Sunday, March 24, 2013

Easter Egg Recycling: Chipotle Cilantro Deviled Eggs

Oh spring, so close yet so far.  Here in Colorado winter could be over tomorrow or last another couple of months.   To show her wicked sense of humor, Mother Nature often teases us this time of year with several bright warm days in row, only to suddenly smack us across the face with 10 inches of snow just to remind us who's the boss.  OK girl, we get it.

It is usually about this time of year that my heart begins to ache for the bluebonnets, Indian paintbrushes and delicate pink evening primroses that so beautifully blanket the highway verges and pastures of my beloved Texas.  This is one of the most breathtaking sights that you'll see anywhere.  Even if you are lucky enough to be a native and have seen this spectacular site your whole life, it feels new every year.

Field of Texas bluebonnets; photo by bombay2austin

Bluebonnet time means Easter, and Easter means shiny new patent leather shoes, crisp frilly dresses, fancy Sunday brunches and lots of hard boiled and decorated eggs.  My children are big now and it has been years since I have dyed eggs for anyone, but every Easter I still boil half a dozen or so for our other tradition, deviled eggs. 

When I was a kid, after the eggs were boiled, dyed, hidden, hunted and found, and we managed to choke a couple of them down, we would gladly hand over the remainder to our mom so she could work her magic.  She would peel and cut them in half, pop out the yolks and mash them together with a dollop of Miracle Whip and a teaspoon or two of sweet pickle relish.  What she produced was a hand held, two bite morsel so good that the kids in our family would choose to eat them first, even over the ears of our chocolate Easter bunnies.

Now I can in no way claim to make deviled eggs as good as my mother's, but I can make some pretty good ones.  While I really love Mom's classics, the more special the occasion, the fancier I like to get with them.  In addition to the sweet pickle/Miracle Whip version, I love to make them with curry powder, sun-dried tomato and/or basil pesto, or my favorite variation which is a nod to the spicy south Texas food I love so much, chipotle cilantro.  Spicy, smoky with just a faint hint of sweet, these are definitely the most requested of them all.

Chipotle Cilantro Deviled Eggs

6 large eggs (out of the fridge or your kids' Easter baskets, your choice)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon very finely minced canned chipotle pepper*
1 - 2 teaspoons adobo sauce form the canned chipotle peppers (2 tsps. will produce a pretty spicy egg and be forewarned, the longer they sit, the spicier they will get)
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons finely minced onion
Pinch garlic powder
Pinch white pepper

Place eggs in a large sauce pan.  Cover with cool water and place on stove over medium high heat.  Bring water to a slow boil and cook eggs for 5 minutes.  Remove pot from the heat, cover and let sit for 30 minutes.

While the eggs are boiling, combine mayonnaise, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce and sugar in a small bowl, stir well to combine; set aside.

Remove eggs from the water and peel.  Cut in half lengthwise.  Gently pop out the hard cooked yolks into the bowl containing the mayonnaise mixture. Add the onion, garlic powder and white pepper Stir well.  Spoon equal amounts into the egg white halves or transfer egg yolk mixture to a pastry bag that has been fitted with a star tip.  Pipe yolk mixture into the whites.  Chill.  Garnish with cilantro leaves before serving.

Makes 12 deviled eggs.

*For my English followers who might not be able to find chipotle peppers in adobo, try playing with a combination of smoked paprika, hot chili powder with a touch of tomato puree until you get a taste that you like.

Ok, one last time before it's all over but the crying.  Please, please, please click HERE to cast a quick vote for my Pillsbury Bake-Off semifinalist recipe for Bacon Corncakes with Warm Maple Cream.  You will have to do a quick registration, but Pillsbury is a class act and won't sell your info or bombard you with e-mails, I promise.  Voting ends this coming Thursday, March 28th at 12 noon central time.  This year finalists are decided solely upon popular vote so your vote could make all the difference.  Thanks so much for your support for my journey to Las Vegas, the $1 million dollar prize and my place in Pillsbury history.

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