Practical Yolk

Recipe and photos by Brandon Matzek

Each year after Easter, I'm left with a rainbow-hued glut of dyed hard-boiled eggs that takes up an entire shelf in my refrigerator (right above the leftover ham). This year, I've come up with a solution to use up all of these eggs: a Deviled Egg Party. The concept is simple - prepare a variety of everyone's favorite retro appetizer, invite friends and family over and serve brunch-style cocktails such as mimosas and Bloody Marys.

Let's get to the eggs. Chili Garlic Deviled Eggs are prepared with fiery Sambal Oelek chili paste, chopped cilantro and plenty of fresh lime juice. The finished egg is bold, with flavors that pop. My Bacon Avocado Deviled Eggs are made with crispy bits of bacon, grassy avocado, chopped scallion, hot sauce and lime juice. Basically guacamole in deviled-egg form, this variation is often the favorite. Finally, Pickled Beet Deviled Eggs start with sliced red beets in a simple pickling solution flavored with black pepper and bay. Whole hard-boiled eggs are submerged in the pickling liquid, allowing flavors and color to infuse into the egg. The yolks are then mixed with mayo, chopped pickled beet, pickling liquid, horseradish and chopped fresh chive.

Use these three recipes as a guide to make your own variations. You'll need three tablespoons of mayo for every six eggs. Then, add spicy (kimchi, pickled jalapeños, Sriracha) and fresh (cilantro, parsley, chive, mint) elements to cut through the richness of the yolk and mayo. Salt is a must. If you find that the yolk mixture needs a little lift, add acid (lemon, lime, vinegar).

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Chile Garlic Deviled Eggs

Ingredients
6 hard-boiled eggs
3 tbsp. mayonnaise
1 tbsp. chili garlic sauce (such as Sambal Oelek)
1 tbsp. finely chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
Juice of half a lime
Kosher salt

Process
Be prepared. Cut each hard-boiled egg in half, and then place the yolks in a medium bowl. Set the egg whites on a serving plate, cut side up.
Mash and mix. To the bowl with egg yolks, add mayonnaise, chili garlic sauce, 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro, lime juice and a pinch of kosher salt. Using a fork, mash and stir the yolks until all ingredients are well combined. You don't want any big chunks of yolk remaining. Season to taste with additional kosher salt.
Pipe and primp. Transfer yolk mixture to a small zip-top bag. Seal the bag, then cut off one of the bottom tips. Pipe the yolk mixture into the wells of each egg white. Sprinkle with additional chopped cilantro.

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Bacon Avocado Deviled Eggs

Ingredients
6 hard-boiled eggs
3 tbsp. mayonnaise
3 slices crispy-cooked bacon, finely chopped
1/2 avocado, pit removed, diced
1 scallion, roots trimmed, white and green part finely chopped, dark green part thinly sliced for garnish
1 tbsp. hot sauce (preferably green in color)
Squeeze of lime
Kosher salt

Process
Be prepared. Cut each hardboiled egg in half, and then place the yolks in a medium bowl. Set the egg whites on a serving plate, cut side up.
Mash and mix. To the bowl with egg yolks, add mayonnaise, 3/4 of the chopped bacon (reserve the rest for garnish), diced avocado, chopped scallion (white and light green parts only), hot sauce, lime juice and a pinch of kosher salt. Using a fork, mash and stir the yolks until all ingredients are well combined. You don't want any big chunks of yolk remaining. Season to taste with additional kosher salt.
Pipe and primp. Transfer yolk mixture to a small zip-top bag. Seal the bag, then cut off one of the bottom tips. Pipe the yolk mixture into the wells of each egg white. Sprinkle with reserved chopped bacon and thinly sliced scallion (dark-green part).

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Pickled Beet Deviled Eggs

Ingredients
2 cooked beets, sliced*
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste

1 bay leaf
2 tsp. whole black peppercorns
6 hard-boiled eggs
3 tbsp. mayonnaise
2 tsp. prepared horseradish
1 tbsp. thinly sliced chive, plus more for garnish
Black pepper

Process
In a pickle. Place sliced beets in a medium bowl and set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine water, red wine vinegar, sugar, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, bay leaf and black peppercorns. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt. Take the mixture off the heat, and then pour into the bowl with the sliced beets. Let the mixture cool completely, and then add hardboiled eggs. Cover and let pickle for at least 2 hours (or up to 2 days). The color will become more vibrant the longer you pickle.
Be prepared. Remove the eggs from the pickling liquid and blot dry. Cut each hard-boiled egg in half, and place the yolks in a medium bowl. Set the egg whites on a serving plate, cut side up. Finely chop 3 - 4 pickled beet slices. Reserve pickling liquid.
Mash and mix. To the bowl with egg yolks, add mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon chopped pickled beets (reserve any extra for garnish), 1 tablespoon strained pickling liquid, 2 teaspoons horseradish, 1 tablespoon sliced chive, several turns of black pepper and a pinch of kosher salt. Using a fork, mash and stir the yolks until all ingredients are well combined. You don't want any big chunks of yolk remaining. Season to taste with additional kosher salt.
Pipe and primp. Transfer yolk mixture to a small zip-top bag. Seal the bag, then cut off one of the bottom tips. Pipe the yolk mixture into the wells of each egg white. Sprinkle with additional chopped pickled beet and thinly sliced chive.

*You can purchase precooked beets at Trader Joe's. If you can't find this product, simply roast beets at home. Wash each beetroot, dry, and then place on a square of foil. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with kosher salt and pepper. Bring the foil up around the beet, sealing the edges. Each beet should be wrapped up like this, individually. Bake in a 400°F oven until tender (about 1 hour). Let the beets cool, unwrap, and then peel off skins.

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