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Eggzactly Like This: Eggs Part Two

Deviled Eggs
by John Raven, Ph.B.

Last month I started talking about eggs and ran out of space before I could post any recipes. Consider this part two of the story and we'll get some recipes here for you.

In Texas, anytime you have folks bringing food, there will be at least one plate of deviled eggs. I can remember my Mama making these things for special occasions forever. My mama's recipe just used mayonnaise and mustard in the yolks; you can add anything you think may be pleasing.

Here's one to give you an idea of where to start and the amount of ingredients required.

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Deviled Eggs

  • 12 large eggs, hard boiled
  • cup mayonnaise (you can use "lite" mayonnaise if you just have to save some calories)
  • 2 teaspoons brown or yellow mustard
  • cup finely chopped sweet pickles
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Paprika
Peel the hard boiled eggs. Split the eggs down the center lengthwise. Put the yolks in a bowl and mash them with the above ingredients. Spoon or pipe the mixture back into the halves. Sprinkle with paprika.

You want to serve deviled eggs well chilled. You can make them a day ahead and refrigerate them overnight. Cover them with plastic wrap.

Huevos Rancheros

"Huevos" is the Spanish word for eggs. "Ranchero" indicates cowboy style. Huevos Ranchero is a very popular breakfast dish in Texas, but it can be served anytime. You will need:
  • 3/4 cup bottled salsa
  • 1 medium plum tomato, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 7- to 9-inch flour or corn tortillas, flavored or plain
  • 8 large eggs
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1-1/2 cups (packed) hot pepper Monterey Jack cheese (about 6 ounces)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix the first 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan; set sauce aside. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tortilla and cook until it just begins to brown, about 30 seconds. Using tongs turn the tortilla over and heat 10 more seconds. Transfer to large sheet of foil. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Enclose tortillas in foil and place in the oven to keep warm.

Divide the remaining 2 tablespoons oil between 2 medium skillets and heat over medium-low heat. Break 4 eggs into each skillet; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until eggs are just set on bottom, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover skillets; cook until eggs are cooked as desired and cheese melts, about 2 minutes.

Bring the sauce to a boil. Divide the tortillas among 4 plates. Top each with 2 eggs, then warm sauce. Makes 4 servings.

Egg Salad

Us old hardcore Texans don't eat a lot of egg salad, but we have lots of visitors who seem to like it, so I thought including a recipe would be in order.
  • 7 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
  • 1/3 cup regular or light mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped sweet pickles (such as sweet gherkins)
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped sweet onion (such as Vidalia, Maui or Texas 1015s)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Halve the hard-boiled eggs. (You can make the salad a tad "healthier" by leaving out three of the yolks. Use them for some other purpose.) Coarse-chop the eggs. Mix the other ingredients in a bowl, then carefully fold in the eggs to prevent mushing them. The salad can be served on lettuce or as an open-faced sandwich.

Migas Raven-Style

We have posted my idea of migas a couple of times earlier, but in case you missed it, here's something that really says "Breakfast" or "Brinner" in Texas. (Those of you who call the mid-day meal "lunch" would call this "brunch". Texans call this meal "dinner", thus "Brinner". And, yes, our evening meal is supper.
  • 1/2 cup fine-chopped onion
  • 1 fresh jalapeño, seeded and diced very fine
  • 1/2 cup diced, cooked ham
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil or butter
  • 1 small tomato, very ripe, diced
  • 2 corn tortillas torn into half-inch strips
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Dash of garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Picanté sauce
In a heavy skillet, sauté the onion, jalapeño and ham in the oil until the onion is tender. Add tomato and stir until it gives up its juice. Add the tortilla strips and stir until strips are very tender.

In a small bowl, beat the eggs along with the chili powder and garlic powder. Add eggs to the skillet with the tortilla mixture over medium heat, and stir constantly to keep from scorching. When the eggs are nearly done but still tender (don't overcook), add cheese and continue to stir until cheese starts to melt. Remove from fire and add salt and pepper to taste. When cheese is fully melted, stir again.

Serve with generous dollops of picanté sauce. Serves two or one hungry one.

The Omelet

The omelet comes in an endless variety and can be served at most any occasion. The most popular time to serve omelets in Texas is for "Brinner".

The accepted way to concoct an omelet is in the one-person serving size. This little gem will contain either two or three eggs. A one-egg omelet is not worth the time to mess with.

The way I prepare an omelet is to crack three eggs into a bowl of suitable size. I add a tablespoon of water. Some folk add milk but I find water works just fine. I think the water steams up and makes the omelet fluffier. The eggs and water are whisked together well. The mix is seasoned with salt and black pepper. If you want savory, season the eggs with about a heaping quarter teaspoon of Lawry's seasoned salt.

Cooking an omelet is much like cooking a pancake. You need a non-stick pan for best results. One that is about ten or twelve inches in diameter with sloping sides works best for me. You get the pan medium hot, put in a dab of butter or olive oil or hog lard, whichever you prefer. Pour the eggs in the pan and let them start to set. As the egg cooks, use your spatula to raise the edges and let the uncooked part run underneath. Work all the way around and as close to the center as you can get. When the egg is firm enough to flip over, do so. Place your filling on half the egg and fold the other side over. By now, it should be done. Slide it onto a plate and garnish as you prefer.

Omelet Filling
There are many, many combinations of fillings you can put in your omelet. The simplest would be to crumble a couple of slices of crisp-fried bacon in it. One of my favorites is some chopped, cooked ham, a bit of onion and some chopped tomato, all sautéed together, and then add a slice of cheese as you fill the omelet. [Secret hint: If you like the flavor of onion in your omelet, put about a half teaspoon of minced, dried onion per three eggs in with your eggs as you mix them.]

Cheese really works well with most any omelet. You can use a slice or shredded or grated cheese as you prefer. Omelets also like picante sauce on them. A tablespoon or so of your favorite picanté either on top or on the side will bring smiles all around. Lacking picanté sauce, a couple of drops of Tabasco or Louisiana hot sauce work really well, too.

I think I would try to avoid any sweet fillings such as jelly or fruits. However, if you like it, go for it. As I like to say, no recipe is written in stone.

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