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I do, deviled eggs

I’ve been mum lately, I know, on the whole marriage thing. I stirred up a ruckus, and then I went silent. But you should know that I haven’t changed my mind, and that most of the time, my feet aren’t cold. I won’t be picking up my petticoat and fleeing for the hills with my maiden name still intact. What’s been keeping me quiet is something much more predictable: I’ve been planning.

Since the afternoon of our engagement, when we strolled Brooklyn in the late sun, squinting at the strange new ray of light from my ring finger, we’ve been planning what I call a big party with a ceremony on the side. We knew that we wanted a summertime setting, but seeing as it was already late March, that made timing a little tricky. We didn’t want to rush. We wanted time to play with the details and, most importantly, to enjoy each other in the process. We’re also picky, and being picky is most pleasant, I find, when you’re not in a hurry.

So with all that in mind, and with historical weather data on our side, we have set a date and, so far, a few key details. We will be married on July 29, 2007, in a smallish town outside of Seattle, on the coast. Our ceremony will take place in a park by the water, with dinner a short walk away. I will come down the aisle on my mother’s arm, swathed in twenty strapless yards of Chantilly lace. And then there will be deviled eggs.

I love deviled eggs. They may be a stale stowaway from the 1950s and the ugly stepchild of every family barbeque, but damn it, I do not care. When properly made, there is no two-bite package more perfectly suited to a summer day than a cool hard-boiled egg white with a creamy filling. If you feel any degree of fondness for egg salad, it’s pure hypocrisy to diss the deviled egg. Rich with mayonnaise, tangy with mustard, and with a spicy, tingly edge, it’s the lowly egg’s best shot at becoming something fancy—America’s answer, I suppose you could say, to the French soufflé.

And these days, that something fancy can be pretty fancy indeed, with toppings that go beyond the usual dusting of musty paprika. A deviled egg with caviar is a nice surprise, or smoked salmon or a little bit of curry. I’ve even seen them breakfast-style, with shards of bacon and fine, crispy breadcrumbs. What style we’ll serve at the wedding is still to be determined—and we do, phew, have fourteen months to decide—but what I made this weekend was awfully nice.

A messy union of Americana and classic French cuisine, this deviled egg is fitted with a saucy hat of crabmeat ravigote, a cold sauce with—depending on who you ask—a mayonnaise or vinaigrette base flavored with fresh herbs. The sweet, mild flavors of crabmeat and egg are a natural pair already, but combine them in a cloud of mayonnaise shot through with summer herbs, and you’ve got something worth planning for—even fourteen months ahead.

Deviled Eggs with Crabmeat Ravigote
Adapted from Jeff Tunks and Chris Clime of Acadiana

I first tasted a version of these eggs at Washington, D.C.’s Acadiana, a “contemporary interpretation of a Louisiana fish house” that happens—full disclosure!—to be co-owned by one of my brothers. I may be biased, but I think these are uncannily good deviled eggs. If you should someday happen to find yourself near our nation’s capitol, go to Acadiana and order the trio of deviled eggs—but until then, make them yourself.

My first attempt at adapting the recipe yielded a deviled filling that was a tad too loose, as evidenced in the photographs above. I have adjusted the quantities below for what I hope will be a slightly more firm filling. Be sure to use good mayonnaise—preferably homemade—and buy the freshest crab possible.

4 large eggs
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 tsp Tabasco sauce
1 tsp Worchestershire sauce
6 Tbs good-quality mayonnaise, divided
2 ounces fresh lump crabmeat, such as Dungeness
1 tsp diced shallot
½ tsp minced garlic
½ tsp minced fresh thyme
½ tsp minced fresh Italian parsley
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Finely chopped chives, for garnish

Fill a medium saucepan with water, and bring it to a boil. Place the eggs in the boiling water, and cook them for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, pour out the boiling water, and immediately run cold water over the eggs to cool them and stop the cooking process. When the eggs are cool, carefully peel them, and slice them in half lengthwise. Gently remove the yolks, and place them in a small mixing bowl. Set the whites aside.

Using a fork, mash the yolks well. Add the Dijon mustard, Tabasco sauce, Worchestershire sauce, 3 Tbs of the mayonnaise, and a pinch or two of salt. Whisk the mixture until it is creamy. Taste for seasoning, and adjust as necessary. Carefully spoon or pipe the yolk mixture back into the egg white halves.

In another small bowl, gently stir together the crabmeat, shallot, garlic, thyme, parsley, vinegar, and the remaining 3 Tbs of mayonnaise. Mix well. Divide the crabmeat mixture among the egg halves, and garnish with chives. Serve immediately.

Yield: 8 deviled eggs


Anonymous Leah said...

