Monday, July 10, 2006

Deviled Eggs in the Kitchen

I had several e-mails. Annie said she was hoping for another potato recipe. Matt said he hoped I was just taking last weekend off because he'd bought a "big bag of potatoes." I'll do a potato recipe this weekend. I'm posting this tonight because Tommy wrote. Tommy is sixteen and they are having a family picnic this weekend. He said his mother works very hard and he wanted to try to help out by making something. He wants it to be a surprise for her.

As a mother, when I read an e-mail like that, I make the time to post. I've already e-mailed the recipe to Tommy and told him to let me know if he has any questions but I'll put it up here as well. He wrote that he could microwave "anything" and that he knows how to boil a potato and an egg "and that's it except how to make toast in the toaster." If you can boil an egg, you can make deviled eggs.

Deviled Eggs
12 hard-boiled eggs
4 tablespoons of mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons of mustard
Salt and pepper

I'm going with 12 eggs for a reason. You need fresh eggs. Don't use eggs that may have been the fridge for a week. If you're making this for yourself, that might be fine. But if you're making it for others, you need to go to the store and buy a carton of eggs.

The first step is boiling the eggs. You can boil the water and add the eggs. I do that and use tongs to put the eggs in. If you boil first, and then add eggs, do not drop them in. They can crack and the egg white can bleed out through the crack.

If you're not used to boiling, put the eggs in the pan first then add water until you've got enough water to provide at least an inch of water over the highest egg. (If you're not good with measurements, look at your finger. From tip to the first joint below the finger nail is a good standard.) Put the pan on the stove, turn the burner up to medium-high heat and allow the water to come to a slow boil.

You'll need to let them cook under the slow boil for about 15 minutes. When they've reached that mark, turn off the heat, bring the pan to the sink and run cold water into the pan for three to four minutes. The water will run over the brim of the pan and that's fine. You're replacing the hot water with the cold to cool the eggs.

I've said it before on other recipes, but, again, do not freeze the eggs in an attempt to cool them faster.

You can set them aside, in the cool to cold water, for a half hour or you can peel them under cold water. After you've peeled them, you need to slice them lengthwise or widthwise. I go for lengthwise because they don't tend to fall over after they're done but some people like 'deep dish' deviled eggs so that's your choice.

Using a spoon, remove the yolks and place the yolks in a small bowl. Put the egg yolks on a plate. If you sliced lengthwise, lay them out in any manner you please (they won't tip over). If you've sliced them widthwise, you'll need to keep each egg white shell close together so that they don't roll over.

You'll need to add the ingredients above to the yolk. Think of this as the topping and the egg whites as your pizza crust.

I like to to use a fork to mash the yolks before I add any ingredients. That's up to you.
Add the mayonnaise and mustard (and you can use spicy mustard for more flavor) as well as a dash of pepper and a dash of salt (or salt substitute). Mix the ingredients in the bowl well, stirring with the fork until you have a smooth mixture.

Spoon the mixture into each egg white shell. (Note: This is not egg shells. Egg shells go in the trash as or after you peel the egg. "Shell" is what I'm calling the cooked halves of egg white.) If this is your first time doing this, you may not be sure how much to use. Start off trying to fill almost the top and then, after all are filled this way, go back and add the remains to each egg white shell.

Once you've finished that, you're almost done. If this is just for you, you can eat now. (Though I wouldn't recommend making 12 eggs for yourself due to cholestrol.) If this is something you'll be serving to others, I like to serve them on a tray (if you don't have a tray, you can use a plate) with a bed of lettuce under it. The green lettuce isn't to be eaten, it just gives it a professional look. (Though I have been known to nibble on the lettuce after the deviled eggs are gone if I'm sitting at a table with the tray on it and engaged in a conversation.)

You can also use parsley if you like.

Put the lettuce or parsley on the serving tray, serving platter or plate.

Whether you're doing that step or not, this is where you sprinkle the eggs with paprika.

If you're transferring them, sprinkle them before you transfer.

How much? Paprkia's red. You don't want a layer of red on top of the egg yolk. What you're hoping for is just a few sprinkles.

If you're transfering them to another plate, a platter or tray, you do that now. If you cut the hardboiled eggs length-wise, spread them out. If you cut them width-wise, you'll need to keep them close together with egg whites touching to prevent them from falling over. Cover them with plastic and place in the fridge to chill. These can be made the night before but I wouldn't recommend making them more than a day before. You want them fresh for your guests.

A number wondered why I didn't blog on Saturday? I said I would probably only blog three times a week. But the reason I took Saturday off was because of my son Mike. Friday nights, he and his friends have organized a group that gets together and discusses Iraq. It is now a huge group and keeps growing. My husband and I both attend the discussions.

Friday night, he gave an amazing speech entitled "War As An After Thought" about his impressions of the media coverage of Iraq and of the general reaction to the illegal war itself.
It was amazing. Nina told him he should write it up. (Nina is Mike's girlfriend.) We all agreed with that. It ran in Polly's Brew (which is a newsletter for The Common Ills community) that goes out on Sunday.

I was afraid I'd spoil his column by posting here because I was so impressed with his speech and also that I'd end up making no sense, as you'll see shortly. (His dad was too. As were the people applauding.) My children always had to help out so I can't say, "This is the guy who I have to tell to pick up his socks from the floor." But even though he and all his brothers and sisters are responsible, Mike being the second to the youngest, I still have a hard time sometimes accepting the fact that he's an adult.

