These bright summery devilled eggs are based on a retro recipe, but modernised for 2017 with the rich taste of truffle oil and hint of smokiness from the smoked salt.
Since the sun has come out to play, I thought I’d pop up a quick recipe from my unshared archive, perfect for a weekend picnic or gathering. Or even just for a snack any time of year.
Devilled eggs have a bit of a bad retro rap. They littered party buffets about 30 years ago, likely alongside the ubiquitous cheese and pineapple on sticks stuffed into a foil covered piece of fruit in order to look like a hedgehog. But, I think they were popular for a reason. Eggs are nutritious, filling, an amazing source of protein, and for those on a budget (plant-based proteins aside), good quality eggs i.e. free range and organic are a far more economical way of buying protein than meat. Do seek out them out at farmers markets and farm shops where you’re likely to get the best quality and value.
Me and hard boiled eggs have a long history together. As a teenager I worked in a sandwich shop in my village, and one of my jobs was to hard boil and peel a tonne of eggs for egg mayonnaise sandwich fillers (again, rather retro but it was 1997). They can be a bit of a pain to peel, and do take rather a huge amount of patience as I very quickly learnt. In the years since I’ve read up on the many techniques for easy-peel eggs. There are theories on using baking soda with the boiling water, leaving them in cool water for hours after cooking, and various timings and methods for hard boiling them in the first place. But, the thing that is actually the most reliable is choosing eggs that aren’t at all fresh. The reason can actually be explained scientifically – the white part of the egg (the albumen) is surrounded by an inner membrane, and then there is another outer membrane just underneath the shell. In eggs that are super fresh the air cell in between the two membranes is small. As eggs age, the air cell increases and the inner membrane shrinks away from shell. Simples. What becomes tricky is understanding how fresh an egg is, especially if bought from a supermarket becuase you don’t know how long its been on the shelf. I generally find supermarket eggs (organic ones of course), are most of the time already OK for hard boiling and easy peeling.
I’ve made devilled eggs before. I actually demoed how to make them in my first ever short trial demo assessment while I was at cooking school. I was a nervous wreck, and my hands more than a little shaky, but thankfully it was the start of blossoming skill for teaching that I never knew I had in me! So, devilled eggs will always mean so much more to me than most.
This devilled eggs recipe is really simple, and of course there are hundreds of variations as to what you can add into your dish. I personally love the rich taste of truffle oil (well truffle infused oil which is not quite the same but actually affordable, and lets never again talk about the day I kicked over a bottle on my carpet), which really complements the eggs and the smokiness from the salt. Lemon thyme adds a summery zing, and whilst not as popular as regular thyme, you should be able to find it in larger supermarkets (or grow your own).
So, what’s your feeling on this retro devilled eggs recipe? And do you have a fail safe way to peel hard boiled eggs?
- 6 free range eggs
- 1 tablespoon natural yogurt
- 1 teaspoon pure truffle oil or truffle infused olive oil
- 1 teaspoon flaked smoked salt, divided
- freshly ground black pepper
- fresh thyme (or lemon thyme) to serve
- Bring a deep saucepan of water to boil and hard boil the eggs for 10 minutes. Immediately drain and refresh them under cold water until completely cooled. Peel.
- Slice the eggs in half and carefully scoop out the yolks into a bowl. Mash the yolks and stir through the yoghurt, truffle oil, half of the smoked salt & black pepper till well combined
- Spoon back into the whites and top with fresh thyme and the rest of the smoked salt.
If i’ve encouraged you to jump on the devilled egg vibe you might also like the following recipes;
This recipe originally appeared in the Autumn 2016 issue of Superfoods Magazine.1