Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Deviled Eggs

Day 55

Happy 2014, and thanks for continuing to read my blog. Most of us spent at least a few minutes last night reflecting on the year that has passed and the year ahead, no doubt. We probably also made a New Year’s resolution or two, feeling optimistic and brave. One of my resolutions is to take the time to truly embrace the moment. Too often, I have my sights on the bigger picture
Copyright, Doug Kapustin Photography, 2013
ahead, thereby missing 

the small things that really are the essence of life. I don’t want to miss the small things anymore because they help me to be fully appreciative and present in the here and now. 

In keeping with that, as a gal who loves to cook and who really loves to eat (funny how those two pair so nicely), an important lesson in the kitchen is to spend a good bit of time focusing on the small details of a meal or dish. After all, creating a perfect plate or even a perfect bite requires more than the main character on the entrĂ©e stage. A prime example of how the small additions can truly make the plate is our Christmas morning breakfast. I prepared Virginia country ham biscuits with a grainy mustard remoulade and Ina Garten’s cinnamon buns. More on the buns later, I promise.  When deciding on the menu, I knew that the ham biscuits and cinnamon buns were must-haves, but alone, they didn’t finish the plate in the way I wanted. I wanted something small with big flavor; something creamy and hearty, sans bread, to create a balanced flavor for the plate. After a few minutes of pondering the options, I knew exactly what the meal needed.

Enter Deviled Eggs. They’re perfect, actually—bite-size, tangy and creamy, and definitely hearty. I began to sift through my favorite cooks’ websites and my own trusted cookbooks, but none of the interesting or nouveau deviled egg recipes I found were any more appealing for Christmas morning than the traditional recipe I’ve known my whole life. So that’s what I used. And they were delightful. 

When making a small plate for breakfast or any light meal, one of my rules is to keep it simple. I like to stick with the Rule of Three, actually. That is to say, three companionable items to enjoy are perfect. The plate is full but not crowded, the flavors don’t fight for the spotlight, and the palate isn’t over-whelmed. And, the very best part is that everyone remembers the distinct flavors and ingredients. The Rule of Three never fails. 

Our Christmas morning breakfast was delicious. We savored the saltiness of the ham and the sweetness of the cinnamon buns, tempered by the creaminess of the deviled eggs. Try these three together for your next company or family breakfast; you’ll be glad you did. 

Now back to those cinnamon buns, courtesy of Ina Garten. It’s no secret that I love each and every one of her recipes, all trustworthy and “foolproof”, for sure. Her cinnamon bun recipe uses puff pastry (!!), making every single bite just like that perfect center part of your favorite cinnamon bun. They are easy to prepare and even easier to eat. Check out the recipe at the link below. Thank me—or curse me if you become addicted—later.

Happy New Year to you and yours! 

Deviled Eggs

15 extra large eggs, hard-boiled, cooled, and peeled
½ cup plus 1 tbs. good mayonnaise (I use Hellman’s)
3 tbs. dill pickle relish (sweet relish works too) 
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
¼ cup finely diced white onion
Salt and white pepper to taste
Chives and paprika for garnish

Halve 15 eggs lengthwise, and carefully remove yolks into mixing bowl. Place empty egg whites on a plate for filling. 

Mash yolks with a fork, stirring in mayonnaise, relish, Dijon mustard, and onion. Add salt and white pepper to taste. Place a generous dollop of yolk mixture into each egg white cup. 

Arrange deviled eggs on a serving platter, then sprinkle with chives and paprika. Refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours, covered until ready to serve. 

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