(I forgot the chives for this batch)
I find nothing more fun than taking something simple, like eggs, and making something totally extravagant. Usually reserved for ladies luncheons, Easter dinner, or the occasional potluck, deviled eggs are an inexpensive, simple way to make the day a little more special.
Now, admittedly, I've found that the hardboiling of the eggs really can be the most difficult part. I can't explain it. I've tried various methods and each time they come out differently-loose whites and/or centers or green around the yolks are usually my norm. Then there's the shell that simply won't come off and you end up with an egg that looks like it had terrible acne in it's youth. I would love to blame our water (which is totally laden with mineral), our altitude (7000 ft), or the fact that electric stoves and I have never gotten along. Maybe it's a fresh vs. not so fresh thing, which is totally possible when you get your eggs from 1000 miles away, because your husband is anti-backyard chicken at the moment (more on that another day). So, the only thing I can say is that it's always a surprise when I go to open my first one. Usually I end up cranking up the water again and boiling them all another 10 minutes.
I think that the main reason for this is to provide lots of auditory stimulation for the monkey dog, Cowboy, who patiently listens to his Mom curse and of course, waits for something to drop.
So, when I say that this recipe can make the day a little more special, once you get past the hardboiling, then the special-ness can begin...
Smoked Deviled Eggs
1 dozen eggs, hardboiled (anywhere from 12-30 minutes in boiling water)
Slice the peeled, cooled eggs lengthwise and pop the yolk out into a medium size bowl. Line a plate or deviled egg platter with the whites and set aside while you prepare the filling:
12 hardboiled yolks
1/8 c. miracle whip (or mayo if you must, but the mw really does give it extra flavor)
2 T. butter, softened (thank you Julia)
1 T. sweet pickles, chopped fine
1 T. dijon mustard
Salt/Pepper to taste
Smoked paprika and chopped chives for garnish
Blend well with mixer in a medium sized bowl, by hand or electric power. If it seems a bit crumbly, add more softened butter (remember: everything's better with butter and bacon). Form into a nice ball within the bowl and put into a large gallon size ziploc storage bag. Work the ball down into one of the corners of the bag, leaving the bag unzipped. Snip the corner you've pushed your filling into to create a small opening to pipe the filling into the whites. (You can practice on a sheet of wax paper to see if it's the right size. If it's not, then scrape the filling back into the bag and snip the other corner of the bag and try again) Fill all of your whites and prepare a slice of toast or a cracker for the remaining filling. One must remember to provide some sustainance for the cook.
Sprinkle the filled eggs with a few chopped chives and a dusting of smoked paprika. Eat your egg and toast and admire your plate of extravagence.
Hope these make your day a little brighter...