From the monthly archives:

February 2013

I love the idea of deviled eggs, yet I really don’t like deviled eggs. In most cases they are just false advertising. Recently I was at a bar that offered them as a bar snack. The description was amazing with all the herbs and truffle oil but in the end, not so amazing. As my kid would say, “Total fail.” They tasted like Grandma’s Aunt Eddie’s Sunday Go to Meeting fare; a boiled egg with some mayo.

The egg is a perfect vehicle to deliver flavor. It’s a perfect protein and fat mix. The soft white followed by the fatty yolk that can convey just about any flavor – if done right.

Here is the thing; most people can’t boil an egg. A quick look at a bunch of standard recipe books would be the reason. They just tell you to boil the eggs for ten minutes and drain. A few things happen here; the egg over cooks and the bond between the shell and the eggs tighten up. And that green line that you get around the yolk? The egg has not cooled quickly enough and the carryover heat makes the protein reaction between the yolk and the egg white cause a nasty green sour ring. Not exactly sure of the science, but that is not what you want to eat.

The title is just wrong. Boiling eggs is no way to cook the noble egg. Low and slow is the way here. There are two things that you can work with: heat, and time. The heat? Well that’s obvious right? 212 degrees. This is where the name “boiled egg” goes wrong. While you want to get the water to that temperature, the egg should never be cooked that high, it just needs to rest from that temperature. Trust me, we are going to bring the eggs just to a boil and turn off the heat. Then shock them  in ice water to stop the carryover cooking and the bonding of the shell. One of the other tricks is that the eggs are lightly cracked before the ice bath. This allows the cold water to get in and separate the egg from the shell.

The next part is flavor. The yolk and the mayo in the mix can convey huge flavor.  They just need the time to develop. The eggs or at least the yolk mix needs to sit in the fridge for at least 4 hours. And after cooking in water, everything is mixed as cold as possible. Some cookbooks recommend mashing the egg yolks hot, but for reasons stated above, the egg is still cooking. The heat will break your mayo and just offer an oily flavorless devilled egg.

Ingredients:

12 eggs

Filling:

1 teaspoon minced shallots
3 tablespoons mayo
3 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon white pepper
2 tablespoons capers – chopped fine
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 slices of prosciutto

Topping

A pepper grinder
4 slices of prosciutto
Olive oil
1 slice of bread  – large enough to make 24 1/4 by 1/4 croutons.
Chives

Directions:

The eggs. I know that I went on about it, but getting them right is important.
Place the eggs in a soup pot in a single layer.
Cover with cool water at least 1 inch over the eggs.
Place on medium high and bring to a boil.
As soon as the water hits a boil, remove from the heat and let rest 10 minutes.

While the eggs are resting, prepare an ice bath of water and ice.

After 10 minutes, drain the eggs and shake them around in the pot to crack the shells a bit.
Add them to the ice bath.

Let the eggs rest in the bath until completely cold.
Peel and cut in half

While the eggs are cooking, heat a pan on medium high and add a dash of olive oil.
Lay out the slices of prosciutto in a single layer and fry until crisp. Turn them over once or twice.
Remove and cool on a rack or paper towel.
Leave the pan on the cook top.

Mince 4 slices of the prosciutto and set the other slices aside.
Prepare and set all the dry and wet ingredients near your mixing bowl. By doing this, you can make sure that you will get all of them into the dish.
Place the egg yolks in a mixing bowl (either electric or by hand).
If using an electric mixed, use the whisk attachment, if by hand, just use a large whisk.
Break up the egg yolks with the whisk.
Add the minced prosciutto and all of the other ingredients and whisk until smooth.
Set in the fridge to keep cool.

Add the chopped bread to the pan with the rendered oil and bring to medium high. Toss the bread cubes over and over until crisp and brown.
Add a bit more olive oil and toss again
Give them a good 10 grinds of pepper and toss.
Remove to a bowl to cool.

Arrange all the egg whites on a platter.
Using a piping bag or a spoon, fill all the egg halves evenly.
Lightly crush two of the remaining two slices of prosciutto and sprinkle evenly over the eggs.
Finely chop the chives and sprinkle over the eggs.
Dot the top of each one with a bread cube
Break apart small “sticks” of the remaining prosciutto and place one in each egg filling.
Lightly dust the tops with a little more smoked paprika.

Depending upon how long the filling was chilled before stuffing, try to make up the chilling time to four hours. If you are in a rush, chill for at least one hour.

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Sorry I posted this a little late for the game. But if you got on it, you still have time for ribs for halftime. This BBQ dry rub works well on any meat.

This is my go to mix for BBQ. It’s the perfect way to make any kind of meat or fish happy. I even toss it into slaw and scrambled eggs. Just liberally coat the meat and let it sit for at least 15 minutes up to overnight before cooking.

I go to the grocery (or Big Lots, Wal-Mart, Ollie’s…) and get the 2.5 OZ bottles of the very cheap spices – usually $1.00 each. Fresh or brand name spices are not needed. What we want here is volume.

The picture is an 8 pound Boston butt six hours into an 8 hour smoke.

Grill on.

Ingredients:

1 bottle of each:
Paprika
Onion powder
Black pepper
Cayenne
Garlic powder
Thyme
Oregano
Parsley

½ cup salt
1 cup brown sugar

Directions:

Mix in a food processor until the dried spices are well blended. Keep in an airtight ziplock. This will make enough for an entire grilling season.

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