Eggs eggs eggs. This time of year, the hens are very busy providing us with more eggs than two people can eat, no matter how hard we try. And in our area, everyone has chickens, which means, unlike 20 years ago when we had a lot more chickens than we do now, it isn’t very easy to find someone who wants to buy them, either. So, when we got invited to a picnic a couple weeks ago, I jumped at the chance to use up some of our excess supply and offered to bring deviled eggs.
Now, I am the first to admit that I am very picky about deviled eggs. The bar got set pretty high when I was a kid because both my Mom and my grandmother, who lived next door, were rock star deviled egg makers. And, heaven help me if there aren’t tons of just awful and disappointing deviled eggs to be had out there. Lumpy, bland, warm – I shudder, just thinking about it. Despite how much I love deviled eggs, I often skip them at church suppers, and summer gatherings, because a bad deviled egg can just ruin your whole day, you know? Well today, I am going to help you put every bad deviled egg you have ever right out of your mind. There are three things a good deviled egg requires, to my way of thinking. A creamy, smooth egg yolk filling, a filling that has some pizzazz, and they have to be cold when you serve them.
And what is this “dirty” part you might ask? It is inspired by a Dirty Martini, which in addition to whole green olives, has a splash of olive brine in it. These eggs have both chopped up green olives in them, and some of the brine from the jar, instead of plain old vinegar that I use in other deviled egg recipes. It is an inspired combo!
Here is how I like to do it.
If your eggs are going to be cold when you serve them, you probably need to start early in the day, so that they have time to chill completely. Making sure they are really cold at the start of the picnic will also mean they will stay safe to eat for the duration of the meal. This is a pan of eggs from our chickens, ready to go on the stove early in the morning.A note about eggs: In order to peel easily, it is best not to use really fresh eggs, because they can be darned near impossible to peel. I save up older eggs to use for boiling, and if I get in a pinch, I will even let them sit out on the counter for a couple days, to speed up the process. It is perfectly safe to leave eggs out at room temperature – they do it in other countries all the time. Lately, on Pinterest, there are tons of pins that lead to articles about baking eggs instead of boiling them. I haven’t tried it yet, but you might want to: Baking Hard Boiled Eggs. I do mine the old fashioned way – cover with cold water, bring to a boil, simmer for about 14 minutes, dump out boiling water, cover with cold water, changing a few times to keep the water cold. Then, I put a couple inches of cold water in the pot, put on the lid and shake them vigorously – this loosens the shells and makes them easy to peel. carefully remove the peels and rinse under cold water to ensure no little bits of peel are hiding anywhere.
Boil 1 dozen eggs, cool, and peel
Cut each egg in half the long way, remove yolk to a small bowl, and place whites on a plate.
Before adding anything to the yolks, mash them completely, until they are of a uniform, crumbly texture – this ensures there will be no lumps. You can also use an emulsion blender for this, which works quite well.
To the mashed yolks, add
3 tablespoons of mayonnaise
3 tablespoons sharp prepared mustard – Dijon works nicely. [just don’t use plain old yellow mustard, as it is not really going to have a good amount of heat]
2 tablespoon brine from a jar of green olives
4-5 drops Siracha hot sauce [optional, but SO good]
about a dozen green olives, finely chopped [save a couple tablespoons of the olive for garnishing the tops]
1/2 teaspoon salt
5-6 grinds of pepper
Mix all of that together, and then taste. You will most likely have to tinker with things a bit. The mixture should be smooth and creamy [with the exception of the olive bits, of course], and hold it’s shape. And, it should be mustard-y! It is easy to add more more mayo and mustard if it is too dry, but if you get the yolks too runny, there is no fixing that, so start with less mayo and mustard than you think you will need, and add more if necessary. Just make sure to keep the proportions equal. Adjust the seasonings as well – you don’t want them overly salty, but a lack of salt can mean a very bland tasting egg.
Now, if you plan to serve them in the next couple hours, go ahead and pipe in the filling, or use a spoon to mound it in the halved egg whites. Top each egg with a little pinch of chopped olives, arrange on serving platter and refrigerate until meal time. You don’t want to fill them too far ahead or the edges of the filling darken, which makes them look a little less appetizing, so if not serving until the next day, you can put the filling in a ziplock bag, seal and refrigerate. Put the eggs on the serving platter, and cover with plastic wrap, and stick those in the fridge too. When you are ready to serve, snip a corner off the bag, and pipe the filling in the eggs, top with the olives and serve. If you want fancy swirly piping, stick a large decorating tip down in the corner of the bag, cutting a hole just large enough for the end to stick through, or use a regular cake decorating set up.
And there you have it – my personal prescription that protects us all from the bland, under-seasoned deviled egg. Now you can go forth and picnic, knowing that you are helping to make the world a better place – one deviled egg at a time!