This is a guest post by Marisa Ingram.
Marisa has been an indispensable part of the Foodportunity team for the last two years.
She has a lifelong passion for home baking and a growing interest in all things fresh, local, organic, and seasonal. Though a native Washingtonian, a love for history took her to Charleston, SC where she obtained her degree in English from the College of Charleston. She works in human resources by day, but would love to give it all up for a life of travel.
I am mad about eggs. I eat a minimum of 2 each day and source the highest quality, pastured eggs that my budget will allow. So you can imagine my enthusiasm upon discovering Chef Kathy Casey’s newest cook book, D’Lish Deviled Eggs. Now I know what you may be thinking “an entire cookbook . . . about deviled eggs?” And I say YES! Wholeheartedly yes.
This small book is a gem, elevating the ubiquitous picnic table staple into a genuine art form – and it is also just plain fun. There is something charming about deviled eggs. Even the task of picking them up as they slip about the plate is a bit of a game – and only adds to your reward when you finally have one in hand. Reading the table of contents of this book will have your mouth watering and you’ll be itching to dig through your grandmother’s china cabinet in search of her deviled eggs platter.
In March I had the pleasure of attending an event hosted by Kathy Casey at her Food Studios in Ballard where, luckily for us, she had several of the deviled eggs featured in her book available to sample. Two of my favorites were the Chipotle Deviled Eggs and the Tahini and Tabbbouleh Deviled Eggs – while very different, both had a luscious, smooth texture. Also on offer were her take on a California Roll turned deviled egg as well as a Beet’ing Heart – the egg white turned a rich and beautiful pink from pickled beet juice.
Actually, all of the deviled eggs in this book are beautiful to behold – as evidenced by the rich photography found inside. And with a real eye for detail, Casey has concocted charming garnishes for each variety of deviled egg, adding greatly to their visual appeal. Topped with caviar and a sprinkling of edible gold flakes, Deviled Quail Eggs & Caviar is the most lush.
Once I started perusing the book I wasn’t quite sure where to begin. My list of possibilities was growing long. Some top contenders were Sunny Roasted Red Pepper, Brunchy “Eggs Benedict,” and the simple, elegant Radishes & Butter. However, once I turned to Pimiento Cheese Deviled Eggs, I knew that was where I had to start.
Having lived in Charleston, South Carolina for 7 years, I consider myself quite the pimiento cheese enthusiast – some might call me a snob. Pimiento cheese is the one food that can instantly transport me back to the languid South. That is why, with a purist’s heart, I stick with a strictly mayo, onion, and pimiento version of this Southern charmer – I want the real deal. So it was with some trepidation that I read an ingredient list that included cream cheese, Worcestershire, and Dijon. I shouldn’t, however, have doubted Casey. This egg comes together brilliantly and the pimiento garnish adds significantly to the flavor.
Funnily enough the other deviled egg I decided I absolutely had to make was on the page facing the Piemento Cheese Deviled Eggs. Being a bit of a Mexican food addict, I was delighted to see the recipe for Chilaquile Deviled eggs. Chilaquiles happen to be one of my all-time favorite Mexican dishes, and I was pleasantly surprised with how much these actually taste like chilaquiles – even down to the tortilla chips softened just enough in the salsa before being blended into the egg. A big hit! Both varieties were, and in fact, there was an even divide amongst my tasters over which was the favorite.
This is the book for you if you are looking for something that is both familiar and inspired. As it turns out, deviled eggs are the perfect vehicle, a blank slate of sorts, for encapsulating your favorite recipes and, more importantly, food memories into a diminutive bite.
photo credit: Danrinder.com