I didn’t grow up eating Americana classics; those folkloric, butt of the joke dishes, that become crystalized in a person’s history. Those “this is my childhood” dishes. Chex mix, casserole, ambrosia, meatloaf, jell-o molds; none of these entered my culinary landscape as a kid. Which means, I’ve never had a bad one. I have no prejudices or ideas about what they should or shouldn’t taste like, so I take a lot of liberties when I make them myself.
Deviled Eggs seem like the perfect hors d’oeuvres to me. Self-contained, eaten in two bites, and not too heavy. Plus, it’s essentially four steps to make, top to bottom: cook the eggs, peel them, mix the yolks with the ingredients, and pop them back in. Voila! Love that. So for my take on them, I went traditional, tapas, and shoyu. All super different, all super delicious.
For traditional, it’s all about the yolk with a tiny bit of kick. I love the bright kick of chives mixed with sweet and tangy flavor of whole grain mustard.
HOW TO MAKE DEVILED EGGS:
1 dozen eggs
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
Salt and pepper
Place the eggs in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring the water to a boil, turn off the heat, cover, and let is sit for 14 minutes. Drain the hot water from pan and put the eggs in an ice bath. Peel the eggs. Using a sharp knife, slice each egg in half, lengthwise. Remove the yolk halves and place them in a small mixing bowl, and using a fork, mash up the yolks and add the mustard, mayonnaise, hot sauce and a pinch of salt and pepper. Taste to see if you need more seasoning. Spoon egg yolk mixture into the egg white halves. Sprinkle with paprika and chives. Drizzle with olive oil. Enjoy!
HUEVOS DEL DIABLO (TAPAS STYLE DEVILED EGGS)
Whenever I see simple hors d’oeuvres, my mind immediately goes to Spain, specifically Barcelona. The olives, boquerones (marinated anchovies), and other little bites to go with their Iberian wine are the perfect manifestation of the culture, entrenched in history and pride of their ingredients, but at the same time relaxed and rocking espadrilles. To balance the yolk’s natural richness, I added some chopped olives and boquerones for a briny counterpoint, with lemon and parsley keeping the whole thing bright and snappy. Ole!
1 dozen eggs
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons finely chopped Spanish olives (or whatever blend you like), plus more for sprinkling
6 boquerones (marinated anchovies, if they’re hard to track down just high quality anchovies are fine) sliced in half
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon pimenton (smoked paprika)
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
Place the eggs in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring the water to a boilturn off the heat, cover, and let is sit for 14 minutes. Drain the hot water from pan and put the eggs in an ice bath. Peel the eggs. Using a sharp knife, slice each egg in half, lengthwise. Remove the yolk halves and place them in a small mixing bowl, and using a fork, mash up the yolks and add the olive oil, mayonnaise, garlic, lemon zest, paprika and olives. Taste to see if you need more seasoning. Spoon egg yolk mixture into the egg white halves. Place half a boquerone on each egg. Sprinkle with chopped olives and parsley. Drizzle with olive oil. Enjoy!
AKUMA TAMAGO (NASU MISO EGGS IN BACON RAMEN BROTH)
First off, I totally just internet translated that title, so anyone who actually speaks Japanese, feel free to send me the actual Japanese wording for “Deviled Eggs.”
Now that we got that cleared up…
I love ramen. Oh God, do I love ramen. And when I think of hard boiled eggs, my mind immediately goes there. But instead of doing a full blown noodle dish, the egg is the star here, lightly sweetened with nasu miso (eggplant broiled with a miso/mirin/sake/sugar mixture) and served in a bit of ramen broth. You can just find ready made ramen broth at an Asian grocery store, but if you want to do it yourself (it’s super easy, and ready in under an hour) the recipe is below. The combination of savory bacon broth with the delicately sweet miso accented yolks makes the perfect appetizer to any meal. It looks complicated, but trust, it’s worth it, and not as scary as it looks. Plus, you’ll haven ramen broth and nasu miso left over to make a kick-ass Japanese dinner! Everyone wins!
INGREDIENTS (FOR THE EGGS)
1 dozen eggs
1 japanese eggplant (or half a normal one)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon dry sake
2 tablespoons yellow miso
2 tablespoons sugar
INGREDIENTS (FOR THE BROTH AND PLATING)
2 quarts chicken stock
1 piece kombu (a Japanese dried kelp available at any Asian market)
1/2 oz dried shitake mushrooms (it’s about a 1/2 cup)
1/2 yellow onion
1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
4 slices bacon
2 green onions, finely sliced (plus more for plating)
First make the broth. Add the kombu to the chicken stock and bring it up to a boil. Turn the water to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the kombu and add the mushrooms. Bring those to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes, or until the mushrooms are plump and rehydrated. Remove the mushrooms and add the bacon, onion, and carrots. Simmer for 30 minutes, skimming the fat off the top. In the last 10 minutes add the chopped green onions. Strain the whole thing, return the broth to the pot, and season with soy sauce and mirin.
Meanwhile, place the eggs in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring the water to a boilturn off the heat, cover, and let is sit for 14 minutes. Drain the hot water from pan and pop the eggs in an ice bath. Peel the eggs. Using a sharp knife, slice each egg in half, lengthwise.
To make the eggplant/yolk combo, combine the mirin and sake over high heat and cook for a minute or two, until it’s boiling and the alcohol has cooked off. Add the miso and sugar and over low heat stir to combine. Halve the eggplants, drizzle them in sesame oil, and broil in the oven for about 3 minutes per side (if the eggplant is larger, it’ll take a minute or two longer). Don’t let them burn, you just want them soft and toasty. When the eggplant is done, cover each open faced side with the miso mixture and broil until the eggplant is bubbly and just golden brown. Congratulations! You’ve made nasu miso. Just stop cooking now and eat the eggplant. Guests can deal with one less appetizer. But if you do want to make the eggs, scoop out the inside of the eggplant into a food processor and pulse together with the egg yolks. Spoon egg yolk mixture into the egg white halves.
Place each egg half in a little bowl and spoon over a few ounces of the hot broth. Sprinkle with chopped sesame seeds and green onion. Enjoy!