2004 Deviled Egg Recipe Competition – Deviled Eggs: Not Really
Chef Fritz Blank – Oeufs à la Boulangière
In the ‘old’ edition of Larousse Gastronomique there are 287 named egg dishes, plus 64 savory omelettes and 13 dessert omelettes. One of the characteristics of Classic Cuisine which differentiates it from all other cuisines, including johnny-come-lately’s, is that classic cooking was very diciplined and sharply defined. Variations were frowned upon. This attitude afforded a standard language among classically trained chefs, so that Pommes de Terre Anna was always prepared in the same way using the same ingredients down to the final seasonings. Thus diners could expect Anna potatoes to be the same no matter where they were found. This rigidity, of course slowed culinary evolution. Accordingly, when new cuisines appeared the cuisine itself was also named, viz: Nouvelle Cuisine, Cuisine Moderne, Cuisine Sante, Fusion Cuisine, Bam Cuisine, etc. to a point today in 2004 hardly any dicipline at all remains. Old farty chefs such as I click our tongues, sigh deeply and pass our batons to the youths of the future.C’est la vie!
Having said all this, Oeufs á la Boulangiére simply means “eggs in the style of the baker’s wife”, and is probably named after the mother or wife of some famious classic chef who was contributory to the Grand Cuisine of Larousse Gastronomique. Suffice it to say that this dish is incredibly delicious, yet hard to sell to picky Americans — probably because hard boiled eggs conjure up memories of over-cooked smelly renditions found in Easter Baskets. However, once eaten these eggs often become an instant favorite – whether for lunch, a buffet breakfast, after opera supper, or an egg course during a multi-course haute white-tie formal dinner party. I highly recommend that you try them for yourself.
Oeufs à la Boulangière (Eggs in the style of the baker’s wife)
Yield: 6 servings
Part I: Hard Cooking Eggs, The Right Way:
(May be done several days ahead of time):
- 10 eggs
- about 2 quarts cold water
- 2 quarts ice cubes
- 2 quarts water
1. Arrange a single layer of eggs in a sauce pot or pan The eggs should be touching each other.
2. Pour as much cold water over the eggs to make the water level exactly one-inch over the egg tops. Place the pan over high heat.
3. Prepare an “ice bath” in a large bowl or plastic container by mixing 2 quarts of ice with two quarts of water.
4. As soon as the eggs come to a full boil, cover the pan with a lid and REMOVE it from the stove.
5. Set a timer for exactly 9 minutes. After nine minutes, with a slotted spoon, remove one egg and quickly chop it in half with a large Chef’s knife. This is a test to see if the eggs are done. If the test egg is still overly soft and runny, set the timer for an additional one or two minutes.
6. As quickly as possible, using a strainer or slotted spoon, remove the eggs from the hot water and quickly plunge them into the ice bath. Gently stir the ice, water, and eggs. This is to stop the eggs from overcooking, and will make them easier to peel.
7. Peel the hard cooked eggs and keep them in fresh cold water until ready to use.
Part II: Prepare the Sauce
- 1 & 1/2 cups chopped onions
- 1/2 lb butter (that’s the same as 1 cup)
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1 quart whole milk or half & half
- 1 “bouquet garni” – made by placing 3 or 4 sprigs of fresh parsley, 4 whole black peppercorns, one bay leaf and one teaspoon of dried time in the middle of a 5 X 5-inch square of cheese cloth (may substitute a piece of cloth cut from an old clean linen dish towel. Draw the corners of the cloth together and tie ends together with kitchen or butcher’s twine, so that none of the spices are able to leak out.
- 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
- 1/2 cup shredded Swiss or Jarlsburg or Gruyére cheese
- 3 hard cooked eggs chopped into 3/4-inch chunks
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- a pinch of grated or ground nutmeg
1. Preheat and oven to 425° F.
2. Cut or break the butter into one-inch cubes and place into a 4-quart enameled pot. (Aluminum ware can make egg and cream sauces turn a funny greenish-gray.)
3. Place the pot over medium heat and as the butter is melting, add the onions. Cook over medium heat until they are soft and translucent. The cooked onions may be slightly golden, but not brown.
4. Add the flour and stir mixture with a wooden spoon. Continue to stir and cook until a haze forms on the bottom of the pot. (This should take about two to three minutes.)
