These are topped with leftover pulled pork & pickled green tomatoes.
As a Southern woman of a certain age, it’s assumed that you can do a few things well. You can write a proper thank you note. You can drink good bourbon straight. And you can make a solid deviled egg.
I recently found out that one of my most quintessentially Southern lady friends doesn’t know how to do #3, so we remedied that last night.
The great thing about deviled eggs is you can make any flavor as long as you have a tasty base to start with. Mayo helps with that, but mustard goes a long way, as does pickle juice, the secret to All Good Things. Also important: axe the sweet relish most people use. That tip isn’t grandma-sanctioned, but it will give you a better “blank” slate to start with.
18 organic eggs
3 tbsp Duke’s mayonnaise
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp yellow mustard
1 tbsp pickle juice
1 tsp black pepper
salt to taste
paprika or cayenne
- Boil, cool and peel your eggs. (If you haven’t tried the hot-start method, see below. They’ll peel much easier.)
- Slice them in half and put all the yolks in one bowl. (And you don’t have to slice them vertically; Husk does them horizontally, and they are the devil masters.)
- Mash the eggs with a fork and add the remaining ingredients. Mix well. Taste and season.
- Separate yolk mix into 4 bowls (see below).
- For each ingredient, dice a 1/2 cup of your topping of choice and stir it into one bowl.
- Fill a Ziploc bag with the mix and cut a corner off. Pipe some filling into each egg.
- Top each egg with a 1-inch piece of the ingredient used in the filling. Chill until face-stuffing time.
The smoked trout variety at Husk. Can I get a swoon from all my fellow fatgirls.
With 18 eggs, you can make a bunch of kinds, but 4 different toppings works well for 18 eggs. Choose from any of the below, or use whatever you’ve got in the fridge — as long as the ingredient isn’t too sweet, anything is good stuff in an egg.
- Smoked salmon or trout
- Pickled anything – green tomatoes, cucumbers, okra, etc.
- Ham (country or regular, shaved)
- Pulled pork
- Raw tuna (topped with a dollop of wasabi)
- Pimento cheese (what up, Marge)
- Truffle oil
The fresher the egg, the harder it will be to peel when hard-boiled. This method makes them easier to de-shell without totally destroying them.
- Lower your eggs straight from the fridge into already-boiling water.
- Lower the heat to the barest simmer.
- Cook the eggs for 11 minutes.
- Shock them in ice water and let them chill for 15 minutes.
- Peel under cool running water.
So despite my moral dilemma of yesterday, I’ve decided to go ahead and pull this one out of The Vault. (As it turns out, my threshold for withholding secret recipes is quite shallow, which is probably to be expected from a person who has a blog about recipes on the Interwebs.)
Anyway, perhaps the groundhog will take a page from my book – you know, bringing things to light and such – and ignore his stupid shadow so we can get on with Real Spring instead of this faux Fall we’ve been having.
Annnnnd, rambling is now over. As I mentioned previously, this recipe has been a long time coming. My cousin Melissia had to watch my Aunt Sylvia make it three times to come up with the recipe because it had never even been written down. So it’s old school traditional is what I’m saying.
I’m also saying it is delectable, so even if you have to tinker with it a little bit to get it right, your efforts will be rewarded.
1 pan cornbread
3-4 celery stalks, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2-3 raw eggs
2-3 boiled eggs, chopped
2 cans chicken broth
1 can oysters
1 tsp+ poultry seasoning
1 tsp+ sage
salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Cook celery and onion in broth until tender.
- Crumble breads and mix all ingredients together. Taste and season accordingly. (This is where the extra sage or poultry seasoning comes in.)
- Pour into 9×13 pan.
- Bake for at least 40 minutes (longer if all of the excess moisture hasn’t evaporated).
closetcooking.com (pic has asparagus, recipe doesn't)
While we are nothing if not traditional around the holidays, this was one of my favorite new recipes from Akin Holidays 2K11. It was, as per usual, from my favorite old cookbook, Heart & Soul.
