One of the keys to a good summer dinner party is to have plenty of cold (make ahead) dishes that will delight your guests, give them a chance to ease into the party and buy you time to serve drinks and get the grilled stuff on the table.
This is the first of several posts that will help you set up a beautiful and tasty cold appetizer table (with wonderful leftovers).
Deviled eggs may sound like a throwback to the days of dubious casseroles, mystery meat and hallucinogenically-colored gelatin dishes with — oh God — marshmallows, but please reconsider. Stuffed eggs have an illustrious history, have been popular since Ancient Roman days (at least according to www.devilledeggs.com) and were served in 13th century Andalusia, Spain.
So, we’re talking — not bad 70s potluck fare — but classic tapas of the highest order. That they are finger food only adds to their charm; I believe hands-on food brings guests closer and requires less fuss in setting the table.
My stuffed eggs are very simple to make and always disappear very quickly from the buffet table. Rather than incorporate hot pepper into the creamy center, I like to add a dab of sriracha hot pepper sauce to the top of half the stuffed eggs (so those who don’t like spice can enjoy them also).
Devilishly Good Stuffed Eggs (makes 12-14 servings)
6-7 fresh eggs
3 Tbs prepared mayonnaise
1-2 Tbs nonfat plain yogurt
2 tsp prepared mustard
1 tsp minced parsley leaves
Salt to taste (not usually necessary because of the mayo and mustard)
Sriracha, if desired, or several pinches of ground cayenne pepper
Perfect hard-boiled eggs. Place eggs in saucepan with cold water to cover. Bring to a boil, and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cover for ten minutes. Drain and place in ice water until cool.
When eggs are cool, peel and slice in half. Pop out yolks into a large bowl, placing whites on a serving tray. To the bowl add mayo, yogurt, mustard and parsley and mash into a creamy paste. Place in a ziplock bag, jamming into one corner. Snip off the corner point and squeeze into the holes of the egg whites (as if you were icing a cake; my son enjoys helping with this). Apply one dab of sriracha to each egg if desired or garnish with pinches of cayenne.
Serve with dry white wine, dry rosé (from Long Island!) or a dry sparkler.