4. IMMEDIATELY and quickly pour the milk and/or half & half into the pot – all at once. Just dump it in.
5. Add the bouquet garni, and dried tarragon.Stir the mixture with a whisk continuously until it begins to boil and thicken. The consistency should resemble thick tomato juice.
6. Taste carefully and add the salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Taste again and re season with additional salt and pepper if necessary. Using two large slotted spoons, remove and discard the bouquet garni.
7. Stir the chopped eggs into the sauce and set aside. Proceed to “Part Three.”
Part III: Assemble and cook eggs-in-the-style-of-the-baker’s-wife.
- An oven proof gratin dish
- 6 whole hard cooked eggs with the shells removed
- about 1 quart of the sauce above
- 1/4 cup shredded Swiss, or Jarlsburg, or Gruyére cheese
1. Trim the bottoms of six hard cooked eggs so they are able to stand upright. Stand eggs into the gratin dish. Ladle the sauce over the eggs, and sprinkle the shredded cheese over the top.
2. Place gratin dish into the preheated oven and cook for about 20 minutes – until bubbly hot and golden brown.
3. Accompany œufs à la boulangière with toast points for breakfast, brunch, and lunch, or serve for dinner as an hors d’œuvre.
Chef Fritz Blank – Les Oeufs Jeannette (An interesting and delicious recipe for hens’ eggs)
“Eggs Jeannette” was the name given to this recipe by Chef Jacques Pepin in honor of his mother who apparently invented it. Always a favorite of the Pepin family, I too find it a wonderful addition to the repertoire of egg recipes which we Americans too often relegate only to the breakfast table. Serve this dish as a first course appetizer for dinner, or as a main course for lunch or a late supper, and imagine Madam Jeannette Pepin is sitting next to you. Thanks Jacques for reminding us of the goodness and rightful place eggs deserve to have on our menus.
Yield: plan on two eggs per serving and adjust the recipe accordingly.. I find that preparing a few extra un-stuffed eggs ensure enough yolks to m. I find that preparing a few extra un-stuffed eggs ensure enough yolks to make the necessary amount of dressing.
For stuffing the eggs:
- 6 or 8 USDA jumbo or extra large eggs (restaurants use USDA “large”)
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh garlic
- 2 freshly chopped “Italian” flat leaf parsley
- 2 or 3 tablespoons of milk
- Season by titration with salt and freshly ground or cracked black pepper
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil* for frying
- (* Jacques calls for vegetable oil, but I have used bacon drippings or lard for this recipe and love the added flavor.)
For the dressing:
- 2 or 3 tablespoons of leftover egg stuffing
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
- 1 or 2 tablespoons milk or cream
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Hard cook the eggs
2. Shell the eggs and carefully split each in half lengthwise with a small sharp knife.
3. Remove the yolks and place them into a small bowl along with the garlic, parsley, milk, salt and pepper. Using the back of a table fork, smash the yolks and mix into a coarse paste.
4. Spoon the stuffing back into the hollows of the egg whites. Be sure to reserve enough of the stuffing to make the dressing.
5. Heat the vegetable oil in a well seasoned or nonstick skillet and place the eggs stuffed side down. Cook over medium heat until the eggs are “beautifully browned” on the stuffed side.
6. In the meanwhile, prepare the dressing by placing all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisking or forking until combined well.
7. Remove and arrange the browned egg halves – stuffed side up – on a warm serving plate. Spoon or spread each egg with the dressing and serve lukewarm with crusty bread.
Annotations © Chef Fritz Blank
Pickled Eggs (“Pennsylvania Dutch” Pickled Red Beet Eggs)
Hard cooked eggs in a vinegar pickle have been a standard method of food preservation by many cultures for many years. Particularly noticeable in Great Britain, glass jarsful are found next to the cash register in most all pubs and taverns. These sour eggs are traditionally and enthusiastically gobbled-up by Englishmen while quaffing pints of various frothy brews. – Chef Fritz Blank
The Pennsylvania Germans (“Dutch”) in our area are famous for a pickled egg recipe which uses the liquid from cooked beets. This produces a ruby red and deliciously spicy product. At Deux Cheminées, we red pickle small pullet eggs, which are then quartered and presented as a bright and tasty garnish for a variety of composed salads. Customers’ always enjoy this sometimes forgotten local treat.