While I generally jump at the chance to make a new variation of Dot’s Breakfast Casserole, I saw this and knew that this sausage/mushroom/HOLLANDAISE concoction was clearly meant for me. And as with our standby breakfast casserole, it is stupid easy to make and just plain satisfying.
The interesting thing here is that it’s mushrooms (instead of the usual bread) that provide much-needed texture to the eggy goodness here. Also, while this is pretty much the same recipe you’ll find in H&S, I have taken some liberties (because what’s not better with Worcestershire?) and shortcuts (because water baths are for babies, not food), so it won’t match up exactly if you get to fact-checking.
1 lb hot sausage
8 oz portabella mushrooms
8 oz button mushrooms
dash of Worcestershire sauce + Cavendar’s
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
8-10 eggs, beaten thoroughly
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Grease 9×13 in. baking dish and spread cheddar cheese on the bottom.
- Cook sausage, drain, and layer on top of cheese.
- In the drippings from the sausage, cook the mushrooms until just tender, adding Worcestershire and seasoning as needed.
- Add into dish on top of sausage and pour egg mixture over the top.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until the liquid (egg) in the middle of the casserole is firm.
- Serve and top individual portions with Hollandaise. Nom nom nom.
When I told Dot that The Chef and I would be making Hollandaise for (the third) “Christmas morning” (in a row), she did not look convinced. And I’ll admit, I had some reservations.
Any time a cookbook directs me to a double-boiler, I have flashbacks of making those damn cake balls that everyone loves that are 100% NOT worth it. Trying to squish cake and icing into balls so you can dip them in rapidly hardening “melted” chocolate does not bring holiday joy; it brings profanity.
Anyway, The Chef directed me through the cheater technique for sauces (i.e. the blender), and I have no idea why anyone would go old school ever again. The consistency came out perfect, and the lemon juice provided just the right amount of acidity to cut through all the glorious buttah.
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
Add egg yolks to blender with salt and lemon juice. Blend.
- Blend on low, slowly adding melted butter. Sloooooowly. That’s the key.
- Serve immediately. Or if you have to wait a few minutes, keep in a warm – but not hot – spot in your kitchen until you’re ready.
I’d bet you can put this on top of anything from ham to cardboard, but we used it on the Honeycomb Breakfast Casserole, and I can verify that goodness first-hand.
This cornbread is the counterpart of yesterday’s veggie soup. Since The Chef and I have spent all day trying to decide which variety of soup/gumbo/stew we will be making for New Year’s Day, this was a no-brainer side dish.
Jalapeno cornbread is a great for soups because it will work for sopping but also has enough of a spicy kick to cut through the dense corn-bready-ness (word. total word.).
Peg says the cornmeal in this recipe must
be Aunt Jemima Buttermilk
Martha Stewart. (Which is why I linked that Jemima example to Wal-Mart instead of K-Mart. Your lucrative deal with a giant discount store holds no water with us, Martha!)
Claire also reminds us that you have to heat up the tins before adding the batter so the bottoms of the muffins are crunchified. Word to you. And your mother.
2 cups cornmeal
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
3 tbsp veggie oil
3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese
1 can creamed corn
chopped jalapenos (as many as you want)
- Preheat oven to 425.
- Mix together all ingredients. The batter should be easy to stir and smooth but not runny. If it’s too thick, add more buttermilk.
- Take muffin pan and put 1/2 cap of veggie oil in each tin. Put in the oven at 425 until smokey. (This is the non-negotiable step that makes the bread crunchy all the way around.)
- Take out, add mix and cook at 425 for approx. 45 min.
We’re officially halfway through December, and we’d be remiss not to deliver some Nog directives right about now.
Some people wait until Christmas to serve up the quality stuff, but I say boo to that. On Christmas, you’re already off work, all the presents have been bought, and you’re pretty much required to eat yourself sick. Why do you need another special treat then?
