I feel like deviled eggs have gone the way of friendster and Smash Mouth ("Some BODY once told me..."). Once a happenin' appetizer, deviled eggs as hors d'oevre today seem to have developed a kind of Jersey-Shore connotation. And knowing firsthand how delicious these eggs can be, I'm asking: why? Are deviled eggs on the slippery track to appetizer oblivion much like Betty Draper's rumaki? Or is it a trend cycle the eggs will be able to wait out? Or is it something else? Could it be the mayo factor? Lord knows I've had my problems with mayo—long before it was being sent to me in the mail. For me, mayo had always felt like an indulgence, something that the mere act of choosing to have on my sandwich somehow reflected badly on me as a person. Now I know that this was just leftover hang-ups from my days as a gymnast. (I wish so badly I could link to some old footage.) But now that I've fully fallen in love with food as something more than just a fuel source, I know that choosing mayo often means choosing to make item X even more delicious.
So back to the deviled egg. When Matt told me: "I don't like deviled eggs," I knew that he was coming from a place of bad connotations—from a dishonest, dark, judgmental place. And I knew that I could prove him wrong.
In fact, I bought Jerry Traunfeld's The Herbal Kitchen almost solely because of the below beautiful photo of his deviled egg recipe, which in the book is actually called: Smoked Salmon Stuffed Eggs. Also, it should be noted that Traunfeld's version doesn't even call for mayonnaise—something I didn't realize until I already had the book at home. No, The Herbal Kitchen (I would say, in an attempt to pull the deviled egg into 2010) uses sour cream, which I'm sure would make for a delicious stuffed egg as well, but I had a fridge full of homemade mayo and I was going to use it.
Herbal Kitchen's version:
Uhm, (needless to say?) Matt liked these. There's something incredibly satisfying about cold hard-cooked egg yolk mixed with mayo, salt and pepper especially paired with the contrast in texture of the bite of the cooked egg white. And with the addition of the smoked salmon, these little appetizers could almost be lunch in and of themselves. Can't wait to see what Grandma thinks. Put one in the mail to her this morning!
Smoked Salmon Stuffed Eggs via The Herbal Kitchen
12 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream (I substituted 1/4 cup homemade mayonnaise—the choice is yours!)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (3 oz.) diced cold [do the world a solid and go for the Alaskan wild-caught] smoked salmon
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives, plus small tips for garnish
2 tablespoons choppsed chervil, plus small sprigs for garnish
Freshly ground black pepper
Put the eggs in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring the water to a boil, cover the pot, and remove it fromt the heat. Exactly 18 minutes later, pour the hot water out and run cold water into the pot until the eggs are cool. Peel the eggs.
Cut the eggs in half lengthwise and remove the yolks. For a very smooth and creamy filling, push the yolks through a sieve with the back of a spoon; otherwise, just mash them with a fork in a mixing bowl. Beat in the sour cream and salt, then stir in the salmon, chives, chervil, and as much black pepper as you like. Spoon the filling back into the hollows of the whites. Cover and refrigerate the eggs until you are ready to serve. Garnish with the chive tips and chervil sprigs.