I recall once phoning my mother, as a young adult, asking what I should bring to a cocktail party and she responded with no hesitation, “deviled eggs.” I questioned this advising that was so dated and didn’t she have anything more inventive. She retorted, “Trust me, everyone loves deviled eggs, they will be gone in the first 15 minutes.” I guess some things are classics for a reason- the plate was empty in under ten!
The beauty of the deviled egg is it a two bite treat that can take on the flavor of anything you mix with the yolk. My mother’s favorite combination included curry and touch of mustard and always had a shake of paprika for color. In a restaurant in San Francisco I applauded the chef who showed me what really could become of this savory treat when I ordered a flight of deviled eggs that included four unique blends that made me rethink my perfect deviled egg recipe.
For a recent small gathering I mimicked the flight, serving each guest their own assortment. My combinations featured- smoked trout, green goddess with an avocado base, white truffle, classic curry with nectarine topping, and a salty pancetta. Obvious herb choices that blend well with eggs include dill, parsley, chive and tarragon. My hint to keep them from sliding around the plate is to weave stems of fresh herbs throughout creating almost a nest for them to rest in.
Here is my recipe for the winner of the evening, Smoked Trout- I never really measure any of these which take the edge off of getting it exactly right, below are some approximations. Just taste until a balance of flavors is found!
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