today is one of those days where the skies just open up and let loose. its absolutely bucketing down here, and my hens are probably wishing they were ducks, huddled up in the corner of their shelted pens. so, in honour of them im bringing this recipe to the table. it's a bit of a dinner party stand by, has a lot of room for improvising and has family memories that come with it.
it's that time of year for dinner parties, and being american myself, this season kicks off with a bang - Thanksgiving. my sister has (without fail) produced amazing thanksgiving dinners for upwards of 20 people every year. there's something about the dinner that instantly recalls back to memory the years of thanksgiving dinners, the memories of family and friends getting together, and giving thanks. much like christmas dinner does here in ireland. but, in my family, thanksgiving is always a bigger dinning event. chistmas eve being the second big dinner and chistmas day a more intimate family day lunch. this may seem odd to some but traditions are usually always biased, and im partial to mine!
with all these parties to consider, and the heaps of food required for these dinners, there's always three things im asked to make. every year. they are: cranberry sauce, dinner rolls, and Deviled Eggs. i can make anything in addition to these sides, but these, are 'traditionally' mine to make.
deviled eggs are hard boiled eggs that are halved and the yolks are blended with a mixture of mustard, something acidic, something spicy, and a touch of seasoning. this mixture is then piped back into the halved eggs and garnished, most commonly with paprika and curly parsley. deviled eggs and many other 'retro' foods are getting a new lease of life, with: deviled quails eggs, green curry deviled eggs and bloody mary deviled eggs - these wasabi ones meet the modern mark on a retro canape.
my first deviled egg memories are of my grandmother, Geraldine, who was a natural entertainer. she loved food and get-togethers. as a child i can remember always being attracted to the mustardy eggs and their wiggly soft texture. probably eating far more than my share, but when you're a kid, and you like something- fair is subjective. my grandmother died when i was 6 so these types of memories are held quite dear, they usually all revolve around eating (funny, huh?): my first ketchup with scrambled eggs, discovering fresh papya, bread n' butter pickles, canned peaches, fresh curly parsley growing from the garden, and ambrosia salad. if i was only old enough to try the cocktails at her parties!
there is a key to making good, easy to peel, hard boiled eggs. the eggs need to be 'not so fresh.' aged, rather. which, if you are like me and pride yourself on the freshest eggs around, this is a tough egg to crack. most grocery store eggs are going to be a week old or older so will probably do. i recently discover from, a local egg producer, that eggs can last for 3 months! but the health department, in all their wisdom, only allow 28 days from being laid to being sold. so, its up to you to decide when to toss em. the consensus is: if the egg floats in water it's bad.
i would by eggs as close to their 'sell by date' as possible for deviled eggs. the reason being is: an older egg has more a bit more oxygen inside its shell, from a longer absorbtion period. making the egg (once cooked), much easier to peel away from the shell. peeling fresh eggs is a nightmare and usually results in multiple crumbly throw aways. it is still possible to get a peeled egg from a fresh one, just more time consuming.
i brought these Wasabi Deviled Eggs to our Thanksgiving Dinner last thursday. they went down a treat, the wasabi adds that needed kick to the eggs, while the subtle cooling cucmber garnish mellows the flavours. wasabi is a member of the brassica family (cabbage, brocolli, mustard, etc.) and is generally called japanese horseradish, as its native to japan. but funnily enough its not of the horseradish species (which shares the same family) at all! the flavour is very similar, if not more potent, as the more familiar horseradish. you'll usually find wasabi in more well known sushi dishes as a condiment.
have fun at your next dinner party!
Wasabi Deviled Eggs
'classic' deviled eggs have a mixture filled with dijon mustard, minced shallots, tabasco and mayonaise; garnished with paprika. but, let your mind run wild for filling additions! for a 'bloody mary' spin try using: horseradish, worchestire sauce, lemon juice, tabasco and celery salt - garnish with finely chopped tomato, black pepper and a splash of vodka! for green curry ones try: green curry paste and lime juice with a coriander sprig garnish.
1 dozen hard boiled eggs, cooled
2 tablespoons wasabi paste
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
2 tablesppons fresh ginger, minced super fine
3 large spoonfulls of store bought mayonaise
1/4 cucumber, de-seeded and finely chopped
rice wine vinegar
chives, finely chopped
- take all but the chives for your garnish and toss together with enough rice wine vinegar to coat the cucmber pieces. set aside.
- peel your hard boiled eggs. i do this under a running sink tap. tap them to loosen the shells.
- dry the eggs, once peeled with kitchen paper.
- halve you eggs with a sharp knife and remove the yolks into a mixing bowl. set the halved whites on a serving platter.
- with a fork or whisk mash your egg yolks till smooth. add the rest of the ingreidents for the filling, mix till combined. taste the filling and adjust with what you feel it needs. we're looking for a balance of flavours, and a nice kick.
- fill a piping bag or freezer bag with the end snipped, fitted with a star piping tip, with your filling. and pipe rosettes into the egg white 'shells'
- garnish with your cucumber garnish, and chopped chives.
- chill until ready to serve.