Tuesday, 9 August 2011
I've been thinking for a while about making devilled eggs since I spotted this feature in Saveur.
They are, of course, ridiculously old-fashioned. My grandmother used to make them as a cocktail snack, I remember. (She was a great one for drinks and nibbles for which she used to get dressed up in a gold braid-trimmed kaftan, right into her '80's. Even for me.)
You forget how delicious dishes like this are if they're freshly made. With a few crunchy Little Gem lettuce leaves they make a nice light summery lunch. Or even, if you dare, a retro dinner-party starter.
4 large eggs at room temperature
2 tbsp mayonnaise
a pinch of curry powder or a 1/4 tsp curry paste
a few drops of Worcestershire sauce
a few drops of Tabasco or a pinch of cayenne or chilli powder
1 tbsp finely snipped chives plus a few longer lengths for decoration
1 Little Gem lettuce or the inner leaves of a round lettuce
Crispbread to serve
Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil and carefully lower in the eggs. Bring back to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes then drain the eggs and run cold water over them. Leave until cool enough to handle.
Meanwhile separate the lettuce leaves and wash in cold water. Drain and dry.
Crack the eggs lightly and carefully peel off the shell. Cut the eggs in half lengthways and ease the yolks into a bowl. Mash them and add the mayonnaise then season with a little curry powder or paste, a few drops of Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco or cayenne pepper and a little salt. Mix in the chopped chives.
Arrange the lettuce leaves on individual plates and arrange the halved egg whites on top. Spoon the seasoned egg yolks into the hollows in each egg white. Drizzle a little olive oil over the lettuce leaves. Scatter a few longer lengths of chives over the top and serve as soon as possible with crispbread. (Leaving them around discolours the egg yolk and dries it out.)
There are a number of different ways of doing this depending on what you have to hand. Anything fishy works well with eggs so you could mix the yolks with a little anchovy paste, crab paté, mashed sardines or tuna or that Scandi-style salmon paste in a tube. (If you wanted to jazz it up you could top the eggs with a bit of salmon roe.) Or you could mix in some finely chopped ham and spike it up with a bit of English mustard. Good party eating too.
Would you eat devilled eggs or would you feel embarrassed to serve them. What retro recipes (if any) do you make?