Monday, August 18, 2008

ode to a deviled egg

I effing love deviled eggs. I've eaten a lot of hors d'oeuvres (more than I'd care to admit) attending parties for work, and let me tell you, it's always a welcome sight when I see a tray of these babies coming my way. They're the perfect one-bite food—way less cumbersome than mini burgers, or soup shooters, or anything that requires a plate, napkin, and spoon while you're also juggling a drink.

According to the Southern Foodways Alliance, the term "deviled" dates back to the 18th and 19th centuries, meaning something prepared with spicy seasonings like cayenne and mustard. Of course, over time this definition evolved and expanded. The modern-day deviled egg is practically a blank canvas. In this case, I laced the filling with curry powder, but you could use almost anything, really: fresh chopped herbs (tarragon is especially heavenly), crab meat, hot sauce, pesto, anchovies, green onions, or as they do in the South, a healthy dose of sweet relish. At fancy parties, I've had dainty deviled quail eggs topped with caviar—pretty swanky. But at their heart, deviled eggs are a simple, homey dish.

I think Margaret McArthur Rovai says it best:

Deviled Eggs

He's diabolical at:
Your Selma reunion
A picnic from the battered cooler
A Chicago dive

Mephisto jeers
At leftover sashimi.
His dimpled platter’s naked
before the second bottle's broached

A vet and his great-grandson
Snarfed sixteen
at the Scotch and Similac hour
Twelve teeth between them.

A Birmingham bride
soils her satin under the magnolias
even the vegans
absolve her

The fluttering
when he crashed a baby shower
morphed into darling devilled eggs
bonneted with pink nasturtiums

But they were never so Southern:
on the vegetable platter
at the Raleigh Market

Mac and cheese, okra and
Deviled Eggs --
His most subversive self.
So much sexier than spinach!

—Margaret McArthur Rovai

Curried deviled eggs
(serves 6 people)

6 eggs
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 tsp. curry powder
Salt and pepper
Sliced green onions

Fill up a large saucepan halfway with water and add the eggs, so that they are fully underwater. Bring the water to a boil. Cover the pan and remove from heat. Let the eggs sit covered for at least 12 minutes, but no more than 20 minutes. Drain the hot water from pan and run cold water over the eggs. Fill the pan with cold water and let the eggs sit until they come to room temperature before peeling.

Carefully slice the eggs lengthwise in half. Release the yolks into a small bowl by pressing gently on the opposite side of the egg white. Use a fork to mash the yolks, then add the mayo, mustard, curry powder, and salt and pepper. When combined, spoon the mixture into each egg white half (or pour the filling into a resealable sandwich bag, then snip one corner off and use it as a piping bag). Top each egg with a few sliced green onions. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.


Paulita said...

I want yo like them but I can't stand mayo..woe is me

Daniel said...

A deviled egg haiku:

Curry and mayo

Cool squish between teeth and tongue.

Deviled? Try divine.

Lisa said...

wow, a hand model AND a poet? I won the husband lottery.

Sandy said...

Hi Lisa - Yummy-yum! I love deviled eggs. Fun visiting you.

Anonymous said...

An egg bedeviled
that doesn't trigger winces
swings a forkless tail.


(Boo-yah, Daniel!)

krysta said...

oh yeah. my husband adores deviled eggs. i don't adore him after he's done eating them! stinky.

Lisa said...

Tom--I had no idea you were a poet, too! Hidden talent, I guess?

Krysta--yes, deviled eggs are no bouquet of roses. But they are way more delicious.

Daniel said...

You win this round, Haushalter. Your haiku is too deep for me.

But I'm working on a cinquain about hush puppies that will set the blogosphere on fire.


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