Summer Food: Recipes for a summer supper

 

Devilish Red Beet Eggs

Devilish Red Beet Eggs

 

I have always taken these devilish red beet eggs for granted, common fare in Pennsylvania farm country. But, to my surprise, whenever I make them friends are astonished at the sight of these brilliantly colored eggs stuffed with billowing savory filling, perfect picnic food, a festive hors d’oeuvre, or accompanying a casual summer supper.

Prepare ahead:

  • 2 large whole beets, boiled (reserving the cooking broth for pickling), skin removed, quartered, and sliced into 1/4 inch wedges
  • 5 large hard cooked eggs, shells removed

Hard cooked eggs:

Making hard cooked (hard boiled) eggs sounds simple enough, but a few words of advice in an effort to avert some pitfalls.  If centering the egg yolk is an issue, try turning the eggs, in their carton, on their side several hours before cooking or twirling the eggs as they cook. No guarantees here, but try if you will!

The other issue is peeling off the shells once the eggs are hard cooked. Nothing is more frustrating than finding shells that are glued to the eggs and impossible to peel off without decimating the eggs in the process. The foolproof solution is to use older eggs! This, in conjunction with bashing the eggs against one another in the cooking pan once they are hard cooked, will produce peel free eggs!

Place the eggs in a sauce pan with enough water to cover with an additional 1/2 inch of water above the tops.  Add 1 teaspoon salt. Partially cover the pan and bring the water to a rapid boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Immediately place the eggs in an ice water bath for 5 minutes. Move the eggs back into the empty cooking pan and bash the eggs together to crack the shells all over. Voila! Peel off the shells under running cold water and you will find a perfectly shelled egg with no nicks or missing chunks of egg white! Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Pickling beets & eggs: 

  • 1 ½  cup reserved beet cooking broth
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 ½   teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 ½ cups red onions, quartered and thinly sliced
  • prepared cooked beets
  • fresh dill sprigs
  • 5 hard cooked eggs

Heat the reserved beet cooking broth, cider vinegar, brown sugar, salt, and peppercorns until simmering. Add the red onions and sliced beets and simmer for 15 minutes.

Spoon some of the beets and red onion mixture into a container large enough to hold all the ingredients. Add a couple of peeled hard cooked eggs and top with more of the beet and red onion mixture. Add the remaining hard cooked eggs and top with the remaining beets and onions. Pour all of the pickling liquid into the container to cover completely.  Cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate for 24 hours. 

Remove the pickled red beet eggs and refrigerate until you are ready to make the deviled eggs and refrigerate the pickled red beets and onions for up to a week or ten days.

Devilish Red Beet Eggs:

  • 5 pickled red beet eggs, sliced in half lengthwise, yolks removed 
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Greek style yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped dill
  • 1 teaspoon finely sliced parsley 
  • salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste

finishing:

  • fresh dill sprigs
  • capers, rinsed

Remove the egg yolks from the pickled eggs and place in a bowl along with mayonnaise, yogurt, mustard, mustard powder, anchovy paste, dill, and parsley. Gently mix with a fork to combine into an even consistency. Taste for seasoning and add salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste.

Spoon the mixture into each half of the pickled eggs. Top with a sprig of fresh dill and a few capers.

Serve at once or cover and refrigerate for up to several hours before serving.

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