Friday Food Post: Easter Eggs for Grown-Up Tastes
For this Friday's food column, we have an editor request: what the heck to do with all those leftover Easter eggs. This is a bit of a stumper. Not because I don't like hard-boiled eggs, but because ... don't you know what to do with them? You make deviled eggs. Or creamed eggs. Or egg salad.
But just in case you don't, here are some recipes, traditional and less so, for things you can do with all those Easter eggs your kids won't eat.
Perfect boiled eggs. The first thing you need for a good egg dish is well-boiled eggs: not cracked, no green yolks and cleanly peeled. Unfortunately, there's no way to ensure that your eggs will peel cleanly (don't listen to old wives' tales on the Internet), but you can improve your odds by buying older eggs, which are less likely to stick to the shells. Then I recommend boiling them according to Julia Child's foolproof method: Place eggs in a saucepan and cover them with cold water by at least an inch. Bring to a boil uncovered over high heat, and as soon as the water comes to a boil, take the pan off the heat, cover tightly, and leave covered for exactly 17 minutes. Plunge the eggs into ice water to stop them from cooking.
Deviled eggs. The secret to good deviled eggs is not to slavishly follow a recipe. Egg yolks vary in size and consistency, so using exactly the amounts called for is apt to leave you with filling that is too dry or runny. Instead, get out your boiled eggs, Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, lemon juice or white wine vinegar, cayenne, salt, pepper and paprika.
Peel the eggs and slice them in half lengthwise. Gently push out the yolks into a bowl and arrange the whites on a plate. Start adding mayonnaise and mustard to the yolks, a few spoonfuls at a time, in a ratio of 1 to 2 teaspoons of mustard for every couple of tablespoons of mayonnaise. Mash with the yolks until it has reached the desired consistency. When the consistency and taste is right, add a splash of lemon juice or vinegar, a pinch of cayenne, and salt and pepper to taste. Fill the eggs using a spoon or pastry bag, and sprinkle with paprika.
Variant: truffled deviled eggs.
Egg salad. As with deviled eggs, the secret is to add the ingredients slowly, so that you don't end up with too much mayonnaise to eggs. Don't use light mayonnaise unless you plan to eat it immediately, as it tends to get watery in the fridge.
Peel the eggs and chop them. I like to use a tablespoon of chopped shallot or sweet onion for every four eggs, but you can use more or less (or none) to taste. Add mayonnaise and Dijon: 1 teaspoon of mustard for every 3 to 4 tablespoons of mayonnaise. Salt and pepper to taste.
Variant: curried egg salad.
Scotch eggs. I don't care for this sort of thing myself, but if you do, this is your sort of thing. Could be fun to make with kids, or for an informal cocktail party.
Asparagus Benedict salad. Perfect for a spring dinner.
- 1 pound steamed asparagus
- 6 hard-boiled eggs, chopped fine
- 8 ounces pancetta or Canadian bacon, diced and sauteed until lightly browned
- Hollandaise sauce (traditional or blender)
Arrange the asparagus on a platter. Top with hard-boiled eggs and pancetta, and drizzle with hollandaise sauce. Serve with crusty bread and more hollandaise on the side.
Eggs Goldenrod. This is definitely retro, but it makes a surprisingly nice brunch or a comforting supper in your pajamas. For a tasty variant, try adding some sauteed mushrooms, ham or spinach on the toast before you top with the eggs and white sauce.
Cobb salad sandwich. Leftover chicken, sliced hard boiled eggs, avocado, arugula, and bacon on rye bread with a little mayonnaise and mustard: Enough said. You could also, of course, make a Cobb salad. Or put hard-boiled eggs in any of your favorite salads.
This is not an exhaustive list of the possibilities, but it should be enough to get you started. Happy Easter!
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