KitchenWise: Eggs deliver an Oscar-worthy performance, if properly cooked
Deviled eggs for Oscars night? Sure, they’re a staple at picnics and backyard barbecues, but when it comes to a special occasion, they are so Cinderella before the ball.
But let’s say you want to play fairy godmother and dress them up for an Oscar night viewing party. You can do it in two simple strokes. First, take care to boil the eggs properly (which can be a revelation for anyone who’s never tasted a properly boiled egg). Second, sparkle up the usual filling with some creme fraiche, parmesan and good-quality truffle oil.
Shazam! You’re looking at a truly dazzling appetizer. And it couldn’t be easier to prepare. And despite the name, they don’t need to be deviled (meaning spicy). For my Oscars treat, I went with indulgent over spicy.
But let’s start with the boiling. It’s only because most of us have never tasted a properly boiled egg that we believe the whites should be chewy. The problem is that protein always becomes tough when it is boiled. My solution is to boil an egg by not boiling it. Really.
The trick is to start the eggs in cold water, then pull them off the heat just as soon as the water reaches the boiling point, cover the pot and let them cook in the residual heat of the water. You’ll be amazed at the wonderful tenderness of the finished product.
And, by the way, I “cook” the eggs for just 10 minutes, which leaves the centers of the yolks translucent. If you’d prefer a more solid center, let the eggs stay in the hot water for 12 minutes.
How do you avoid one of those famously ugly green lines between the yolk and the white? By chilling the egg in a bowl of ice water as soon as it is finished cooking. After it is cooled completely, peel and cut the egg in half, then marvel at a flawless yellow yolk, tender white and no green line.
And, by the way, this is one of those recipes for which an older egg is better. Eggs that are too fresh are just about impossible to peel.
Now, just dress up the eggs with those designer ingredients, and it’s ready for the red carpet.
Chef Sara Moulton writes this column for the Associated Press.
Stuffed Eggs With Truffle Oil
Want to make these even fancier? Use a pastry bag fitted with a star tip instead of a plastic bag to pipe the yolk filling into the egg whites.
Start to finish: 35 minutes, plus chilling
6 large eggs
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons creme fraiche
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons truffle oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Fresh chives, finely chopped
Fill a medium bowl with ice and water.
Place the eggs in a small saucepan and add enough cold water to cover the eggs by 1 inch. Set the pan over high heat and bring the water to a boil. As soon as the water boils, remove the pan from the heat, cover the pan and set it aside for exactly 10 minutes (use a timer). Use a slotted spoon to transfer the eggs to the ice water and let them cool completely.
When the eggs are cool, crack them all over and, starting at the wide end of each egg and making sure to get under the membrane (which makes it easier to get the shell off), peel the eggs while holding them under cold running water. Cut each egg in half lengthwise. Gently remove the yolks and set aside the whites.
Place the egg yolks in a mesh strainer and use a rubber spatula or the back of a spoon to press the yolks through and into a medium bowl. Add the mayonnaise, creme fraiche, mustard, cheese and truffle oil. Mix well, then taste and season with salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture into a zipper-close plastic bag.
Cut off one of the lower corners of the bag, then gently squeeze the bag to pipe the yolk mixture evenly into the hollow of each egg white until nicely mounded. Arrange the filled eggs on a platter, then garnish each half with chives.
Makes 12 servings.
Nutrition information per serving: 70 calories (50 calories from fat), 6 grams fat (2 grams saturated), 115 milligrams cholesterol, 3 grams protein, 1 gram carbohydrates, 0 dietary fiber, 110 milligrams sodium