We are nearing the end of National Egg Month, but who needs a special month to remind them to buy, cook and eat such a staple? Instead, this should be an excuse to celebrate eggs and make some of our favorite dishes with eggs as an ingredient. Mmmm… omelets, frittata, eggs Benedict, bread pudding, meatloaf, cake … the possibilities are endless!
Deviled eggs are at the top of the list, to be sure. I’ve never brought home leftover deviled eggs from a potluck; they are delicious, not to mention easy and inexpensive. I’m a deviled egg purist in the sense that I prefer the standard Southern preparation with mustard, mayonnaise, pickle relish and seasonings, but you can do a whole lot more. In fact, this year’s Virginia Egg Council sponsored contest at the state fair will be the “Tasty Little Devils” deviled egg contest. See the end of this entry for rules (and three new egg recipes!).
Have you perfected the art of hard boiling eggs? Even if you have, I figured it might be interesting to take a look at the Virginia Egg Council’s recommended method:
1. Place eggs in saucepan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Add cold water to cover eggs by 1 inch. Heat over high heat just to boiling.
2. Remove from burner. Cover pan. Let eggs stand in hot water about 15 minutes for Large eggs (12 minutes for Medium eggs; 18 for Extra Large).
3. Cool completely under cold running water or in a bowl of ice water. Peel and eat, or store unpeeled in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Two-week-old eggs that have been refrigerated reportedly make the best hard-boiled eggs because they can be peeled easily. But my mom’s trick, which seems to work on eggs of any age, is to remove them from the hot water, gently crack them on the outside, then place in a bowl of ice water to soak for a little while. I guess the water gets under the shell and helps to separate it from the egg white.
In honor of National Egg Month, the egg council sent along some new recipes to tempt us. I’ll share them below. How do you like your eggs?
PINK POTATO SALAD
Serves 8 to 10
3 lbs. baby red potatoes, washed, skins on
1 small onion, diced
7 hard-boiled eggs, sliced, 1 reserved
½ green bell pepper, diced
6 sliced radishes
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
3 Tbsp. fresh, chopped parsley
½ cup chili sauce
2 cups mayonnaise
½ cup French dressing
2 tsp. salt
3 tsp. onion powder
½ tsp. pepper
¼ tsp. garlic powder
Paprika for garnish
Prepare dressing. Boil potatoes until tender but firm. Cool slightly, cut in half and add dressing while still warm. Let sit while preparing other ingredients; then fold them in. Refrigerate. Garnish with sliced egg and paprika.
MUSHROOM AND EGG SALAD*
Makes 3 main dish or 6 appetizer salads
3 slices brown bread and olive oil
3 to 4 eggs, hard boiled and peeled, set aside
1 head frisée lettuce
1 bunch watercress
9 oz. chanterelle (or your choice) mushrooms
1 Tbsp. butter
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 Tbsp. capers
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1½ Tbsp. red wine vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
1. Tear bread into 1” chunks. Drizzle with light olive oil and a touch of salt. Bake in 350° oven for 20 minutes, moving chunks around halfway through. They should be golden.
2. Wash and tear up lettuce and watercress and spin-dry.
3. Trim soiled ends of mushrooms and wipe clean. Melt butter in skillet, add garlic; swirl in bubbling butter until they begin to turn brown; add mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper, cover; toss again and fry on high heat, uncovered, until soft.
4. Make dressing by whisking those ingredients together.
5. To serve, coat salad greens with dressing; arrange on plates with croutons scattered. Toss on mushrooms and arrange sliced eggs on top. Add a grind of cracked pepper and a touch of Kosher salt on yolks.
*Recipe adapted from Coloring the Seasons, by Allegra McEvedy
CORN CHIP SALAD
1 large head iceberg lettuce, washed, spun and torn
6 hard-boiled eggs, chopped large
½ lb. bacon, fried, drained and crumbled
¾ lb. grated cheddar (or your favorite) cheese
4 to 6 cups corn chips, crushed
¼ cup brown sugar
1 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. vinegar
¼ cup milk
1. Mix lettuce, eggs, bacon, cheese and corn chips together in a large bowl.
2. Mix dressing ingredients together and pour over salad just before serving.
“Tasty Little Devils” Virginia Egg Council 2012 Contest
• The recipe must include a minimum of six eggs and reflect a stuffed egg in some way.
• Ingredients must be listed in the order of use.
• Directions, cooking time, temperature and servings must be included.
• If special toppings are used, they must be included.
• Recipes will become the property of the Virginia Egg Council.
• Recipes will be prepared and presented for judging at local county fairs.*
• Prepared entries must be delivered for judging in coolers
Prizes at Local Fair Level
1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners will receive gifts (including Eggland’s Best Eggs) and a chance to compete for top state honors at finals, to be held at the Homestead on Jan. 5, 2013.
Prizes at State LeveL
1st – $375 plus a year’s supply of Eggland’s Best Eggs
2nd – $250 plus 6 months’ supply of Eggland’s Best Eggs
3rd – $125 plus 6 months’ supply of Eggland’s Best Eggs
*No Competition at your Local Fair?
You may compete at another county fair. Participant may compete in one contest, one time.