Law school is tough shit. There are no “off” hours. You work until you’re done. And if you’re a perfectionist, you’re never done. So you never stop working. You dream of work. Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve dreamed of a unicorn?
Not long actually.
BUT IT WAS WEARING A ROBE AND CARRYING A GAVEL.
And despite the dazzling array of areas of law available to learn about…it can get…tedious at times. Which is what I expected of one of environmental advocacy. One would think that with such a title, the class would focus on advocacy—in terms of law school this usually means some form of litigation—for the environment through environmental organizations or citizen suits. But I couldn’t have been more wrong. It is in actuality a bucket of non-legal awesome. By “advocacy,” the title means just that: advocating the environment—promoting its protection, reaching out to the media, to the people, being civilly disobedient and chaining oneself to a tree to prevent clear-cutting. This class is amazing. And no law unless we really want to inject it.
Our professor is delightfully hippy, riding his bicycle to school every day, growing his own vegetables, raising hens and making his own organic sauerkraut. That’s right. Freaking sauerkraut; Which brings me to the actual point of this post: our classroom organic luncheon.
Everyone was responsible for bringing a dish or two…and of course, I jumped right in with a dish I had never eaten before, much less tried making. Because, you know, YOLO. My boyfriend chastised me for never having tried this particular dish, likening it to such staples as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, macaroni and cheese and hot dogs. Now, I don’t know about anyone else…but I feel slapping together a PB&J, or making a box of Kraft mac n’ cheese is a bit less involved that deviled eggs.
Which was, I reasoned, why my mother had never bothered with that particular American classic. We certainly had our fair share of every other conceivable 1950s-nuclear-family-preservative-friendly recipes…but never deviled eggs. I suppose the fact that it isn’t really a meal but more of a hors d’oeuvre contributed. We never really had company until my father worked for a firm that could afford fancy-pants catering (which would never deign serve such a plebian dish) The only thing other than one-dish dinners and brown bag bologna-and-American-cheese-and-Miracle Whip sandwich lunches was the occasional Lemon Delight and banana bread.
Well, now that old classics are new again (have you seen what creative chefs are doing with meatloaf, mac and cheese and bacon?!), I figured I’d give it a shot. And after looking at a flood of Easter recipes on Pinterest, I was craving creamy, eggy goodness (how you crave something you’ve never tasted, I don’t know).
Boiling eggs is like any other basic cooking technique: easy concept, nearly impossible to master. That’s part of how I critique restaurants, by the way, is how they execute basic cooking techniques. Well, boiling eggs seems easy…and it is…easy to muck up. From stubborn eggshells to the infamous ring of death, there are several things that can go wrong, and even more variable that you have to consider in order to capture the elusive perfection of a velvety yolk and tender white. So. I looked to science. And it turns out, as ever-curious and ingenious creatures, we have come up with a consistent way to replicate those desirable characteristics, rather than having to worry too much about all of those factors which may contribute to failure.
Yep. Baking whole eggs in the oven. As per the Google, Alton Brown seems to be the first to publicly promote this method, but others have quickly followed suit. Especially when making hard-boiled eggs in bulk, this is particularly helpful. Think about it—no matter how many eggs you put in the oven, you’re going to get uninterrupted, even, and consistent heat. No muffin tin? No problem. Place those white little orbs right on the oven rack.
40 minutes later, you’re ready to peel. Flavors? I knew I wanted something more than just the classic mayo-mustard-salt and pepper…but I didn’t want too far a departure. Wasabi? Perfect! Especially since I was making a siracha broccoli salad…except after I’d peeled the eggs, I found that my Wasabi paste had apparently walked out of the refrigerator in rage and disgust with not having been used in a month.
There was green curry paste. Eh. Same difference (pssst. Not really. There’s actually a huge difference. But I wasn’t about to pluck eyebrow hairs). It ended up being a perfect complement to the richness of the egg yolk and mayo. I added a splash of rice wine vinegar to brighten up the flavors.
One of the funnest parts of making deviled eggs is presentation. But since these little jewels were travelling, I satisfied myself with a piping bag (which, incidentally, makes it WAY easier to get into the hollowed egg white). How did I transport them? In their home (egg carton). Because they like their home (Happy Gilmore reference anyone? Anyone?).
And for the six of the 24 that weren’t eaten? Green curry egg salad. Boom and your welcome.
¼ cup Mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Brown mustard
1-2 teaspoons Rice wine vinegar (to taste)
2-3 teaspoons Green curry paste (to taste)
Salt and Pepper to taste
- Pre-heat oven to 325
- Fill a muffin tin a quarter way up the cup with water and place an egg-daintily-into each cup
- Bake eggs for 30 minutes (you could probably get away with 25 if you want a softer, creamier yolk)
- Remove immediately and put eggs in an ice bath—allow to chill for 10 minutes
- Peel and slice (not with a serrated knife, you ninny…we want a nice, smooth cut)
- Pop…literally…the yolks into a sieve and mash through (if you’ve got a ricer, even better) into a bowl.
- Add remaining ingredients and mix to combine.
- Pipe into whites (which at this point you’ve placed back into the egg carton/s [I had to use two…because when you cut 12 eggs in half, you get 24. Math.])
- Garnish to your liking (sliced Thai chilies? Cilantro? Raisins?)