“You little devil.” I muttered under my breath as I nicked the glossy, white coating of a hard-boiled egg I was in the midst of peeling. I’m not sure how deviled eggs got their name – I’m sure I could google that! – but I think it’s pretty fitting considering they can really irritate me sometimes. There’s dozens of tutorials, tips, myths, and techniques for creating the perfect, pristine eggs that have sat in their special tray, gracing the tables of many American homes as the opening act to a holiday meal or party. I have had the most repeated success with Julia Child’s method, which follows in the recipe below, yet I still have trouble peeling them sometimes, even if I use old eggs which is recommended! And that my friends, is a true test for the Type A personality that runs through my veins. But, time after time, I’m reminded that even with a few dings or imperfections, deviled eggs taste darn good, especially this new rendition of the classic appetizer.
Now on to the flavors that make these particular little devils so special: Za’atar The first time I discovered Za’atar was last year at an awesome book signing event with the lovely Zoe Francois. Her book, Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day obviously has some amazing pizza recipes, and to my delight, the best gluten free pizza crust I’ve ever tasted. Before we were each able to make our own, we noshed on some appetizers from the book, including Za’atar dusted flat bread (also gluten free). “Yum, what type of spices are on this?!” I exclaimed after my first bite. Za’atar is a herb forward, zesty Mediterranean spice blend that traditionally consists of dried thyme, sumac, toasted sesame seeds, and sea salt. I find it now to be my wildcard ingredient when making guacamole, on roasted vegetables, and marinated olives.
Instead of using traditional mayo, I used light sour cream that gives the filling a nice tanginess and bonus – it’s better for you! The next time you’re hosting, make these deviled eggs and prepare to have your guests gobble them up. And if you tell them it’s your “Secret” spice blend, I won’t spill the beans, just make sure to hide the Penzey’s container. ;)
Makes 12 eggs, Serves 6-8
3 heaping T light sour cream
1 t Dijon mustard
1 ½ t pickle juice (or 1 t white vinegar)
1 T minced onion
¼ t salt
¼ t pepper
2 t chopped fresh parsley
Za’atar seasoning to sprinkle on top
In a medium sized pot, cover the eggs with cold water (at least one inch of water over them) and bring to a boil. (Also, make sure they fit comfortably and can lay on their sides.) Boil for one minute, then remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 12-14 minutes. Then submerge eggs in an ice bath to cool down and stop the cooking. When you are ready, crack the wide bottom of the egg to start a crack, then gently roll on the counter with your hand to continue the process. This will help loosen the shell from the white and create a few more cracks. Carefully peel under cold running water. Cut eggs in half lengthwise and remove the yolks. Place in a separate bowl, along with all remaining ingredients BESIDES Za’atar. Mash until creamy. Fill empty whites with the filling and lightly sprinkle on Za’atar seasoning. (Can be made 3 hours ahead, covered in refrigerator.)