By now, you most likely have your Easter menu planned ... ham, potato salad and the one thing most can't get enough of - deviled eggs. An interesting name for such a popular dish served on a Christian holiday. I guess we all have a little devil in us when it comes down to it.
You may be surprised at the number of eggs sold during the week before Easter. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1.08 billion eggs were sold Easter week 2013, compared to 1.04 billion sold in each of the 51 other weeks. And while there are no official data that says deviled eggs are the most popular of all egg dishes served at Easter, Google Trends research and social- media conversation analytics point to that conclusion, says Kristin Livermore, director of marketing communications for the American Egg Board.
"Maybe it's because deviled eggs are such a versatile dish," she says. "They are the perfect addition to any party or meal."
But before you put all your eggs in one basket, heed this warning from the Egg Board: "We recommend that you don't use eggs that have been used for the (Easter egg) hunt ... since it's likely they've been out of the refrigerator for a few hours.
"However, there is no problem with using dyed eggs to make deviled eggs as long as they have been stored properly in the refrigerator. Hard-boiled eggs in the shell can be refrigerated safely for up to one week. Peeled hard-boiled eggs should be eaten that day. Uncooked, eggs can stay fresh in a refrigerator for up to a month or more."
Now for the tasty part ... I posted a request on Facebook asking friends how they liked their deviled eggs prepared and was astonished at all the replies. Here's a list of some of those that make them with things other than the usual mayonnaise and pickle relish. There are no specific amounts listed. Just use your own judgment and taste as you go.
If you have a favorite recipe that's a little different from the norm, email it to me at email@example.com. I'll post it in a future column since we'll be enjoying deviled eggs a good deal at picnics in the coming months.
• Phyllis McCraw Cabe: Ranch dressing, a little mustard, sweet relish and a little dill relish garnished lightly with a sprinkle of rosemary and garlic seasoning and topped with an olive slice.
• Chef John Lopopolo: Cream cheese infused with lemongrass and topped with caviar.
• Paula Skurecki: Thousand Island dressing and a touch of yellow mustard, then a slice of olive on top.
• Harris Van Cleaf: Mix in a little truffle oil.
• Emily Ahlquist O'Donnell: Add a sprinkle of curry powder on top.
• Eric Taylor: Sundried tomatoes reconstituted so they're soft, then chopped and mixed in.
• Mary Jane Thomas Ruch: Mayonnaise, a little mustard, chopped green onions, curry powder, salt, then paprika on top. Sometimes minced bell pepper. What's left after eggs are filled is great as a topping on little Melba rounds.
• Sandy Zitkus: Mayonnaise, mustard, sweet pickle relish, roasted onion powder and Spice House Wauwatosa seasoning. Paprika for garnish.
• Robin Derryberry: Mayonnaise, mustard, salt, parsley, pepper and (drum roll) Worcestershire sauce.
• Marcia Fryar: Chopped green olives and Hellman's mayo - that's all.
And here's one of my new favorites from allrecipes.com if you're looking for something a little different. The bacon and cheese give it a nice change of pace. Eggs, bacon and cheese work together in an omelet, so why not a deviled egg?
1/2 cup mayonnaise (or half mayonnaise and half sour cream)
4 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
2 tablespoons finely shredded shredded cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon mustard
Place eggs in a saucepan, and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Cover, and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water and cool. To cool more quickly, rinse eggs under cold, running water.
Peel the hard-cooked eggs, and cut in half lengthwise. Remove yolks to a small bowl. Mash egg yolks with mayonnaise, crumbled bacon and cheese. Stir in mustard. Fill egg white halves with the yolk mixture and refrigerate until serving. Garnish, as desired, with paprika and extra bacon bits.
Brownies are one of America's favorite sweets, from regular to blondies, todark chocolate and milk chocolate brownies; whether they're iced or so gooey they need no icing, whether they have cream cheese or nuts embedded within their layers.
So in celebration of brownies, the Creative Discovery Museum is having a brownie contest, asking for you to send in the name of a local or regional restaurant or bakery that serves the best brownies in town.
The deadline for nominations is May 2, and five finalists will be asked to bring brownies to the museum so guests can taste them to determine the winner. Submit your nominations by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call them in to 648-6069.
Contact Anne Braly at email@example.com.