Yum! Here's a surprise: I love deviled eggs! Who would have guessed? I'm particularly fond of them with just horseradish mayonnaise, salt, pepper, and paprika... Simple, but oh-so-good.

12:51 AM, June 06, 2006  
Blogger wheresmymind said...

I can't imagine why anyone would hate on the Deviled 'es! I have no doubt you won't follow my sister who has cancelled two weddings (1 three weeks before the ceremony) and we are all rooting for her to cancel the third! lol

5:48 AM, June 06, 2006  
Anonymous Sue Young said...

Deviled eggs are so popular...who woulda thunk it. I need a new recipe every spring for classes...here is this year's version.
Wasabi Stuffed Eggs
6 hard-cooked eggs (see directions below)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream or greek yogurt (strained yogurt buy at TJ’s)
2 teaspoons wasabi paste, or to taste
2 green onions, finely minced
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional Garnish: sprinkle with furikake (seaweed and sesame seeds sprinkle)

1. Peel hard-cooked eggs, slice in half, remove yolks to a small bowl.
2. Add mayonnaise, sour cream, wasabi paste, green onions, and lemon zest. Mash to combine.
Taste for wasabi and salt.
3. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a fluted tip.
Prior to serving fill whites with wasabi filling.
How to Hard-Cook Eggs 101:
Place eggs in a pot with cold water to cover.
Bring to a simmer, cook for 3 minutes.
Remove from heat and cover. Set aside to cook in residual heat for 17 minutes.
Drain and rinse with cold water until chilled. Set aside for 5 minutes in cold water.
Drain and shake to crack shells, peel off shells under running water. Can be cooked several days ahead. Yield: 12 servings

7:25 AM, June 06, 2006  
Blogger iamchanelle said...

you go girl! it's your party, go for whatever makes it awesome. i loved the sound of a breakfast deviled egg - breadcrumbs and all!

congrats again, and good luck with all the planning - wow - 2007!

7:55 AM, June 06, 2006  
Blogger krysten said...

LOVE deviled eggs!! you're right though, they do get a bad rap. but i know any time i see them at a party i say to myself "oh yay, deviled eggs!!".

wonder why i don't make them myself? maybe i will! ;-)

8:00 AM, June 06, 2006  
Blogger Sally said...

Haha! I love that you picked a late-July wedding date for this area. Smart, smart girl.

10:06 AM, June 06, 2006  
Blogger Alice Q said...

These sound delicious! We actually eloped to Langley, on Whidbey Island (though we live in San Diego!) and had a catered reception at home a few months later. It was great. We had a great dinner on our wedding night at the Inn at Langley. On weekends the owner cooks in the chef's-kitchen style restaurant. He prepares the meal course by course, and describes all of the ingredients and where they came from as the meal is served. It is very expensive, but worth it! Good luck with your planning!

10:50 AM, June 06, 2006  
Blogger foodiechickie said...

Glad wedding plans are going well. Congrats on picking a date! I looove deviled eggs as well:)

12:38 PM, June 06, 2006  
Anonymous kymm said...

Yum. I too love deviled eggs and don't feel embarassed about it in the least. One of my favorite posessions is a deviled egg plate that was my grandma's - my mom has one that matches. It has 12 little depressions to nestle the eggs and a pretty floral border.

Glad to hear the planning is proceeding apace.

12:43 PM, June 06, 2006  
Blogger Tokyoastrogirl said...

Deviled eggs! My dad used to make them for us a lot and I love them. Once he made an entire platter of them- they looked so gorgeous and my sister (who was 8 at the time) carried them to the table. On her way, she accidentally tilted the plate just a bit and all of the eggs went sliding off the platter and onto the floor! Ah, memories:). Thanks for the great post.

3:15 PM, June 06, 2006  
Blogger ~ AH ~ said...

I love deviled eggs also.
I make fairly simple ones and just throw in whatever I have that sounds good.

What's funny to me is that there's recipes for deviled eggs, and they're getting as many ingredients listed as cakes or other goods... no more days of simple deviled eggs :)

5:35 PM, June 06, 2006  
Anonymous Ingrid said...

We actually got married at Point Defiance Park in Tacoma 10+ years ago -- don't guess that's a smallish town? It was very lucky for us though. . .

6:56 PM, June 06, 2006  
Blogger Anali said...

Congratulations on picking a date! I love deviled eggs and have never understood why they get such a bad rap. I always make the same plain ones because they are so good. I think this will be the summer of some experimentation...

8:02 PM, June 06, 2006  
Blogger Molly said...

Leah, I'm starting to think that we were separated at birth. As if the halibut, lima beans, and chocolate cookies weren't enough, the deviled eggs are a dead giveaway...

