I can’t put my finger on the exact date, but sometime during the Great Craft Cocktails and Brown Liquor Resurgence of the past five or six — maybe even seven, we’ve all been drinking so much it’s difficult to remember — years hard-boiled eggs and deviled eggs made a comeback, especially at bars that served craft cocktails and brown liquor. Not deviled eggs like your grandmother serves at Easter under a layer of paprika, but rather wasabi deviled goose eggs, Sriracha-blue cheese deviled eggs, truffle and chive deviled eggs, and petite smoked salmon deviled quail eggs.
Their sudden ubiquity is not without merit. Deviled eggs are a perfect compliment to drinking, protein with a touch of salt, and are just as good with a heavy beer or bracing cocktail as they are with a glass of sparkling wine. (Not that I ever drink prosecco with football. But just in case it’s around. For brunch. Okay maybe sometimes. Often.)
Deviled eggs are also ridiculously easy to make and incredibly difficult to mess up, which is important this time of year when you don’t have the time nor the energy to make a complicated snack for football. There is still shopping to do, you’ve got relatives over that don’t like football and you’re trying to entertain them while watching Eli versus Ed Reed and why YES it is very interesting that second-cousin Shirley got that job in Nebraska and YES it may make next Thanksgiving more difficult to plan and NO I don’t think the neighbors put up more Christmas lights than usual and NO I haven’t heard there is a Whole Foods going in there and WHY is it again I can’t feed this toddler bourbon so they’ll stop crying about the Grinch video AND DID ANYONE AT LEAST SEE A SCORE FOR THE VIKINGS-TEXANS GAME?
Exactly. Not a lot of time for snack making for football.
I use dried cranberries in this recipe because they’re sweet enough to provide a foil for the horseradish and mustard and are also tart enough to hold up to the rich yokes, plus they add a nice bit of texture to the often smooth yoke filling. And if any one asks, cranberries are very seasonal and these are not actually football snacks, these are the snacks you happen to be eating while looking over your Uncle Walt’s shoulder searching for the Texans score while he explains to you why the Fed is going to steal the fillings out of your teeth.
This recipe is easily doubled, so go ahead and make more if you have a large crowd in your house or at your tailgate this Sunday.
Tart Cranberry Deviled Eggs
You will need:
6 hard-boiled or hard-baked eggs, cooled and peeled
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped plus a dozen more for garnish
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 ground pepper (dash)
Everyone has a different secret for boiling eggs. Room temperature eggs slowly heated in simmering water and then leave to cool in the pan. Boil and then refrigerate immediately. Add white vinegar to the water for easy peeling, don’t add vinegar. Me? I prefer to bake my eggs in the oven in a muffin tin or directly on the rack, allow them to cool and then peel them in cold water.
Slice the eggs in half and carefully scoop out the cooked yokes. In a medium-sized bowl, mash together the yokes, chopped dried cranberries, horseradish, dried mustard, salt and pepper and mix until smooth. Spoon the mixture back into the solid egg white cups with a teaspoon or pipe in with a pastry bag and garnish with the remaining dried cranberries.
Serves 4-6, depending on how many eggs you need to pop in your mouth to make sure you don’t say anything to your Uncle Walt that you might regret, especially if it turns out he’s right about the Fed and you’ll no longer have your teeth to pay your bookie with after an ill-advised Raiders-Panthers wager.