Spicy Red Deviled Eggs (low mayo)

These deviled eggs are spicy with cayenne, blushing with red bell pepper, and have only 2 Tb mayonnaise.

Perfect for Easter! or Passover!

I roast the bell pepper ahead of time (450 ‘ for 45 minutes) until it is smooth and, well, slimy.

You can also use jarred red bell peppers. Be sure to remove the skin, seeds, and membrane, or they will clog the tip of the pastry bag.

I based this recipe on 

I dedicate this recipe to Sofia, who loves my deviled eggs so much she even ate them the time I screwed up and added too much salt!

Makes 1 1/2 dozen deviled eggs

9 eggs
1 Tb baking soda
3 Tb  roasted red bell pepper (1/2  pepper), skin, seeds and membrane removed.
2 Tb mayonnaise
1 tsp yellow or Dijon mustard
about 1/8 tsp of cayenne (about 4 dashes or so) to taste
1 1/2  tsp  lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt to taste
4 fresh chives

The important and rather frustrating thing about making deviled eggs is that your eggs must peel  perfectly smooth, or they will look ugly and may fall apart completely. There are several tricks to ensuring that the shell and membrane slide off the egg smoothly:

Buy the eggs at least a week before cooking.

Add 1 Tb baking soda to the cooking water.

Immerse cooked eggs in an ice water bath

Crack the shells of the cooked eggs by tapping on them with the back of a spoon so  the water seeps inside, between the shell membrane and the egg white. 

Peel the eggs carefully under cool running water.

Cooking eggs: Place 9 eggs in a large pot and cover with one inch water and gently stir in 1 Tb baking soda. Cover pot, heat to boiling, then turn off heat. Let eggs sit in the covered pot for 15 minutes. You can test them by spinning on a hard surface. If they spin quickly with no wobbles, they are done. Drain the water, then add cold water and several glasses of ice cubes and let the eggs cool for 15 minutes. Then crack them by tapping the shells with the back of a spoon. Add more ice to keep water cold,  and wait at least 5 minutes before peeling eggs. Peel under running water, starting at the tip where there’s a little pocket, then pull off the shells and membrane together.

Pulse the red bell pepper in a food processor until it becomes a smooth paste.

Cut the eggs in half lengthwise. Gently pop out the egg yolks into the food processor.  Add the other ingredients except chives, and pulse until yolk mixture is smooth. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Place the egg halves cut end up on a paper towel to dry. Then arrange them on a platter.

Fit a pastry bag with a large star tip and fill it with the yolk mixture. Pipe the yolk mixture into the egg whites. Garnish with the fresh chives.

For this last batch, I made the filling ahead of time and refrigerated the whites and the filling in plastic containers. I filled the eggs the next day right before serving them.

Advertisements

Walnut Oil Roasted Asparagus

Lo! the Spring
Joy doth bring
Winter’s frosts are ended
Gladness reigns.
Life remains
With sweet pleasure blended
—Adir Hu

 

Asparagus is traditionally served a symbol of Spring at a Passover Seder. This year I coated it with walnut oil and salt and roasted it.  I was able to serve it a shiny bright green, moist inside with a nice crunch. Much better than trying to juggle steaming it while serving a big meal. That way always came out overcooked.

Serves 10 guests

2 bunches thick asparagus

about 3 Tb walnut oil

sea salt

Preheat oven to 450’

Wash asparagus well and break woody ends off. Place in large roasting pan and toss with walnut oil so that it is coated. Sprinkle salt on liberally, and toss again. Roast for six minutes. Serve immediately. I roasted some walnut halves and pieces on the side for about 4-5 minutes and served them with the asparagus.

Charoset

Passover is one of those Jewish feast holidays, you know: They tried to kill us off, we survived, let’s eat!

Actually it’s a wonderful celebration of freedom and a reminder that we were once slaves in Egypt. The rituals remind us to work for a time that all people can enjoy freedom.

Charoset (pronounced in Yiddish as khah- ROH-sees) is eaten as a symbol of mortar that the Jewish slaves used in building cities in ancient Egypt. Its sweetness is a symbol of freedom. It is spread on a matzo, the bread of affliction the Jews baked in a hurry to escape the Pharaoh’s army.

A spoonful of horseradish, known as maror, is spread on top of the Charoset to remind us of the bitterness of slavery. This is known as a Hillel sandwich, (after the great rabbi Hillel), and is served as a symbol of hope.

My mom taught me to make Charoset, and it became my contribution to the Seder as a child. As an adult, the taste of the apples flavored with  Manischewitz sweet wine and the beet red maror on a piece of matzo brings back instant memories of Passovers. My sister brought a bottle of Villadodro Moscato this year instead of the Manischewitz. It made a delicious charoset.

Serves 10 guests

2 apples, grated. I used Pink Lady apples. If you don’t peel them, it adds a nice blush to the charoset

¼ cup walnut pieces

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ cup Moscato OR Manischewitz sweet Concord wine

Grate apples, then mix with cinnamon and wine. Crush walnut pieces so they are small, and mix into Charoset.