Wheresmymind, I most certainly do not plan on any cancellations! I mean, hell, then there would be no occasion for deviled eggs! [And Brandon is a pretty nice too.]

Sue, your wasabi deviled eggs sound delicious! Greek yogurt, lemon zest, furikake - wow.

Thank you, iamchanelle! Brandon and I have been having so much fun making lists of favorite flavors and foods that we want at the wedding - we like this "it's our party and we'll eat what we want to" thing. Stay tuned for more in the coming months...

Krysten, your time has come. Buy some eggs, and devil away!

Sally, isn't July 29 the least rainy day of the year or something, statistically? When we saw that it fell on a weekend, you'd better believe that we pounced on it.

Alice Q, I hate to admit that I've never been to Whidbey - the shame! I hear wonderful things about the Inn at Langley, though - and what a sweet way to do your wedding.

Thank you, foodiechickie. And as for the deviled eggs, I should have guessed that you might agree!

Kymm, your deviled egg plate sounds so lovely! I should start looking for one of those myself - maybe a wedding registry item? Something tells me, though, that they don't make them like they used to.

Tokyoastrogirl, what a wonderful memory - for us, at least, if not for your sister!

AH, I wouldn't worry - there will always be simple deviled eggs! All this fancy stuff is just a fad, even if it's tasty.

Ingrid, Point Defiance is really beautiful, and I'm not the least bit surprised that it's been lucky for you. But nope, Tacoma is not our smallish town...

Anali, we're in good company here, we deviled egg lovers! Your summer of deviled experimentation sounds mighty promising.

8:38 PM, June 06, 2006  
Blogger Amy said...

I have always said that the deviled egg is the best form of an egg!

6:08 AM, June 07, 2006  
Anonymous Grand Poo-bette said...

Bring on the deviled egg revival! I love them in all their manifestations...curry, crab, wasabi...YUM!

9:08 AM, June 07, 2006  
Blogger Ugly Gourmet said...

Have you ever tried smoked deviled eggs. I am playing with a recipe that I found at Howling Hog BBQ blog. I haven't had much luck yet with the smoking process, but it is fun trying. Here's The link to his blog if you are interested.

Smoked Eggs

UG!My Blog

9:19 AM, June 07, 2006  
Blogger Molly said...

Amy, you're one wise woman.

I like that, dear Grand Poo-bette - you're an equal-opportunity deviled egg appreciator.

Smoked deviled eggs! Ugly Gourmet, that is one thing I have never even imagined! Hot damn. I wonder how that would be...

6:36 PM, June 07, 2006  
Blogger Trish said...

I looooove deviled eggs but can't stand egg salad. Is that weird?

Anyway, I applaud you for not rushing with the wedding planning. My husband, at first, couldn't understand why I wanted the extra time to make everything perfect for our wedding, but he's as picky as I am (and assume you are). He was so happy when everything turned out perfect the day of (except our dry cake...grrr).

Enjoy the process! The details are well worth it.

8:54 PM, June 07, 2006  
Blogger SweetSarahJ said...

Yum! Crab in deviled eggs sounds great. I can't get my husband to eat any egg-salad type substance- he doesn't know what he's missing!

12:06 AM, June 08, 2006  
Blogger astillac said...

Ooh.. talk of weddings frightens me... mine's only 86 days away! Aaah!!

Also... I just recently realized that I really enjoy deviled eggs. I HATED them as a kid. I think I was just being too picky. They're yummy now! And the breakfast idea! Brunches ahoy!

2:32 AM, June 08, 2006  
Blogger Natalie said...

I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't like a good deviled egg. In my experience, they always get eaten up.

7:41 AM, June 09, 2006  
Blogger briana said...

I second Natalie's comment above - in fact, I don't think I could trust a person who didn't enjoy a deviled egg. On of the sexiest food moments I ever shared with a man was over a small plate of them on a Sunny afternoon at the famous Clemetine Bakery here in Los Angeles.

Re: Wedding Plans. Have you visited http://kenziekate.blogspot.com/ ? She catalogs wonderful, modern/organic wedding ideas. Hell, I'm not even engaged and I subscribe to her feed... best of luck with wedding planning. How fun!

bessos, Briana

10:33 AM, June 09, 2006  
Blogger kickpleat said...

i think july is a good wedding choice for the pacific nw. we got married last june 25th and thankfully, it turned out to be a lovely day. i also attended another wedding on annacortes the previous year in june & luckily the skies were dry then too! deviled eggs are delicious and i think i might just make your recipe for our upcoming first wedding anniversary.

12:50 PM, June 09, 2006  
Blogger Brian Gardunia said...

I just can't imagine deviled eggs without red pepper covering the tops of the eggs. we used to have them at every family gathering: funerals and weddings. My brothers and I used to eat them by the snuck handful along with black olives and as many slivers of pie we could get away with.