No, I say we start the nogging now. Because now is the time Christmas is most likely making you her whipping boy with the travel planning, present buying and general insanity of the masses. Sidebar: Have you been to the kids’ toy section at Target lately? Yesterday I got simultaneously boxed out by a redneck looking for LEGOs and almost got run over by a lady in a Hoverround. Merry Freaking Christmas, shoppers!
Anywho, this recipe is from Joy of Cooking, the most classic of all classic cookbooks. It’s simple and delicious. And no, it will not give you salmonella so stop being such a pansy and drink up.
12 eggs (separated)
1 lb confectioner’s sugar
4-8 cups dark rum, brandy, bourbon or rye*
2 quarts whipping cream
- Separate eggs and beat yolks until light in color.
- Gradually beat in confectioner’s sugar.
- Add very slowly 2 cups rum (or other liquor).
- Let stand one hour to dispel the “eggy” taste and destroy possibility of salmonella.
- Add, beating constantly, 2-4 cups more of liquor and 2 qts whipping cream.
- Refrigerate 3 hours.
- Beat 8-12 egg whites until stiff but not dry and fold into mixture.
- Serve sprinkled with freshly grated nutmeg.
*The Chef suggests half rum/half brandy. 2 boozes=twice the fun!
**12/20/2011 Update: I actually went to the trouble to make this last week, and it got rave – I mean RAVE – reviews. I used all three liquors, and I think that was well worth its minimal trouble. Make twice as much as you think you need.
So I probably should have posted these recipes last week before Thanksgiving, but I forgot and I wanted to test them out twice to get all kinks out of the way. I was lucky to have two Thanksgivings this year, a “friendsgiving” down in NOLA (which was way better then my family Thanksgiving) and family Thanksgiving. I still never want to eat again. Below is an amazing crawfish stuffing that Chef John’s family has requested a double batch of for next year. Perhaps you can save in your Thanksgiving recipe file for next year or break it out for the December holidays! Chef’s note: make sure to use dry corn bread so it soaks up all the sauce. – ts
Chef John Says: Everyone knows that the best part of Thanksgiving is the stuffing. I usually dedicate about 3/4 of my plate to it. My family always has a traditional stuffing/dressing but this past Sunday we had a pre-Thanksgiving feast at our friend’s house in New Orleans and it was decided that we should make a more NOLA-style dressing. Tanya came across this beauty: Besh’s Crawfish Corn Bread Dressing. Like ALL of Besh’s recipes, this is very easy and delicious.
You can make the corn bread ahead or use leftover corn bread. In fact, the dressing may be prepared a day ahead and kept in the refrigerator until an hour before serving. I used more andouille, hot sausage, and garlic than it calls for… obviously. This recipe makes 8–10 cups, more than enough to stuff a turkey, but at our Thanksgiving we stuff our bird separately and serve dressings like this alongside. Serves 10
4 tablespoons rendered bacon fat (I used a couple tablespoons of butter instead)
¼ pound andouille sausage, diced
¼ pound hot pork sausage meat, removed from casing
1 medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, diced
½ green bell pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups peeled crawfish tails, chopped (you can usually find a package of frozen tails)
2 green onions, chopped
1 small jalapeño pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
Leaves from 1 sprig fresh thyme
2 tablespoons Basic Creole Spices
6 cups crumbled Basic Corn Bread
2 cups Basic Chicken Stock
½ cup heavy cream
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Freshly ground black pepper
- Put the bacon fat, andouille, and pork sausage into a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat, breaking up the pork with the back of a wooden spoon.
- When the pork sausage meat has browned, add the onions, celery, bell peppers, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the crawfish and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl with the sausage and crawfish and stir together until well combined. Spoon the dressing into a large heatproof dish.
- At this point, the dressing may be covered and refrigerated (for up to 1 day) until you are ready to bake it. Bake the dressing in a preheated 350° oven until it is piping hot and golden brown, 15–30 minutes.