Guys, I have three favorite holiday foods. These foods are (in order of importance):
1.Ham -– Salty, wonderful, cured ham.
2.Deviled Eggs -– Little boats of wondrous creamy yolk.
3.Pecan Pie –- Caramelized, toasty, and perfectly seasonal.
I ingested 1.5 of these foods over the Christmas holiday. This is mainly due to the fact that I spent most of Christmas in the Pensacola airport. The below photo is how I felt about it.
I tried to cheer myself up by purchasing a slice of “pecan pie” (third place on the favorite holiday foods list) from the only restaurant in this tiny airport. This is the 0.5 portion of the holiday foods I ingested. It only gets a 0.5 because it was rubbery and cardboardy and I hated it. I also got a Cuban sandwich, but that’s not as topical.
Eventually (the day after Christmas), I made it to my destination (Sacramento). My glorious, beautiful saint of a mother had a spiral ham waiting. There was much rejoicing. This is the 1.0 portion of the holiday foods I enjoyed. It gets a whole point because it was salty and awesome.
So obviously, I needed to make some deviled eggs.
But first, hard cooked eggs must be made. This is my least favorite part. I always make the ugliest deviled eggs. The shell always sticks and makes my delicious creations look like they were assembled by angry, drunk wolverines. I obviously need a new way of cooking them right?
Probably not. BUT, I have been looking for a reason to test out one of the MANY dubious claims made by Pinterest. Pinterest has many wonderful qualities, but I really hate all of the “WHO KNEW YOU ONLY NEED YOUR OWN SALIVA TO CLEAN YOUR WHOLE HOUSE?” and “USE A BANANA TO FIX SCRATCHES ON YOUR DVDs” type pins. I have a Pinterest board called “I don’t believe you” and besides my “creepy guest room” board, it is my favorite. Here is an example pin from the “creepy guest room” board.
The dubious pin in question (which I had long ago pinned to the “I don’t believe you” board) claims that I can put eggs in the oven and essentially “hard boil” them. This seems dumb. I feel like they are going to explode.
I bought a dozen eggs and decided to cook six in the oven and six the normal, American, Non-pinterest way as a control group, because, you know…SCIENCE. I have always used the method found in this (traditional) cookbook:
I put the six test eggs in some silicone baking cups and popped them in a pre-heated (to 325°F, which is hotter than boiling water, which is 212°F, if you were wondering) oven for 25 MINUTES, which seems excessive to me. I peeked in on them halfway through; they looked sweaty.
After each set of eggs was done cooking, I plunged them both into bowls of ice-water like a bunch of crazy naked Swedes. Then I started writing this post, and waited for them to cool completely. While I was waiting, I ate some olives. That’s not important, but it’s the truth.
Then it was time for the peeling.
First: I peeled my traditional, American, non-communist eggs. I’m happy to say that they turned out better than normal. Maybe this means I’m finally growing up. Maybe this means I’m suddenly really, really good at cooking. I dunno, guys. Maybe.
Only one looked mangled, and all were useable. It is worth noting that this is a personal best for me.
Second: I peeled the commie, terrorist, Pinterest eggs. They were much uglier.
The whites were completely unusable. One of them just broke in half while I was tapping the shell. I will say that the yolks were beautiful. They were orange and delicious and beautiful. But the whites, man. WHO HAS THE TIME FOR WHITES LIKE THAT?
Luckily, I don’t mind extra yolk. I always throw away some whites, anyway. I like my deviled eggs full of fluffy, yolky goodness.
But before we move on to the deviling of the eggs, let’s talk about how I was right and Pinterest was wrong. Hard cooking your eggs in the oven takes longer, makes them harder to peel and makes them look sweaty. TRADITION GUYS. Tradition is the way to go here.
I wish I had a deviled egg recipe to give you guys. As a chemist, you think I would be super into measuring and recording measurements, right? I am in a lab environment, but not when making deviled eggs. No, I live dangerously here.
Take those gorgeous yolks and add some mayo and mustard. Don’t over-do the mayo; the yolks should still be a little spongy at this juncture.
THEN. ADD SOME PICKLE JUICE. The pickle juice really fluffs this mixture up. Plus it adds some tang. I think the word “tang” is weird and I wish I hadn’t used it but here we are.
THEN, you guys know how much I love pickles, so yeah, I added chopped-up pickles.
Combine…Then stuff those babies up.
Unless you hate deviled eggs, in which case, I’m sorry to have wasted your time.