While the summer picnic and BBQ season is quickly coming to an end, that does not mean that you cannot continue to enjoy the classic summer foods throughout the fall. Deviled eggs are a classic summer treat that are make an appearance at nearly every summertime gathering. Finding a party in the summer without deviled eggs is harder than finding a penguin wandering the streets of Miami. While there are more versions of the deviled egg than there are stalks of corn in Nebraska, ranging from super simple classical recipes to more modern, adventurous deviled eggs, we like to bring together to two extremes to create a classic deviled egg with a slight flair.
The classical aspect of the “Best Deviled Eggs This Side of . . . ” are the eggs themselves (obviously), mayo, mustard, salt, pepper, and paprika. Many classical recipes include either relish or diced pickles. However, we forego this ingredient in lieu of something a bit more colorful, diced red tomatoes. Not only do the tomatoes bring the sweetness that you would get from the relish, but they also give the deviled eggs that classic red color without pouring 34 pounds of paprika on top. Then, we add our own flair by adding a few pieces of diced bacon. Yes, bacon. Its like the deviled egg version of the classic bacon and eggs breakfast. These eggs are really that simple but they are so much more tasty than those made from that deviled egg recipe that you have lying in the back of your junk drawer, covered dust. The “Best Deviled Eggs This Side of . . .” are the perfect combination of sweet and salty without resorting to pretzel ice cream.
Now, the most important part of making deviled eggs is hard-boiling the eggs. If I had a nickel for all the hardboiled eggs that I made before moving to Colorado, I would be filthy rich. My whole cooking world was turned upside-down when I got to Colorado. The first time we made hard-boiled eggs, we forgot about the whole water boiling at a lower temperature at elevation thing and ended up with running yolks. We scoured the web but found that there was no conclusive recipe for preparing hard-boiled eggs at elevation. After about 10 attempts, we finally came to the conclusion that we needed to let the eggs rest for 21 minutes instead of the standard 15 minutes once the water boiled. At 5400 feet above sea level, that is about a minute per 1000 feet above sea level. While this is a gross simplification of the problem, as long as you are not making hard-boiled eggs on Mt. Everest, tacking on a minute per 1000 feet should do the trick. In case you are wondering, water boils at around 202 to 204 degrees F at 5000 feet above sea level. At sea level, water boils at 212 degrees F. The reason for this difference is quite simple. At 5000 feet above sea level, the air pressure is quite a bit lower than at sea level. As a result, there is less pressure on the water surface and thus the water can escape the liquid face with less energy. Simply put, less energy required to escape the liquid phase and enter the gas means that the temperature will be lower and thus the boiling point is reduced.
That is enough science talk for now. So, whether it is the middle of July or the day before Thanksgiving, the “Best Deviled Eggs This Side of . . .” are sure to please your snack craving.