The Memorial Day weekend is upon us and what better time to enjoy that classic appetizer, deviled eggs? You know what I’m talking about. You take hard-cooked eggs that have been peeled and halved lengthwise, you remove the yolks and mash them together with some mayonnaise and other seasonings, and then you spoon the mixture back into the empty whites. Easy peasy, and for many, a delicious summertime treat.
This year I decided to try a different take on deviled eggs. The classic version is good but I thought it was time to mix things up a bit. As I was searching the internet for some ideas, I ran across a recipe on The Splendid Table that adds an intriguing French twist to both the ingredients and the technique. “Pan-Crisped Deviled Eggs on French Lettuces” starts out by tweaking the yolk mixture with the addition of some shallots and white wine vinegar and and substituting Dijon mustard for yellow. It then takes the imaginative next step of browning the eggs, filling side-down, in some extra virgin olive oil. The result is a yolk with a bit more caramelized flavor and texture than you find in the classic deviled egg recipe.
Given my love all cuisines Mediterranean, I couldn’t help but not try this version of the American classic. I think you’ll like it as much as I do. I added my own tweaks to the recipe by eliminating the milk and using sour cream instead of mayonnaise (although you can use mayonnaise if you prefer it). I also added some extra virgin olive oil to the yolk mixture to add a little more creaminess.
Note that because the egg yolk mixture is kept even with the surface of the whites and not mounded (in order to allow for the eggs to be browned), you will have leftover egg-yolk mixture. You can use this leftover in place of Dijon mustard in a vinaigrette (see my basic vinaigrette technique here) used to dress a salad you make for the same meal at which you serve the eggs (as the original recipe does) or for a salad you make at a later meal.
Happy Memorial Day!
French-Style Deviled Eggs
Because the egg yolk mixture is kept even with the surface of the whites and not mounded, you will have some left over. You can use the excess in place of Dijon mustard in a basic salad vinaigrette (which you can find here).
6 large eggs
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 shallot, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil or tarragon
2 tablespoons mayonnaise or sour cream
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon herb salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper (about 10 grinds of a pepper mill)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1. Arrange the eggs in a single layer in a steamer basket set over boiling water. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for exactly 12 minutes. Immediately remove the eggs from the basket and place them in a bowl of icy cold water. Let cool for 15 minutes. Working with one egg at a time, crack the shell by rolling the egg around on the counter. Place the egg back in the bowl of water for 10-15 seconds to loosen the cracked shell, and then remove the egg and gently peel off the shell. Repeat with the remaining eggs.
2. Cut the peeled, hard-cooked eggs in half lengthwise. Gently remove the yolks and place them in a small bowl. Reserve the whites.
3. Gently mash the yolks with a fork. Add the remaining ingredients except one tablespoon of olive oil and mix until the ingredients are well combined and the mixture begins to form a thick paste.
4. Pack the mixture back into the hollows of the egg whites. The filling should be even with the surface of the egg white, not mounded. You will have leftover filling (which you can use instead of Dijon mustard to thicken salad dressings).
5. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat until it begins to shimmer. Gently place the eggs in the pan, stuffed side down. Cook until the eggs are browned, about 3 minutes. Let cool and serve.
Make Ahead: You can make this recipe ahead through either step 3 or step 4.
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