As part of our series of spring food traditions (and fun in the kitchen) we turn to eggs. Some cultures have a history of believing that the world began as a single (sometimes giant) egg, and the renewal of spring and the start of laying season was (and is) a reason for celebrating the origins of life. After the long winter the arrival spring and warmer weather brought fresh meat and eggs and new plants, and many meals and dishes focused on these ingredients.
Hard-boiled eggs are a great portable source of protein that used to be found in many lunch boxes before peanut butter and jelly took over. Boiling eggs is also a way of using up eggs that are about to go stale and prolongs the time they are edible. In fact, eggs that are a little older are much easier to peel after they are boiled.
How do you know if an egg is stale or fresh? Fill a deep with water and place the egg in it. If it rests heavily on the bottom, the egg is fresh, if it touches the bottom but is more upright it is a little stale but still edible, and if it floats it is too stale to eat (even boiled) and should be thrown out.
Despite the name, deviled eggs don’t have any direct ties to Easter or religion. Deviled foods are simply plain foods that are spiced or seasoned (often with mustard, mayonnaise and paprika) and served cold. They are easy to make – just be careful not to overcook them or the yolks will get a greenish-gray tinge on the edge (if this does happen they are still perfectly good to eat, though).
What you need:
- 1 dozen large eggs
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 teaspoons yellow mustard
- 3 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
- Sweet paprika or pure ancho chile powder, for garnish (optional)
What to do
- In a medium saucepan, fully immerse the eggs with cold water and bring to a rolling boil. Cover, remove from the heat and let stand for 12 minutes.
- Immediately drain the eggs and gently shake the pan to lightly crack the shells. Fill the pan with cold water and shake lightly to loosen the eggshells. Let stand until the eggs are cool.
- Drain and peel the eggs; pat dry. Cut the eggs in half lengthwise. Carefully transfer the yolks to a mini processor. Add the mayonnaise, Dijon and yellow mustards and Worcestershire sauce and pulse until smooth and creamy; season with salt.
- Using a pastry bag fitted with a star tip or a teaspoon, fill the egg whites with the yolk mixture. Arrange the eggs on a platter, garnish with paprika and serve.