One of the recipes I flagged was for beet pickled deviled eggs. It sounded intriguing. I had just started experimenting with beets last year and eggs are one of my top 3 favorite foods (bread, cheese, eggs). I was pretty sure that I had never made deviled eggs before and it wasn’t something that we grew up eating in my family. Since we were hosting Thanksgiving last year, I decided to add them to the menu. To my surprise, they were gone in almost no time! Here’s a look at the one picture I got last year before they were gone.
Fast forward to October 2010. We were headed to St. Louis to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with my family. Because they read about the Good Cook Doris adventure online and don’t get to experience it I knew I wanted to contribute something to the big meal. But planning a TSA friendly dish is tricky! We had a non-stop flight, but that still means about 5 hours in transit and no liquids, sauce, pies, etc. I checked the TSA website and decided that the pickled eggs would make the cut. I prepared the pickling liquid and marinated the eggs from Tuesday night through Thursday morning right before we left for the airport.
Just before our cab arrived to pick us up, I drained the jars and packed them in an insulated bag for the journey. No liquids through security also means that you have to get creative in packing your cooler for the trip. I pulled out three packs of frozen chopped spinach and a bag of frozen peas that had kept my cooler of precious smoked salmon preserved on my last flight back to Boston from St. Louis (my brother smoked about 5 lbs of salmon for us – nice brother!). Since the frozen vegetables are solid they don’t raise any issues in the x-ray machines. They may ask to peek inside and joke that they might need to taste test the delicious looking salmon, but they will let you through without any trouble.
I’m happy to report that we arrived in St. Louis and unpacked a bag with still frozen vegetables and ice cold eggs. We arrived about 10 a.m. and guests were scheduled to arrive at 4 p.m. so I quickly got to work assembling. My brother had a great idea to quarter the eggs, instead of halve them. That way we would have enough for all 27 guests to taste (a smaller than usual group).
Here’s a look at assembly and then presentation. My mom keeps a well stocked fridge, so I found all of my ingredients waiting for me upon arrival (I did bring the caraway seed in my luggage).
She didn’t have a spare coffee/spice grinder, so I improvised. It worked pretty well!
Ready to be stuffed back into the eggs.
I made 14-15 eggs and saved the beets this year (I love pickled beets!). Here’s a look at the eggs awaiting guests.
The best compliment is that my 11 year old cousin, who said she wasn’t sure about beets (her mom doesn’t like them) or the funny colored eggs tried one and even ate one of the pickled beet pieces. I think she said, “it’s not that bad”. There was only one lonely quarter and a few beet pieces left at the end so I’ll call it a success!
I plan to make these for every party I host – they are delicious and it’s a blast to see people’s reactions to purple eggs! Yes, they do come from purple chickens.
Beet Pickled Deviled Eggs
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine, November 2009
3 cups water
1 cup distilled white vinegar
2-3 small beets, peeled and sliced into semi-circles about a quarter inch thick (I used more, because I wanted to eat the beets!)
1 small shallot, sliced (I used yellow onions, that’s all I had on hand)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 Turkish or 1 California bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 hard-boiled large eggs, peeled
1 teaspoon caraway seeds, toasted & cooled
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Add water, vinegar, beets, shallot/onions, sugar, bay leaves, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to boil in a medium-large sauce pan
Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, covered for about 20 minutes until the beets are tender
Uncover the mixture and cool completely
Divide your eggs into 2-3 wide mouth mason jars (or other non-reactive containers)
Put beet pieces in with eggs (just a few per jar) and make another jar with the leftover beets
Add the pickling liquid (unstrained) to each jar, filling it almost to the top
Seal lids and place in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, rotate the eggs one or two times a day, to ensure they get evenly colored
When you are ready to prepare for serving:
Finely grind caraway seeds in grinder. Or put them in a plastic bag and smash them with a hammer, rolling pin, or other implement
Remove eggs from beet mixture and pat dry (discard liquid, save beets if you desire)
Cut in half lengthwise, remove yolks carefully and place yolks in a large bowl
Add mayonnaise, mustard, parsley, and half of the caraway (1/2 teaspoon)
Mash the yolks with the additional ingredients until desired texture and season with salt and pepper
Using a spoon & small spatula, carefully fill each half with yolk mixture until all are filled & mixture is evenly distributed
Dip a sharp knife in water and slice the halves lengthwise into quarters
Sprinkle with remaining caraway seeds and extra parsley
Watch them disappear!
Prep time: 15 minutes
Active Cook Time: 20 minutes (plus egg-cooking time)
Inactive Cook Time: 3 hours – 3 days
Assembly time: 30 minutes or more, depending on how cooperative the egg yolks are.
Cutting board & knife, sauce pan, spoon, mason jars & lids, non-staining spoons & spatulas, spice grinder/mortar and pestle/hammer, fork for mashing, bowl, spoon & spatula, serving platter