablet. Once the tablet has dissolved, you can start placing your egg whites (or shells) in each cup. The longer you leave them in the cup, the more vibrant in color they’ll become — I’d say about 5 minutes. And don’t worry about eating any toxic substances after coloring egg whites. It’s like food coloring so no harm there. Once all the colored egg whites have dried (might want to wait a day), we can begin our deviled egg recipe, plus two extra versions I’ll show you how to create.
1. CLASSIC DEVILED EGGS
● 1/2 cup mayonnaise
● 1 to 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
● Optional: 1 tablespoon relish
Take the mashed yolks from when we cut the hard boiled eggs and add the mayonnaise and Dijon mustard. At this point, you can add the relish if you want, but I chose to leave it out. My parents never made deviled eggs with it; it just adds a different taste. But the preference is up to you. Once you mix everything together, this next step is extremely important. Make sure to taste the mixture first to get the right consistency. If it’s too tart, add more mayo. If it’s too bland, add more mustard. Once you get a perfect combination, spoon the filling into the egg whites, overflowing it if necessary. No one ever complained about having too much filling in a deviled egg. Finally, sprinkle some paprika over the tops of the eggs and presto! Staying true to the classics sometimes is the best way.
2. CRAB DEVILED EGGS
● 1/4 cup mayonnaise
● 1 tablespoon chopped basil/parsley
● 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
● 1/2 lemon juice
● 8 ounces lump crabmeat
● Salt and pepper
Start this recipe by cutting your lemon in half. Once you’ve mixed the yolks, mayo and mustard, drain all of the lemon juices into the bowl and blend together. After everything is well incorporated, add the lump crab meat into the mixture. You may need to cut the meat up into smaller pieces in order to get it to fit in each egg whites. Before you add the mixture to the eggs, make sure to add the basil. I used some dry basil in mine since I didn’t have any fresh on hand. Start spooning the crab egg mixture into the egg whites, getting at least one lump of meat in each egg white. Finally, add some salt and pepper to the tops of the eggs and you’re finished. A twist on the classic deviled egg by adding a unique special ingredient.
3. BUFFALO DEVILED EGGS
● 1/4 cup mayonnaise
● 2 tablespoons Buffalo hot sauce
● Crumbled blue cheese
● Optional: Finely chopped celery & celery leaves
Mix the yolks with the mayo and Buffalo hot sauce until everything is incorporated into a light red color. You can also add the finely chopped celery if you prefer. Jacob isn’t too keen on it, so I left it out this time. Spoon the mixture into the egg whites, once again overflowing the eggs if needed to use up all the mixture. Finally, top the eggs with some blue cheese crumbles (and chopped celery leaves if desired.) I made this dish since one of Jacob’s favorite foods is anything with Buffalo sauce in it. I think this is a perfect combination of manly food with something everyone can enjoy.
And there you have it. From classic to crab and even Buffalo, these three deviled egg recipes to brighten your Easter holiday and make celebrating with family and friends even more fun.
For more variations on deviled egg recipes, visit: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/articles/50-deviled-eggs.html