Friday, 13 April 2012

Cookbook: Devilled Eggs

Wooooeeee !!! It is Friday the 13th !!! Watch your every step today, dear reader! Put yourself at no risk of calamities or mishaps! Better still: stay in bed, below the sheets, absolutely alone of course (you want no accidental progeny), breath in and out with utmost caution and beware of dreaming dangerous dreams when you happen to close your eyelids!

Unless, of course, you are Italian. Then you have nothing to worry about until next Tuesday. For they tell me that Italians fear nothing from Friday the 13th. Instead, they are horrified by Tuesday the 17th …  

And unless you happen reside on the Swedish islet of Liten Skämmershøld, where people live in deadly fear of Wednesday the 11th. Two days ago an intoxicated elk, looking for windfall apples, climbed into one of the island’s oldest apple trees and brought it down by sheer inebriated weight. This was taken as a sure sign by the Skämmershøldians that the current superstition is as valid today as it ever was since the days of King Knunnard the Ignominious… (see the front page of yesterday’s digital edition of the Malmö Mail).

Happy, thrice happy, is the man who can worry over such trifles! Others face far worse trouble, dear reader; and Alfred B Mittington is one of them. It is Friday, Cookbook Day on Metis Meets Mittington, so I owe you a recipe. But what can I tell you to prepare on this dark, demonic day, which does not somehow endanger your health, your well-being and your property? Cooking is a most dangerous activity. It involves knives, and fire, and kitchen appliances, and salmonella and rot! Scalding hot oil vies for opportunities to hurt you with volatile gas and lethal ingredients like cayenne pepper and bleak, vegetarian tofu that will kill you through sheer boredom!

Where to turn? Oh, where to turn…?

Fortunately inspiration always strikes in the long run when a genius like myself applies himself long enough to earnest contemplation. Easter is just behind us… The dish must be as demonic as the day… No dangerous tools or processes ought to be involved…

Therefore, Eureka, the answer is:

Devilled Eggs!

Devilled Eggs is one of those dishes that practically nobody dislikes. Its simplicity is only surpassed by its adaptability to all tastes. If perchance you don’t appreciate one particular recipe, go ahead and try something else, with ingredients which are to your liking! Do your own thing! Find your own Shangri-La, your own Gastronomic Garden of Eden! Devilled Eggs are to gourmets what Suetonius said Julius Caesar was to the Romans: a husband to every wife, a wife to every husband! What more, I ask, can we innocent epicures aspire to?

How then do we make this exquisite dish? Well, first of all get as many hard-boiled eggs as you fancy. If you wish to make sure that the house doesn’t burn down, ask a Jew or a Muslim or a Buddhist to boil them for you (they are on different calendars, so the curse of Friday the 13th passes them by!) Let the eggs cool. Then cut them neatly in halves with the edge of a piece of 100 gr typing paper (DO NOT USE KNIVES ON FRIDAY THE 13TH!) Remove the yolk and put egg whites and yolks in separate bowls.

Now take out a small sieve, put in the yolks, and press them through the meshes. Once ready, add to the egg yolk powder: a little salt, a little pepper, four drops of lemon juice per egg, a teaspoon of Mayonnaise for every egg, and a teaspoon of quality mustard for every three. These are the basics.

From here on, you can add any yummie ingredient or flavour which you fancy. Variety is such that I will not even try to list examples. I will simply give you my own favourite recipe, and from there on, leave you the liberty to try, experiment, fail and succeed on your own.

I add to the filling of my Devilled Eggs: curry powder, ginger powder, sesame oil, dill, parsley and finely chopped chives (ask the Hindu next door; he is sure to have some laying around, which will spare you the obligation of using them treacherous scissors on this ominous day).

Mix well, then fill every half-egg with a good spoonful of the egg yolk mush. Put on a plate, sprinkle with a little paprika and parsley, and serve. Make sure to have the emergency telephone number at hand, in case somebody chokes on your Devilled Eggs. Also check up on the Heimlich Maneuver (see picture below!) Alternatively: take out a good insurance before you invite anyone over for dinner!

Since Argentina is presently threatening to nationalize the Spanish oil company Repsol, the Spanish are looking for ways to retaliate. And boy did they hit on a good idea! The latest proposal is to nationalize… Lionel Messi!


  1. Very Nice! Only point is: my dear spouse does not like boiled eggs. In my family, devilled eggs are a long tradition at birthday parties, but as you can fancy, this is not any longer the case in the branch I reside in... My mother used to make these I think with half a can of Anchovies in oil, rolled with capres, in the yolk. The other half of the anchovies went on top of some of the eggs, for those who like their salt. Sweet, uh, Salt memories!

    Yours, Je R

    1. Dear Jerry,

      Yes, indeed: I know of that variety. One often sees it recommended in the cookbooks. Yet, much as I appreciate anchovies, I never warmed to the combination. If I must mix, I much prefer to mix the yolk with some soft, creamy paté, to get a chopped liver effect. Or, if fish it must be, one may use some smoked salmon.

      Incidentally: if your wife does not like eggs, find another wife.

      Yours, Alfred, your Affectionate Chef.