Monday, September 20, 2010

A few thoughts on food (particularly deviled eggs).

So I was making some of my (kind of) famous deviled eggs recently, and I had some thoughts I felt might be worth sharing. That sounds narcissistic but I don't mean it that way at all.
I don't know how many times Nick and I have had conversations about how peoples' number one mistake in cooking is over-complicating things in an effort to make them better.
As I mentioned before, my deviled eggs are (kind of) famous. It is probably the only thing I am ever asked to contribute to family functions, but I am happy to do so. Now, I don't fancy myself a gourmet in any sense of the word, but I do make pretty damn good deviled eggs. People have apparently tried to replicate their awesomeness without luck.
I don't have any secret ingredient.
The only secret about my deviled eggs is that there is no secret.
I will say that blending your filling mixture with an immersion blender makes ALL the difference, but as for the ingredients of said mixture, I use five, and ONLY five. Boiled egg yolks, mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and pepper. I have been deviling eggs since I was a wee girl trying to help my mom prepare holiday meals. I have perfected the craft and have been doing it the same way for years. I have never and will never use a recipe. I always make different amounts of eggs, and the eggs are not always the same size, though I do prefer Extra Large or Jumbos. I can tell a lot about the flavor by the texture and consistency of the filling, but I still taste it. I cannot stress enough how important this step is. Why would you feed something to people without first tasting it to see if it is any good? That just doesn't make sense. If you are making something that you cannot taste due to raw ingredients, try and get everything together that you can taste before adding anything that must be cooked. Tuna patties come to mind. I use egg as a binder, but I taste and make sure everything tastes good before I put the eggs in.
Now, back to the deviled eggs, I use MAYONNAISE... not Miracle Whip. This is important in the flavor profile I like in my satanic ovum. The mayo must be cold or it will separate, especially if you subject it to an immersion blender. As Alton Brown says, that makes it NOT good eats.  Also, I put enough mayo in to clog an artery or five, but that's why they are good people! I don't use any vinegar, relish, sugar, or anything else weird. Maybe that's what you're into but I am not.
I like things simple and delicious. I am not a food snob, and I can appreciate fine cuisine, but sometimes a chick just needs some McDonalds french fries. I think there can be artistry in all cooking, whether it be hamburger helper or  five-star french fare. You can really spruce up a 'Helper and you can really mess up simple things. The worst cooks are those who follow recipes and never learn what they're about. I suppose it's like people who can read music but don't learn how to improvise or come up with anything original.
Just remember this, more ingredients does not mean better taste. Keep it simple, and in the wise words of RuPaul, "Don't f*ck it up".


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