Easter week is upon us! One of our favorite holidays at MM, Easter is almost synonymous with this classic hors d'oeuvre. It's also a staple for cocktail parties year round, so naturally our version is at the front of the recipe box.
Though the ingredients of the egg filling can be somewhat contested (dijon v. yellow mustard, pickle relish?Not welcome in our house) and often passed down through generations (our recipe is a family secret provided by our great grandmother) we can't help dressing the standard egg up for special occasions such as Easter. These are the embellished version of our Veronique, if you will.
Pickling the cooked and peeled eggs with beets a day in advance imparts delightful color and interesting notes of quiet earthiness, with a bright punch. A sprinkle of chives mixed into the filling denotes the celebratory season, and slipping just a teaspoon or so of reserved bacon fat into the filling is the silent surprise your guests will delight in. That bacon fat is also welcome medicine in a houseguest's Sunday morning bloody mary. Garnish with a shoot of chive and a small piece of bacon, because why stop now? This is not your average Sunday, ladies.
BEET-PICKLED DEVILED EGGS WITH BACON & CHIVES
- White, non-organic eggs at room temperature (trust us, they peel more easily)
- 4 cups distilled white vinegar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 beet, grated on the large holes of a box grater
- Thick cut applewood smoked bacon
- Fresh chives
- The filling of your choice
Cook bacon in a large pan on the stove, not in the oven. Reserve the fat in a small bowl, and refrigerate to chill and congeal.
Meanwhile, bring vinegar, sugar, salt, and 3 cups of water to boil in a medium saucepan, stirring to dissolve the salt & sugar. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl with the grated beet. Let the mixture steep for 30 minutes, then chill in the refrigerator. Warning: this is not a process you want to do the morning after a few martinis...
Bring a large saucepan of water to a full boil, and carefully add eggs with a spoon to the water. Cook for 14 minutes, remove eggs and add to a bowl of ice water to stop cooking, let them sit for 2-3 minutes.
Remove eggs and peel. We suggest placing on a tea towel, and lightly tapping eggs on all sides, then, with slight pressure, rolling the eggs on the towel with the palm of your hand to further break down the seal of the shell. This should loosen the shell and prevent breaking the whites as much as possible.
Add eggs to pickling liquid and let them sit overnight for bright color, or for a few hours for a more bashful hue.
Mix your filling of choice, and add a sprinkling of finely chopped chives, as well as a heaping teaspoon of the reserved bacon fat. Pipe the filling into the split eggs, garnish with more chive and bacon if you wish, and serve.