Monday, December 16, 2013
Even the most progressive and modern of cooks will admit to having a recipe for deviled (or “stuffed”) eggs up their sleeve. Just about everyone enjoys this lovely hors d’oeuvre, all the world over. They’re a perennial crowd-pleaser that will be consumed happily by both your forward-thinking foodie friends as well as those with a more traditional palate.
To be clear, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the classic stuffed egg, which includes little more than egg yolks, mayonnaise, and perhaps some minced onion and celery. A sprinkle of paprika on top, and you’re good to go. This is the recipe my mom makes, and I always enjoy them.
That said, the holidays are a good time to take things up a notch, which is exactly what I’ve done today when my recipe borrows a few traditional ingredients from Scandinavian, Jewish, and Mediterranean cuisine with the addition of smoked salmon, horseradish, and dill as well as olive oil, mustard, and caper berries. The result? Still a stuffed egg, but including omega-3 rich salmon and monounsaturated-rich olive oil, both heart-healthy, makes it a bit more nutritious. And—as importantly—delicious. If you love both deviled eggs and smoked salmon, you will adore this recipe.
And you just might find they’re the first to go on your holiday table.
- 1 dozen hard-cooked eggs
- 1 tablespoon scallions or yellow onion, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon dill, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon parsley, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons mustard
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2-3 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar (optional)
- 1 teaspoon horseradish
- 1 teaspoon capers, minced
- 1-2 ounces of diced smoked salmon
- Freshly ground black pepper, several grinds
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Several shakes of Tabasco (optional)
Peel the eggs, split them in half, and place the yolks in a small mixing bowl. Crush yolks into a fine mash using a fork. Stir in the mayonnaise, olive oil, mustard, scallions, horseradish, vinegar if using, and herbs. (Vinegar adds balance to the creaminess, but you don’t really need it if using horseradish. Up to you! You could always make the recipe and adjust later if you like a little more bite.) Fold in the smoked salmon and taste. Season with pepper, noting that you may need salt depending on how much salmon you included, which is naturally salty. A few shakes of Tabasco adds a backdrop of heat, if desired. Stuff each egg with some of the filling (about 1 1/2 teaspoons). I just use a regular cereal spoon for a rustic look, but you can use one of those cake decorator dealios to make it extra fancy if you’re into that kind of thing. You will have exactly enough filling for each egg half. Plate prettily, and scatter with dill for a simple garnish.
Cooking Notes and Variations
As in most things I share on my blog, this recipe is also to taste. In the quicker (read: fewer ingredients) version, I just add smoked salmon to my basic deviled egg recipe: no horseradish, dill, or capers in that one. (Add as much or as little fish as you like, using the full 2 ounces for a more pronounced salmon flavor.) I honestly like the simpler variant just as much; this one just has, well, more. More complexity, more flavors. You can use more or less olive oil and prepared mustard, too, as it suits your palate. I do recommend starting with the lower amount of mayo and adding more only if you really need it. Or you could try going with a bit more EVOO. Finally, you could make the recipe with all the ingredients listed without adding the salmon and then garnish each egg individually with a piece of smoked fish and small sprig of dill, which I do on occasion when the mood strikes. It’s sort of the best of both worlds: a traditional deviled egg with a smoked salmon and dill garnish for a touch of class. Do whatever you want and have fun!
And, by the way, it’s a dash or two of Tabasco, or cayenne pepper, that makes the egg “deviled,” in case you were wondering. Without this ingredient, they are actually just “stuffed” eggs in the true culinary sense of the dish. No one seems to know this, or care, so I like most just call them all “deviled” eggs
except when I’m being pedantic like now.
Whatever you call them, they’re, er, devilishly good.
I know, I’m better than that. But it’s Monday, and apparently my wit is still in bed, cowering under the covers this cold December morning.
Don’t let my terrible wordplay—used by any writer who’s ever written about eggs, and, let’s face it, isn’t even funny—dissuade you from trying this elegant recipe. And if you think eggs with the yolks can’t be part of a heart-healthy diet, as was touted in the 1980s, learn more about current research findings in a very well-written and informative article (and with many more bad egg puns) here, or here. There’s no reason most people can’t enjoy deviled eggs every now and again as part of a moderate, balanced diet, especially if their overall eating pattern abounds with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans and legumes, nuts, and all that good stuff I write about here on the The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen.
And that’s eggscellent news indeed.