Congrats on the upcoming wedding!

8:19 AM, June 10, 2006  
Blogger Molly said...

Nah, Trish, it's not weird. Egg salad can be chunky and lumpy and often faaaar to mayonnaisey - deviled eggs are much smoother going down, I'd say. And as for the wedding, I'm so glad that you understand. When I tell people our date, they often question me on such a long engagement, but to us, it seems perfectly logical - and much more enjoyable! Brandon and I both have a lot going on in the coming year - his moving to Seattle being the least of it! - and we just want to enjoy the process. Cheers to you and your husband, and to details.

SweetSarahJ, your husband is not alone. My dear Brandon - gasp! - probably won't be eating any of these either. He has mayonnaise "issues," among other things, and he's wary of hard-boiled eggs. But don't worry about him - he has his own must-have food ideas for the reception and dinner, so we'll get all of our favorites: mine, his, and ours.

86 days away, astillac - congratulations, and godspeed! Very, very exciting. And how nice to have had a deviled egg conversion along the way...

Natalie, I hear you. In my experience, these little babies just fly off the serving platter - or maybe it's only because I'm eating them all?

Briana, I love the idea of your sexy Sunday moment over deviled eggs - hot damn. And as for kenziekate.blogspot.com, thank you for the tip! I hopped over there and spent nearly an entire hour poking around, looking at her links, etc. She also makes some lovely invitations. Yum.

Kickpleat, I must have known, but I had forgotten that you and Cornelius were married only so recently! Congratulations, my dear, and happy, happy (early) anniversary.

Brian Gardunia, I love the mental image of that - a bunch of little boys hiding out with their deviled eggs! I'm sure that, had I been there, I would have been busy doing the same. Too cute.

9:24 AM, June 10, 2006  
Anonymous J. Bo said...

Oh, I know I've come late to the devilish egg discussion, but I DO love them so!

I admit these eggs tend to be my project with the assembled kids at family Thanksgivings, and experience reveals that the young'uns LOVE using the star-tube-in-zip-top-bag application for filling the eggs (or "yeggs," as the younger ones have called them). It can get a little giggly and messy, but more fun is not to be had under any circumstances... and the results are are DAMNED TASTY, TOO!

In MY family tradition, we do hard-cooked eggs according to the method of the late great Sainted Julia Child, smush up the yolks extra smooth with homemade mayo, Dijon or (my preference) Gulden's mustard, a hint of garlic (use your rasp grater!), finely ground black pepper, a squirt of Tabasco or Sriracha and-- CRUCIAL INGREDIENT ALERT!!-- some liquid smoke. Paprika or chopped chives or parsley get sprinkled on top, depending on whose kitchen I'm occupying.

I've got a shameful number of Depression glass egg plates-- you know, the kind with the molded indents to hold your deviled treasures-- and every year I obsess over which one to use. I'm thinking perhaps one of them belongs on your reception table...

SO, Miss Molly... here's to wonderful "yeggs," a wonderful wedding, and wonderful family traditions of your own making.

4:28 AM, June 12, 2006  
Blogger Guru said...

What a beautiful blog! Congratulations!!!!!

3:10 PM, June 12, 2006  
Blogger Molly said...

J. Bo, you are after MY VERY HEART. I want a shameful number of Depression glass egg plates and a family tradition of yeggs! [Brandon, are you reading this?]

And Guru, thank you.

11:21 PM, June 12, 2006  
Blogger nika said...

We had deviled eggs at our very low key BBQ wedding reception and they are what I remember most/best. A good friend made them and they were DIVINE!

I think all weddings should serve deviled eggs, but I may be odd that way :-)

7:51 AM, June 17, 2006  
Blogger Molly said...

You're not odd at all, nika: you're SMART! And your wedding reception sounds wonderful.

1:37 PM, June 17, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So yummy! Deviled eggs held a special place on our Seattle wedding menu as well. I loved the way they were presented - cut in half the short way (like little cups of deviled love) and placed on a bed of chives. Beauty and simplicity! Congratulations on your upcoming nupuals and love your site!

7:34 PM, June 23, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Omg xD yeah but why do they call it "Deviled" eggs? T_T I Love Them OMFG Who Wouldnt? =O Sue Young Thanks For The Wasbai Stuffed Eggs Recipe I Might Try It =D

5:02 PM, August 13, 2007  
Anonymous Nick said...

I just made these and I have to say that they didn't turn out exactly as I hoped.

The yolk mixture was pretty runny and didn't really set up correctly. I guess it could've been something I did, but I'm pretty sure I followed the recipe.

I dig the idea though. I'm gonna work on it some more I think.

5:59 AM, December 06, 2009  

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