I feel a little silly coming in here with deviled eggs, of all things, but I think I may have stumbled upon the holy grail of deviled egg recipes (heh heh. I just said "holy" and "deviled" in the same sentence). Deviled eggs don't usually get me all hot and bothered. I mean, I love them as much as the next person (because of course there is no middle ground with deviled eggs - one either grins at the sight of them or wrinkles their nose in disgust, yes?), but I've never been much for clipping deviled egg recipes so as to have copious versions of these in my repertoire. They're just eggs, after all. Hard-boiled eggs with some mayo and mustard and paprika, and maybe a little pinch of this or that thrown in, but they'll never be the most sensual item on the buffet.
There I was though, with some gorgeous fresh eggs straight from the farm and a big handsome hunk of local feta, and I thought I might die of boredom if I made one more frittata. Or quiche. Vegetarian proteins are a bit limited, you see, and and I needed a little break from anything puffy and custardy (especially after slogging through the utterly delicious, but tedious by the fourth day, leftover corn souffle from Thanksgiving).
Come to think of it, I would be remiss to not share that souffle recipe here soon, especially with Christmas dinners coming up, but I just can't bear to dwell upon it yet. I. Need. A. Break.
Anyhow, late one recent afternoon, when it was too cold to play outside for something like the ninth day in a row, and before I had wised up enough to institute Mama's Mandatory Afternoon Coffee & Knitting Break, I was pulling my hair out trying to come up with an activity to occupy the kids that did not involve either phonics or Christmas crafts. And, then, The Boy Wonder suggested we go to the kitchen and cook something together.
I love that kid. Sometimes I think he knows me better than I know myself.
"Good idea, Doodles," I sighed in relief, "Let's cook something."
We already had a batch of brownies on the counter, and I had a vegetable plate planned for dinner, so, while Thing One and Thing Two noisily dragged chairs across the kitchen so they could stand at the island and "help," I dove into The Stack of Misfit Recipes to find some sort of snack or appetizer-like thing from the pile of clipped recipes that I had been meaning to get around to for some time now.
The fridge and pantry were a little bare, leaving us with limited options on what we could throw together, but I knew I'd hit upon gold when I pulled out a recipe for Blue Devils, clipped eons ago from the AJC. We didn't have any blue cheese on hand, but I was kind of itching to dig into that afore-mentioned block of feta, and I had a sneaking suspicion that using smoked paprika (one of my biggest obsessions lately) in place of the bacon bits would make for an exciting little combination. Plus, since boiling eggs would be something of a novelty for The Boy Wonder, I figured this little activity would make for a nice science lesson as well.
Homeschooling is fun like that.
These were, of course, incredibly simple to make, and the kids had a bang-up time helping to peel the eggs and mash up the yolks. And we had nothing to lose, after all, because even if they were only so-so, I knew they would have fun eating them as an afternoon snack. Amazingly though, these turned out So Darn Yummy that the kids fought over them and we ended up having to make a second batch so we could have them with our dinner also. We're big feta fans around here.
Oh, they were so lusciously rich and tangy and smoky all at the same time, and the crumbles of feta added a nubby texture to the yolk mixture that provided a beautiful toothsomeness to an otherwise one-trick pony. Almost as importantly, with lots of smoked paprika sprinkled over the usually bare whites of the egg, the flavors were pumped up and the visual impact more stunning. I think I'm a little bit in love.
(adapted from the AJC), makes 12
- 6 large eggs
- 2 Tbs plus 2 tsp mayonnaise
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 Tbs crumbled feta cheese
- Salt & black pepper to taste
- Smoked paprika for sprinkling
- In a large saucepan, cover the eggs with cold tap water and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil, uncovered, for three minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, cover, and let stand for 15 minutes. Drain the eggs and rinse under cold running water until cool enough to handle.
- Peel the eggs, cut them in half lengthwise, and put the yolks in a medium bowl. Set the whites aside on a serving platter.
- Mash the yolks with a fork, and stir in the mayo, mustard, feta, a couple pinches of salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Add more salt & pepper to taste.
- Spoon the mixture back into the egg whites, and sprinkle both the whites and the yolks with generous amounts of smoked paprika.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve (can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 8 hours).