(May 24, 2019) What is the actual reality when a chef presents his creation? More specifically, how does a chef perceive a particular dish at the moment of completion?
Are the flavor profiles developed to a point of perfection? Is the presentation a work of art?
Is the experience memorable and how does it compare to other similar dishes? Is the cook’s perception the same as the paying customer?
Most of us have neither the time nor the mental stamina to explore and fully understand cookery in its most definitive state, but a successful chef must surpass the boundaries of mediocrity.
It is the act of exploring the reasons behind the logic that will produce new insight and it is this detailed scrutiny that distinguishes brilliance over success.
For example, something as simple as deviled eggs can be elevated to new heights if you understand the individual components and their effect on the overall structure of the dish.
If one researches the history of deviled eggs, you will find that the classic creamy concoctions did not originate in the United States. The beginnings of modern day deviled eggs can be traced back to Ancient Rome.
The main difference was the boiled eggs were served with a spicy sauce.
Originality is a must when it comes to cookery. The idea of a spicy sauce intrigues me and my imagination immediately goes to mixing the egg yolk filling with a touch of adobo sauce and garnishing the eggs with cilantro.
Pureed egg yolks are bland and the peppery sauce will not only change the taste but also the color of the filling. It is these subtle differences that gives conventionalism a new twist.
My attention also turns to how the deviled eggs are showcased. Generally, the filling is piped into the cooked egg whites. This is perfectly acceptable but my curiosity leads me down a path of a different direction.
The idea of a deviled egg parfait intrigues my fanciful nature.
It just so happens that I have 2-ounce shot glasses in my repertoire of glassware. These tall, narrow shot glasses come with a serving spoon and this combination will highlight the layered appetizer.
Since eggs and potatoes are a perfect marriage, consider cooking the potatoes in a chimichurri or pesto sauce which will incorporate a colorful and textural foundation for the parfait. Then, simply layer the miniature parfait with the flavored potatoes, piped egg yolk filling and finely chopped egg whites.
The end result is a stunning amuse bouche which is perfect for brunch.
Sometimes satisfaction comes by way of simplicity. I am the queen of contrast and the thought of fried deviled eggs sounds scrumptious. A velvety egg yolk filling nestled on a crunchy egg white is a fun, innovative way to serve deviled eggs.
The element of surprise is a sure way to wow your guests. Fill the fried egg whites with crab meat, top with the piped egg yolk filling, and garnish with a touch of Old Bay Seasoning.
This is a mouth full that is worth every bite! Enjoy.
Fried Deviled Eggs
14 large eggs
1/3 cup mayonnaise, plus 1 tablespoon
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
kosher and freshly ground black pepper to taste
canola oil for frying
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 ½ cups plain panko bread crumbs
1 cup crabmeat, picked for shells and cartilage
Old Bay Seasoning as a garnish
1. Bring a large pot of water to a gentle boil and carefully lower the eggs. Allow water to return to a hard simmer. Once the water is simmering, cook 1 dozen eggs for 12 minutes.
Place the eggs in a bowl of ice water. Peel the eggs, cut them in half and separate the whites from the yolks.
2. Transfer the yolks to a medium bowl. Add the mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard and salt. Using a hand-held blender, blend the ingredients until the filling is smooth and does not have any lumps.
Transfer the yolk mixture to a piping bag fitted with a tip of your choice. Refrigerate until ready to use.
3. Fill a large heavy-bottomed pot with 2 inches of oil, attach a deep-frying thermometer and heat to 350 degrees. Place the flour on a plate and season with salt and a few grinds of pepper.
Crack the remaining 2 eggs into a shallow dish and beat with 2 teaspoons water. Place the panko on another plate. Line a third plate with paper towels.
4. Roll the egg whites in the flour, then dip in the egg wash, and coat in the panko. Double dip the base of the hard-boiled egg in the egg and panko twice. This will ensure an even coating.
5. Fry just until the eggs turn a golden-brown color. Place cooked eggs on a cooling rack and apply a light dusting of salt.
6. Fill fried eggs with crabmeat and pipe yolk mixture on top. Garnish with Old Bay Seasoning.
Secret Ingredient – Reality. “Since we cannot change reality, let us change the eyes which see reality.”
– Nikos Kazantzakis