He doesn't act childish. But when I see him, with his brush cut, I just still see the kid whose hair I used to cut and wish he'd grow it a little longer so it would curl like it did when he was a little boy. He's got an adult hair cut because he's an adult.

And Friday night drove home what an adult he was becoming. I'm proud of all my children and I've certainly been proud of Mike before but that was just an amazing moment. He was nervous before the speech but you couldn't tell that when he was giving it.

That night, when I was in bed, I started to tear up a little (okay, a lot) and my husband asked me what was wrong? Nothing was really wrong. I was proud of him and really realized that he was a young man now. I started thinking how he's in college now and he'll be moving out soon like his brothers and sisters did. (My youngest, his sister has announced she's "out the door the minute I turn 18.") I was proud of him and kind of sad because the older six have already moved out. I don't know what I'm writing tonight.

Let me put in C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for today so you have something that makes sense:

Iraq snapshot.
Violence and chaos continue.
Bombings, shootings, corpses, kidnappings -- characteristics of daily life in Iraq -- continue while the miliary releases the name of the five US troops charged this weekend in the Mahmoudiya incident and Iraq attempts to overturn the immunity law that exempts suspects from being charged in and by Iraq (foreign troops and contractors).
The AFP notes that a car bomb in Baghdad killed at least ten and left at least fifty-one wounded. The Associated Press notes that this car bomb happened "near a repair shop on the edge of . . . Sadr City". Al Jazeera notes the second bombing which occurred "outside a restaurant near the central bank in central Baghdad" resulting in at least six dead and at least 28 wounded. A third bomb, roadside, resulted in the wounding of five police officers according to Reuters.
Also in Baghdad, CBS and AP note that a bus was "ambushed" with the seven people on it killed (six passengers and the driver) and the bus set on fire.
As Brian Edwards-Tiekert noted today on KPFA's The Morning Show, "violence came despite a security crackdown in the capital raising new questions about the effectiveness of the police and Iraqi army."
Outside of Baghdad, Al Jazeera notes a roadside bomb in Hillah killed one police officer and wounded four while, in Kirkuk, "a sucide truck bomb struck an office of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan" leaving five dead and twelve wounded. Reuters reports a roadside bomb in Yusifya that took the life of one person and left two more wounded; and a car bomb in Baquba that left eleven wounded. CBS and the AP note a bomb in Mahmoudiya that left ten wounded and a car bomb in Ramadi that wounded four US troops.
The BBC notes that Adnan Iskandar al-Mahdawi ("member of the provincial council in Diyala province") is dead as a result of a drive-by. CBS and AP report that, in Baghdad, a doctor was "forced . . . out of his car . . . and killed in front of his family."
Reuters notes two attacks in Baghdad -- one which left three police officers dead and wounded another and a second where two "bodyguards of a judge" were killed and three were wounded.
Reuters reports five corpses were found in Suwayra, one in Kut ("shotgun wounds") and one near Dugail ("gunshot wounds . . . signs of torture") while CBS and AP note the discovery of "two bullet-riddled" corpses in Baghdad and notes five corpses, not one, discovered in Kut.
Reuters notes that "an agriculture official" was kidnapped in Dujail.
The Associated Press reports that the latest five charged in the incident involving the alleged rape of 14-year-old Abeer Qassim Hamza as well as her murder, and that of three members of her family, are Paul E. Cortez, Anthony W. Yribe, James P. Barker, Jesse V. Spielman, and Bryan L. Howard. Yribe is identified as the one who, as Amy Goodman noted on Democracy Now!, is "charged with dereliction of duty for failing to report the crime." The AP notes that "[t]he others face more serious charges as participants" as well as the fact that two of the five charged are sergeants (Cortez and Yribe). The five join Steven D. Green who was charged on June 30th.
The names of the five are released as Mariam Karouny (Reuters) reports that the US crafted laws for Iraq are facing a challenge according to Wigdan Michael (human rights minister in Iraq) who states "We're very serious about" requesting the "United Nations . . . end immunity from local law for U.S. troops". Michael tells Karouny: "One of the reasons for this is the U.N. resolution, which gives the multinational force soldiers immunity. Without punishment, you get violations. This happens when there is no punishment."
In peace news, Amy Goodman and Medea Benjamin discussed the Troops Home Fast today. Benjamin stated: ". . . we think this fast is one way that they can do it. We've had people who have read about the fast in the paper, and they're in West Palm Beach, for example, and just jumped on a plane and came and joined us. We have a woman from Vancouver, in Washington state, who heard about the fast and decided that she had to do something more, came and joined us for this week. People who thought they were going to fast for one day have ended up fasting for the entire week and are going into their second week. This can really be a catalyst if people join. Every day we have hundreds more signing up on the website and saying they want to participate."
In other peace news, Ehren Watada's mother Carolyn Ho has stated, of her son's refusal to deploy to Iraq for the illegal war, "He is sending that message to all the armed forces, the message that they need to examine carefully the war they are choosing to fight." Ehren's father, Bob Watada, is comparing the fight against the charges the military has brought against his son to a competition and tells Alyssa S. Navares (Honolulu Star Bulletin), "I have always been one of those dads at every game and practice . . . Although I whip him in a singles match, together we pravail on the court. And trust me, we're going to do it again when we fight these charges."
Finally, Reuters is reporting that 200 ex-police officers ("fired . . . for forgery and bribery") stormed the Muthanna governor's office "demanding they be reinstated in their jobs in the southern city of Samawa, the capital of Muthanna province."