If you are anything like me, Easter means candy, candy, and coloring eggs – in that order. Something about dip-dying and decorating my favorite breakfast food really gets me excited. My problems come in the weeks following - my refrigerator is stocked with the most beautiful, putrid hard-boiled eggs; I make Cobb salad and egg salad, but there always seems to be another hidden egg right behind the milk.
Not this year. This year I decided to go international with my approach. What I found was that there was no reason to keep repeating the same tired egg salad every year. In fact, almost every culture worldwide has a utility recipe for leftover Easter eggs.
This may be because boiling eggs has been around for a long time – a really long time. From Ancient Egypt to Rome and Greece all the way up to the Renaissance, people were boiling eggs. Chicken eggs, in particular, were an important staple during medieval times because of their availability and versatility. Hard-boiled eggs would have popped up in salads, desserts, and breakfasts across Europe of old. In Japan, people would submerge eggs in pools of hot sulfuric water until they turned black in an effort to live longer.
Nowadays, we don’t have to carefully stoke a fire to boil our eggs. Instead you can use my patented method (trademark pending). Put your raw eggs in a pot of water with one teaspoon of white vinegar for every quart of water. Make sure the eggs are submerged and not crowding each other. Put the pot of water on a burner and turn it to medium-high. Cover and wait. When the water is rapidly boiling - not just a couple of bubbles, but really going crazy - turn the stove off. Cover and wait again. When the water is cool enough to touch, you should have yourself a pot full of perfectly cooked eggs.
But what do you do with them…?
Pickled Eggs – recipe adapted from the National Center for Home Food Preservation
These bar snacks have been around for centuries. The briny, sour treat is the perfect accompaniment for a pint or seven. Obviously, there are many varieties and ways to pickle eggs, but this cider-y recipe is tasty and consistent for anyone new to pickling.
12 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
1 ½ c apple cider vinegar or apple juice
½ c white vinegar
6 thin slices of onion
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tsp pickling spice
1 peeled garlic clove
Mix all ingredients other than the eggs and bring to a boil. Let the mixture cool. Put your eggs in Mason jars and pour the liquid in. Make sure the eggs are fully submerged. Refrigerate. For small eggs, you need to pickle for at least two weeks. If using larger eggs, three to four weeks. The eggs will keep in the fridge for up to four months.
Scotch Eggs – recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver
To continue the trend of egg dishes that are great with a drink, I bring you the Scotch egg. The British delicacy was said to have been invented in 1738 at a London department store, but there is evidence as far back as the Moghuls of people wrapping meat around a hard-boiled egg and calling it lunch. Wherever its origin, this indulgent little nugget is eaten cold at picnics and warm at pubs.
8 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
2 eggs, beaten
1 # sausage meat
1 bunch fresh chives, finely chopped
1 bunch parsley, chopped
pinch of nutmeg
1 Tbsp English mustard
salt and pepper
Flour, for dusting
1-2 cups good breadcrumbs (I like a 50-50 mix of Panko and plain)
Oil, for frying
Heat oil to 300 degrees in a deep pot or frying pan. Mix sausage meat, herbs, nutmeg, mustard, salt and pepper thoroughly in a bowl. Divide into eight balls. Set up a breading station with flour on the first plate, the beaten egg on the second, and the breadcrumbs on the third. Flatten the sausage out in your hand and place the egg in the center (your goal is for the egg to be fully encased in sausage). Dredge the ball in flour, then eggs, then the breadcrumbs - really make sure it gets covered in breadcrumbs. When the oil is hot, place eggs into oil and cook for about 4-5 minutes or until the entire ball looks deep golden brown. Remove and let rest. Serve with cheddar, pickles, and ale.
Egg Curry – recipe adapted from About.com
Truth be told, this article came to fruition on Easter at an Indian buffet. My partner and I eschewed the traditional meal and decided we would try Viceroy of India on Devon. In one of the steaming vats of deliciousness were hard boiled eggs, vegetables, and sauce. I thought it might be a nod to the holiday, but after tasting it, I realized it’s placement on the buffet was definitely not to be cheeky and cute. It was so good – vegetarian and filling and all good things. We got about three steps out of the restaurant before I started looking up egg curry online.
6 hard-boiled eggs
5 Tbsp neutral oil (vegetable, canola, sunflower)
2 medium onions, quartered
3 medium tomatoes, quartered
2 green chiles (jalapeno will work)
2 tsp garlic paste
2 tsp ginger paste
2 tsp coriander, ground
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp garam masala
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp red chili powder
2 potatoes, cubed
Fry onions in 2 Tbsp of oil in a deep pan. When golden, pull from the heat and put into a food processer. Grind onions, tomatoes, and green chiles into a smooth paste. Add the remaining oil to the same pan and fry the paste you just made for about two minutes. Add ginger, garlic, and dry spices to the paste and continue frying until the oil separates from the masala (vegetable and spice mixture). Add two cups of warm water and bring to a boil. When boiling, add potatoes. Cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes, or until the gravy has reduced to almost ¾ its original volume. Cut the eggs in half vertically and add them to the sauce. Drop heat to low and simmer for ten minutes. Serve with rice and chopped coriander leaves.
Southern Deviled Eggs – recipe adapted from Southern Foodways Alliance
Deviled eggs are one of the oldest food in the South. They are so named because the slight spice and paprika on top was quite risqué for the early-1800s South. No matter their nefarious origins, deviled eggs quickly became a picnic staple for most Americans. This is a pretty standard recipe, but feel free to twist it in your own way. Several Chicago menus feature fancier versions of this incredible, edible egg, like the truffle and black trumpet mushroom version at Sable Kitchen and Bar.
1 dozen hard-boiled eggs
¼ c REAL mayonnaise...this is critical
¼ c Dijon mustard
4 Tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp lemon juice
¼ tsp cayenne
salt and white pepper
paprika for garnish
Peel eggs and cut in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks, and rub them through a mesh strainer into a bowl. Add mayo, mustard, butter, lemon juice, and spices (other than paprika) and mix well. Put filling into a pastry bag and pipe back into eggs. Dust with paprika. Chill until ready to serve; the flavors will develop as the mixture sits, so let them chill for at least an hour.
Pulpeta – recipe is from My big, fat, Cuban family
Pulpeta is one of the most wonderful, indulgent, satisfying things you can put in your mouth. Seriously, it’s that good. Think a fried-ish meatloaf stuffed with vegetables and hard-boiled eggs and usually topped with a slightly spicy sauce. That being said, it is also a little complicated to make. I can admit my own limitations, and I quickly realized I could not improve on this recipe by Marta from “My big, fat, Cuban Family.” So rather than simplify it, I am linking to it. Read the recipe, try the recipe, and peruse the site. Marta has a ton of lovely Cuban recipes.
Do you have any favorite recipes that use up hard-boiled eggs? If so, please send them our way! Comment below or join the conversation on our Facebook and Twitter.