Summery Deviled Eggs

Savory Recipes, Summer • 17 Jul 2009

An egg is a thing of beauty: simple in form yet representative of life, birth and sustenance. And when it comes to eggs, I like to eat around. More or less any and all egg preparations are fair game in my book of gastronomical love. While the egg can be a vehicle for some of the loftiest soufflés and custards, sometimes love comes in the form of easily accessible, simple pleasures.

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Deviled eggs tend to be my go-to appetizer and snack when all else fails and I’m feeling spontaneous. That isn’t to say that I don’t hold deviled eggs in high esteem. Nothing can be further from the truth. But I always have spicy Dijon and creamy mayonnaise at my finger tips and it takes little more to whip up a batch of deviled eggs, fleshing them out with whatever sundry ingredients I happen to have available.

Like the stand-alone egg itself, deviled eggs are so malleable that one is likely to unleash the beast of versatility on the lemon-colored yolks. You can add anything from smoked paprika or Tabasco for a fiery red spiciness for which the deviled egg is named. A helping of chives, dill or tarragon herbs can also do the trick, if you are in the mood for a more of a fresh, summery flavor. Or else go both ways. Add heat in the form of cayenne and a touch of freshly minced garlic, a squirt of acidic lemon and your herb of choice. And don’t say I didn’t warn you. These puppies are highly addictive!

Summery Deviled Eggs

6 hard boiled-free range eggs
1/4 cup good mayo
1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon fresh Garlic, minced to a paste
Chopped tarragon to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Put eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and then cover the pan and turn off the heat. Let the eggs sit in the water bath for 20 minutes.

2. Remove eggs from pan and cool them under cold running water. Crack and peel and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out yolks with a spoon and into a bowl. Using the back of a fork, smash eggs yolks until no large pieces remain.

3. Add mayonnaise, olive oil and mustard to the yolks and mash until the mixture is smooth. Add cayenne, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper to the paste and continue to mix until well combined. Add chopped tarragon to taste and mix thoroughly.

4. Spoon mixture into the eggs whites or pipe in with a pastry bag and sprinkle with a little more chopped tarragon.

Yield: 12 deviled eggs.

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