- 2 dozen hard cooked hens eggs
- 1 pint of liquid reserved from cooking a pound or more of fresh beets
- or substitute a 14&1/2 oz can of beets (Del Monte® brand preferred)
- 3 cups white wine vinegar (Japanese rice wine or Champagne vinegar preferred)
- 1 & 1/2 cups water
- 2 3-inch sticks of cinnamon
- 5 whole cloves
- 3 bay leaves – preferably fresh
- 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon salt
- (optional) 1 teaspoon sugar
- (optional) 4 or 5 raw onion rings
1. Prepare the pickle. TASTE and adjust seasonings.
2. Carefully peel the hard cooked eggs and place into the brine.
3. Refrigerate 24 hours or longer. (Eggs will keep up to three weeks.)
Sandra K. Scott
When I was growing up in North Carolina the words “deviled eggs” always meant doing something to boiled eggs other than eating them. It usually meant the yolk was removed and mashed with condiments added. If you were especially “gourmet” you added pickle relish and onion, chow-chow, etc.
If you moved up towards the northern relatives in Tennessee, they called doctored boiled eggs “dressed eggs.” Very odd, indeed!! Sounded fancy enough and tasted very good. They also usually had a fancy dish or two which held the “dressed eggs” in little compartments shaped in an oval. We were indeed “uptown”.
Am enclosing a recipe for Congealed Egg Salad. The perfect thing to do with boiled eggs and, oh so perfect, for left-over Easter eggs.
CONGEALED EGG SALAD
- 1 dozen hard-boiled eggs, grated
- 2 envelopes plain gelatin
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 3/4 cup hot water
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon onion juice
- Salt and cayenne pepper
Pour gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water. Soften! Add hot water. Stir until dissolved. Add salt (takes a lot), cayenne, lemon juice and onion juice. Let cool and mix with mayonnaise and eggs. Pour into mold to congeal. Chill. May be prepared the day before use. Serve with melba or toast rounds or favorite crackers.
Why am I sending this deviled egg recipe to you? Because I believe it is delicious and different than any I have ever eaten. While I was living in Florida, I attended one of the pot luck dinners in our mobile home park where this deviled egg dish was served. After finding who made it, I got the recipe and we became good friends. When she became sick, she gave me permission to use it as my own.
Now, living in Alabama, I have made this for our church dinners. Usually, some one will ask about the good deviled eggs. So, this past year, I put this in a recipe book. It still reminds me of my good friend, Del.
- 6 hard cooked eggs
- 3/4 Cup of sour cream
- 3 T sour cream
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 T Oleo
- 1/2 Cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
- 2 tsp mustard
- 1/2 Cup onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 Cup green pepper, finely chopped
- 1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
Cut eggs lengthwise. Remove yolks. Mash yolks with mustard, 3 T of sour cream and salt. Fill whites with yolk mixture. Melt oleo in a large skillet. Saute onion and green pepper until tender. Remove from heat; stir in soup and _ Cup of Sour Cream.
Arrange eggs filling side up, in a flat baking dish. Pour soup mixture over eggs. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. May be assembled in advance and refrigerated until ready to bake.
Joyce Emerson King
The deviled egg, devilish but delicious! A classic that appeals to all ages: table food for toddlers and a favorite of seniors. It graces the breakfast, brunch, lunch and picnic table; and with a dollop of red or black caviar its appearance is desirable at the cocktail hour.
It knows all classes, occasions, and regions. A dish with many recipes and various ingredients is as simple to prepare as 1-2-3. The devilish step can be peeling the egg, the secret to this is never use real fresh eggs.
- 8 hard boiled eggs
- 1/4 tsp curry
- 1/2 tsp dry mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Mayonnaise to soften
- 16 jumbo shrimp boiled and split lengthwise
- 2 T butter
- 3 T flour
- 1 can Cream of Shrimp soup
- 1 can crabmeat rinsed and drained and tossed with fresh lemon juice
- 1 soup can of milk
- 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
Halve the peeled eggs and remove yolks. Mix yolks with curry, mustard, salt and pepper and mayonnaise. Stuff egg whites with yolk mixture. Arrange eggs in shallow baking dish with a shrimp on each half. Press the shrimp into the egg.
Make a white sauce of the butter, flour, and milk. Add shrimp soup, crabmeat, and remaining shrimp (chopped). Heat thoroughly but do not boil. Pour mixture over eggs and sprinkle with grated cheese.
Bake at 350 until bubbly.
Garnish with chopped parsley and paprika.