Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Deviled Eggs and "Vegetarian Diplomacy"

My housemates and I decided to make deviled eggs for a birthday barbeque. The following is a mixture of one knowing how to make them by taste and texture and the other googling a recipe.
I know I said that I'm always out of eggs, and this is still true; they aren't my eggs. S had 11 eggs nearing their expiration date, and A decided that we should make deviled eggs with them. I maintain that eggs never go bad, at least not for a long time. I regularly use half a dozen eggs over the course of two and a half months with no ill effects, which includes no food poisoning. But whatever. Deviled eggs are good.

Deviled Eggs According To S And A

This is S and A. And the deviled eggs, which are hard to see because of the flash.
Mayonnaise or miracle whip
Mustard (do not use with miracle whip unless you are a mustard fanatic)
Onion, cut in half

Hard boil your eggs, as many as you want, any size you want. This is accomplished by putting eggs in a pan, covering eggs with cold water, and heating to a boil. Boil for 15 minutes, possibly longer for particularly large eggs.
Run cool water over the eggs until the shells are cool in your hand. Peel the eggs and rinse off shell bits.
Cut eggs in half lengthwise and put yolks in a bowl; set egg whites on a plate or deviled egg holder, but if you have a deviled egg holder, why are you reading this recipe? You should have ovals on the flat side, not circles. Try to keep the eggs intact, but it's not a problem as far as edibility if they tear. It helps if you have a sort of assembly line: two people work on eggs, if there's more than five of them, and one person cuts them in half and scoops out yolk.
Ovals, not circles.

Once you've done this, add a little mayonnaise to the yolks. Start with a small spoonful and work it in, and add more if the yolks are still crumbly. It took about two large, heaping soup spoonfuls for 11 eggs for the yolks to go fluffy.
Add in a few spoonfuls of mustard. Again, start small. Taste for proper amounts.
Now for that onion. Scrape the cut edge over the bowl of fluffy yolks with the flat edge of a fork or table knife. You don't need a whole lot of onion juice.
Fluff yolk mixture. Taste. Feel cholesterol levels skyrocket. Be reminded of pickles, for some reason, and a hundred family dinners. Feel warmth towards your family. Add more mustard if needed.
They should be more yellow than in this picture.

Back to the egg whites. Take a spoonful of yolk mixture and scrape it off the spoon with an egg. You're trying to fill the holes the yolks used to occupy. Some should stick out over the top. If you're really fancy and have frosting bags, use those instead to get a nice swirl on top, like savory ice cream.
We did try the swirly thing by taping a ziplock bag with the corner cut out into a frosting bag tip, but the bag clogged and we only got two and a half eggs out of it before switching to the spoon-scraping method.
Once all the eggs are filled, sprinkle paprika lightly over the whole plate.
Filled, paprika'd eggy goodness.

Cover with too much plastic wrap because your housemate is a maniac. Confiscate plastic wrap as soon as possible.

I personally am fond of deviled eggs, not just because they remind me of my family, but because they're a great vegetarian (although really terrible vegan) thing to take to potlucks and barbeques. They look nice, almost everyone likes them, they fit in with the atmosphere, and they give you, the person who won't be eating any of the food cooked on the grill, unless you luck out and find a barbeque where people love roasting veggies, a nice protein boost. At potlucks, the same holds true. You can eat all the rolls and desserts and salads you can stand, but these will keep people from asking you if you're sure you don't want the baked beans (with the conspicuous ham bone or chunk of bacon) or how you survive without eating or how on earth you can not like fried chicken.

If that sort of thing really bothers you, bring some veggie burgers and claim a spot on the grill that doesn't have grease on it, or put down some foil, and grill yourself a veggie burger.
Also, preparing a "why I don't eat meat" statement is good. Make it non-confrontational so you don't alienate your friends, but stick to your position. In my case, I don't like the taste of meat. I really don't like the texture. I relate it to vegetables. I don't like meat, so I don't eat it. I also don't like beets, so I don't eat them, either. If you don't like something, and you're a grown up and make other healthy decisions, you can avoid that food in your diet.
Most people seem to respect that, even my dad who sighs and wishes I would "fall off the wagon" and my uncles, who regularly hunt and jokingly threatened to disown me.
I'm blessed with reasonable, friendly family and friends who accept me and humor my decisions. If you don't have that sort of network, you can share mine. They're very nice people, and they usually remember to use vegetable broth instead of chicken stock in the soup.
In the meantime, make deviled eggs and don't come to barbeques and potlucks hungry if you're not supplying a main dish. And keep smiling.

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