Eggs, eggs everywhere
Hard-boiled and dyed Easter eggs are beautiful and fun to make, but what to do with so many?
While I do realize that most people use plastic eggs for children’s Easter egg hunts, I am going to guess that parents and perhaps grandparents still enjoy helping the kids dye real hard-boiled eggs.
The look on the kids’ faces when they see a plain egg become transformed into something bright and colorful is too precious to pass up. But what to do with all those eggs (especially if your kids or grandkids don’t even like to eat eggs)?
My youngest son is 34 now and he has hated eggs ever since he was old enough to be spoonfed. I think it has something to do with the way eggs smell when being cooked.
Over the years, I collected quite a few recipes that use hard-boiled eggs, some that I just created out of desperation. I figured it was a good time to share some of them with you.
Before I forget, I would like to share a tip about a method of making hard-cooked eggs. It is supposed to result in easier-to-peel eggs. Many food bloggers I know highly recommend it. Instructions are below.
Steamed hard-cooked eggs
1. If you are using a steamer basket, fill a saucepan with as much water as needed to reach the bottom of the steamer basket (about 1 inch or so). Heat the water on high heat until it is boiling and producing steam.
2. Turn off the heat and gently place the eggs at the bottom of the steamer basket or the bottom of the pan. Turn the heat back on again to medium high, and cover the pot.
3. Set your timer for 6 minutes for soft boiled, 10 minutes for hard boiled with a still translucent and bright yolk, or 12 to 15 minutes for cooked-through hard boiled. If you have doubled up the eggs in the pan and they are not in a single layer, you may need to add a couple minutes or so to the cooking time for hard-boiled.
4. If you have 6 in a single layer, a good recommendation is to steam for a full 15 minutes. If you use 12 eggs, steam for 17 minutes. Note: Many things will influence the steaming time, including altitude and the size of the particular eggs you are using. It would be a good idea to remove one egg a couple minutes before you think it should be done, rinse it with cold water, and break it open to see if it is done enough for you.
5. Remove eggs with a spoon to a bowl of cold water or ice water, or run cold water directly into the pan to cover the eggs and quickly cool them down. Peel and use as desired.
Cat’s pickled eggs and beets
I just made a gallon jar of these the day before writing this. This time the beets came in glass jars rather than cans.
30 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
3 cans (15-oz. each) whole pickled beets (retain liquid)
1 cup cider vinegar (or white…do not use balsamic or wine vinegar)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 cinnamon stick, optional
1 gallon glass jar with lid
1. Drain pickled beet juice from all 3 cans (or jars) into a large sauce pan. Add vinegar, sugar, water and cinnamon, if using. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved; remove cinnamon stick and discard.
2. In the glass jar, add 1 can of beets. Add a layer of eggs, then another can of beets. Repeat again, until all the eggs and beets have been layered in the jar. Pour the hot brine over eggs and beets, a little at a time so as not to risk cracking the jar. Place the lid on the jar and chill at least 3 days. The longer the eggs sit in the brine, the more they absorb color and flavor. The eggs are best after about 5 days and beyond. The optimal sign of being ready is when the purple color has reached the yolk area. They are hard to resist, and around my house, by the time the eggs have become perfectly pickled, they are almost gone.
The great thing about deviled eggs is that you can customize them so easily. Add your favorite enhancements and there you go. I like to add a bit of sweet pickle relish and some finely minced celery, and sometimes a few bits of minced parsley.
1 dozen hard-boiled eggs, peeled
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (or whole-grain, regular or whichever mustard you prefer)
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon minced shallot (or green onion, chives or regular onion)
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste
Paprika, for garnish
1. Using a sharp knife, slice each egg in half, lengthwise. Gently remove the yolk halves and place in a small mixing bowl. Arrange the egg white halves on a serving platter.
2. Using a fork, mash up the yolks and add mustard, mayonnaise, onion, Tabasco and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Add more mayonnaise as necessary to get to the creamy consistency you want.
3. Pipe through a piping bag (star tip) or simply use a spoon to put the egg yolk mixture into the egg white halves. Sprinkle with paprika. Cover and chill before serving.
Egg salad sandwiches
For years, I only used the ripe black olives for an egg and olive sandwich. My mother-in-law showed me how delicious the pickled green ones can be. At first I cringed but soon became a fan. I realized that I never used a real recipe for these sandwiches, so for your sake, I searched for one that looked good so I could share something with exact measurements. Well, I soon discovered the best thing to do is just explain what I do and give you control over how to finish it.
Peeled, hard-boiled eggs (as many as you need or want)
Chopped ripe olives, drained well (or use pimento-stuffed green olives, also chopped and drained)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Leaf lettuce (or cabbage leaves, ribs removed)
Your favorite sliced bread
Optional: chopped celery, chopped onion, sweet pickle
1. In a mixing bowl, chop up the eggs using a pastry blender.
2. Add the olives and any other tasty things you wish and mix well.
3. Add mayonnaise to the egg and olive mixture until it has reached your desired consistency. Chill if necessary before making the sandwiches.
4. Spread mixture on one slice of bread, top with lettuce or cabbage and add the top slice of bread. Cut in half and place on serving plate. Repeat if needed for more sandwiches.
Cat’s simple potato salad
This is another one of my non-exact recipes that I make a lot, especially during the summer months. I will try to guesstimate some measurements. It is never too early for a potato salad, right?
About 6 gold, red or white potatoes, about medium-large size to large
5 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and coarsely chopped
Celery, stringed and chopped (1 to 2 stalks, as desired)
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion (more or less as desired)
1/2 cup bread and butter pickles, chopped
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (for sprinkling over hot potatoes)
1 1/2 to 2 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup Inglehoffer Original Stone Ground Mustard
Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Paprika, for garnish
1. Cut potatoes in half; cook in a pot of water until done. Cool until you can peel them, but make sure they are still very warm. Slice or cube into a mixing bowl and sprinkle evenly with apple cider vinegar.
2. Add celery, onion and pickles and lightly mix together. For dressing, mix mayonnaise, mustard, seasoned salt and pepper together. Add to potato mixture, stirring in to evenly coat potatoes with dressing without having them crumble. 3. Transfer to a serving dish if you desire, or leave in original bowl. Sprinkle a few dashes of paprika over the top, cover and chill until ready to serve.