I LOVE EGGS. I could count the ways, but I don’t want to bore you. I love them, and yet . . . at this time of year, I seem always to run out of ideas for them, at least in their boiled form. Easter approaches; the pleasure of coloring eggs comes and goes (you can read about red eggs here)—and you find yourself with more boiled eggs in the refrigerator than you usually eat in a six-month stretch. What do you do with them?
It may seem obvious to you. You may have no boiled-egg dilemma at all. In fact, most of my family wouldn’t blink at a dozen boiled eggs in the icebox. I’m sure my paternal grandmother, if she were alive, would tell me to get on up, go in the kitchen, and fix a big batch of egg salad. This is, of course, the classic solution. Egg salad with or without potatoes, sandwiched or not between slices of bread. Here’s my problem, though: as much as I love eggs, egg salad repulses me. Always has. It’s the mayo that does it. I love my grandmother’s old ceramic Wesson Oil jar—the one with the blue lettering and striped band up near the lip, in which she always made her mayonnaise from scratch—but I’ve never warmed to the combination of emulsified raw egg and oil.
My husband can’t understand it. I like all the individual components of mayonnaise, why not the end result? He’s the extreme opposite, though, puts mayonnaise on everything—provided it’s homemade, with Dijon mustard. I’m sure he thought that he (or his mother) could convert me; that my problem was simply American, a lack of exposure to anything beyond gloppy, pasty-white Hellmann’s in the supermarket. I tried. Really, I did. And I will be polite about tasting the French family mayo if I have to—but only if I have to.
Digression over. Back to the eggs.
The first day after dying eggs is fine, even the second day. I slice an egg, put it on top of a green salad. I’ll make an iron-rich spinach salad, or, like earlier this week, dig into a copious platter of Salad Niçoise. In the morning, I’ll eat a boiled egg with toast, or crumble some egg on top of my January Quinoa Breakfast Bowl. Then my enthusiasm starts to wane. There are still as many as half a dozen eggs left, and I am at a loss.
Today I decided to rise to the challenge, though, and the recipe that follows is one I can live with. These look like your typical Deviled Eggs (complete with a dusting of paprika), but here’s the thing: there’s no mayo in them—at least not of the Hellmann’s variety. Actually, after I made these, I was surprised to discover that, ingredient-wise, I had basically made a mayonnaise of sorts, though I was telling myself it was anything but. Still, the checklist checks out: egg yolks, oil, lemon juice, mustard, salt . . . Despite the fact that these egg yolks are cooked, this sounds like mayonnaise, doesn’t it? Read the recipe, though (or just the post title), and you’ll discover the secret ingredient that makes the rest palatable for me. After this, who knows. Maybe there’s hope for me and mayo after all.
Curried Yogurt Eggs
This recipe provides a perfect way to use up extra boiled eggs at Easter time. Of course, it’s good any time you have boiled eggs on hand, or if you want to make something quick and easy for a picnic or a light snack at home. It couldn’t be easier, and if you’re reticent about mayonnaise like I am—maybe not due to taste but rather to a hesitation to work with raw egg—this just might be your compromise. You don’t need beaters or a blender, and the mixture is not temperamental like mayonnaise, which can “break” easily. The spices are Indian, the creaminess here comes from Greek yogurt, and the presentation is a centuries-old global classic.
Yield: 4 eggs (8 halves)
4 boiled eggs, sliced in half, yolks scooped out, and whites left intact
1/4 cup Greek-style yogurt (whole milk or low fat)
1 Tablespoon canola oil
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard (not grainy)
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon fine salt
paprika for garnish
Place the egg yolks together in a bowl with all other ingredients. Using the back of a fork, mash the yolks into the yogurt and start whisking to combine. Beat the mixture vigorously with the fork, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go. Continue until you obtain a smooth, evenly blended yolk-yogurt mixture.
Use a small teaspoon to refill the egg whites with the yolk mixture, or use a pastry bag to pipe the filling in with extra flair. Sprinkle a small amount of paprika over each egg. Chill the filled eggs in the refrigerator for a half hour or more before serving.