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NOLA Crawfish-Stuffed Deviled Eggs

For Christmas my sweet neighbor gifted me an amazing cookbook, Harvest To Heat. It’s full of amazing recipes from America’s best chefs, farmers and artisans. These Crawfish-Stuffed Deviled Eggs are courtesy of chef Donald Link of Herbsaint Bar and Restaurant in New Orleans. The not so traditional filling is full of authentic Louisiana flavors.

Crawfish season officially starts after the New Year… but I wasn’t able to find any fresh crawfish tail meat (Central market was even out). Luckily I found some frozen tail meat direct from Louisiana (If you can’t find crawfish substitute shrimp). These are simple to put together even though they take a little more time than traditional deviled eggs due to the onion/pepper mixture needing cooling time… but well worth the effort. If you are prone to overcooked eggs with green yolks, try my fail proof hard-boiled egg instructions below for the perfectly cooked yellow center.

These are off to the Super Bowl party to be devoured.

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 small onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 stalk celery, finely diced
  • 1 small jalapeno, finely diced
  • 1/2 small poblano, seeded and finely diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/2 pound crawfish tails (16 whole pieces reserved, the remainder roughly chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chives, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (1/2 lemon)
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Creole mustard

DIRECTIONS

Place eggs in a saucepan and cover them with cold water, not too deep. Place on burner on HIGH heat. Once they start to boil turn on the timer to 3 minutes.
When the timer goes off, quickly take off the heat, put on the lid and reset the timer to 8 minutes. When 8 minutes are up, take to sink and run cold water over them for about a minute, let them soak a bit to cool off. Once the eggs are cool, peel and cut them in half lengthwise, separating the yolks from the whites. Set both aside.

In a large skillet, melt the butter over low heat and add the onions, celery, jalapenos, poblanos, and spices. Season with salt & pepper. Cook for 4 minutes to sweat the vegetables. Add the crawfish and cook for another 5 minutes. Let the mixture cool.

Put the cooked egg yolks in a mixing bowl and mash them with a fork or potato masher. Add the lemon juice, mayonnaise and mustard and mix to combine. Fold in the cooled crawfish mixture.

Spoon the crawfish mixture into the cooked whites. Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with chives and top each with a crawfish tail.

The Original French Chef Omelette Pan: Sausage & Mushroom with Goat Cheese & Manchego

Most days I feel really lucky. The day I found this omelette pan for $5 at a garage sale was one of those extraordinary lucky days. It was dirty and laying on a dusty table underneath an old wok. It was the oddest-looking pan I’d ever seen. The metal looked sandy and there was no shine to it. But for $5 I decided it could at the very least be good to pound chicken cutlets.

It ended up being the best $5 I’ve ever spent. The omelet pan was created in 1963 when Julia Child asked The Pot Shop of Boston to design it, and where it is still sold today. My pan dates back to 1963 or 1964 – the only 2 years the pan was made with a dark wood handle. To be 46 years old, this pan has held up incredibly well and still turns out a “flawless omelet that is perfectly golden with a creamy center*”.

*Cooks Illustrated, Jan. 2009, Winner of the Best Omelette Pan

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 links Chicken Italian Sausage, sliced into thin rounds
  • 8 ounces Crimini Mushrooms, sliced
  • 15 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 ounces Goat Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Manchego, grated
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/4 cup Half & Half
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • Aged Balsamic Vinegar, optional

DIRECTIONS

In a skillet heat 1 tbsp olive oil. Add mushrooms, sausage and season with salt and pepper. Saute until cooked through and golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a bowl whisk together eggs and half & half.

Preheat the pan over medium heat. When the pan is heated, add 2 tablespoons of butter. Turn the heat down slightly. Pour eggs into the pan. Using a spatula, let the eggs begin to set and slowly lift up the edges and tilt the pan so the egg goes to the bottom of the skillet. Repeat this step until the eggs are almost cooked completely. The top should still be wet. Season with salt and pepper.

Top the eggs with the sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes and cheeses. Place in oven for 5 minutes until top is set.

Remove from oven and top with a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar if you so desire. I do.

The Spotted Pig Deviled Eggs

The Spotted Pig is my favorite place to eat in New York City and when I am in the city I will always wait to get a table. The place is small. The lighting is dim but the small votive candles give the loveliest of glows to the BEST DEVILED EGGS I’ve ever put in my mouth.

On my last trip to the city in February with my beautiful sister, Suzanne, we of course ended up at The Spotted Pig our first night in town. We just couldn’t wait any longer for an Old Speckled Hen on tap. We were shown to the third floor bar (didn’t even know it existed) to wait for our table and ordered a few killer starters… bring on the deviled eggs! It was my lucky night as the sweet lady tending to us gave me a few secrets to these devilish treats:

  1. They DO use mayonnaise in the egg mixture. BUT…. It’s homemade from some of the finest olive oil in the world. Tip: Don’t ask for mayo on the side of that blue cheese burger – you’re not getting any. April Bloomfield says so.
  2. Now on that olive oil. The award winning olive oil from Chile – Olave Organic Olive Oil – is the oil of choice for all of the food in the restaurant (drizzling, dressings, mayos, etc). I’ve since ordered 2 bottles for the sister and myself.

I can tell you these were a hit when I made them a few weeks ago for a family dinner. They were buttery, smooth and thick with a nice zing of vinegar. I did go to the trouble to make the homemade mayonnaise (recipe link below) and it does make a difference!

INGREDIENTS

  • 12 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 teaspoons champagne vinegar
  • Maldon sea salt
  • Aleppo pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced chives
  • Olive Oil for drizzling

DIRECTIONS

Fill a large sauce pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Place cold eggs in single layer in the saucepan and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 13 minutes. Drain eggs and run cold water in the pan. When water is slightly cooler, add ice to the pot and let eggs sit in ice water for 15 minutes.  Crack each egg on a hard surface and roll lightly to break the membrane seal. Eggs should peel very easily. With a thin knife carefully slice eggs in half and place yolks in a bowl.

Break up the yolks with a whisk until they are fine. Add olive oil, mayonnaise, mustard, and vinegars and whisk briskly until smooth puree forms, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.

Transfer mixture to plastic zipper-lock bag. Cit corner off the bag and pipe filling into the egg white halves.

Sprinkle eggs with Maldon salt, Aleppo pepper and chives. Drizzle with olive oil, and serve.