Recipe of the week, April 24: Deviled Eggs
Eggs have been known to, and enjoyed by, humans for many centuries. Jungle fowl were domesticated in India by 3200 B.C.E. Records from China and Egypt show that fowl were domesticated and laying eggs for human consumption around 1400 B.C.E., and there is archaeoligical evidence for egg consumption dating back to the Neolithic age. The first domesticated fowl reached North America with the second voyage of Columbus in 1493
It is likely that female game birds were, at some time in the early history of man, perceived as a source both of meat and of eggs. Men discovered that by removing from the nest eggs that they did not wish to have hatch (or that they simply wished to eat), they could induce the female jungle fowl to lay additional eggs and, indeed, to continue to lay eggs throught an extended laying season."
No foodstuff was more commonly consumed in the Middle Ages than chicken eggs--with the single exception of bread...Eggs in particular were vitally important in the cookery of the time in part simply because they were common and relatively cheap.
It seems the first recipe for what we now call Deviled Eggs was written by Apicius in the year 329. [Modern interpretation] Prick a hole in each egg to let out the air, which might break the egg during boiling. Put the eggs into cold water. Bring to the boil and cook for about 5 minutes, then leave to cool. Peel the eggs and cut them in half. For 5 eggs, finely crush 1 clove of garlic with some pepper and 5 anchovies. Add the egg yolks and pound smooth. Add a little olive oil and a little wine and stir well. Pile the mixture into the egg whites."
Escoffier in 1295, gave us this description, which is not much different that what we do today: Oeufs Durs--Hard-boiled Eggs
Although the cooking of hard-boiled eggs may seem to be an insignificant operation the correct timing of the cooking is essential. It is of no use to cook them for longer than the exact time because overcooking will toughen the white and disclour the yolk. To ensure a uniform cooking time for a number of eggs, place them into a basket or receptacle with large holes and immerse completely in a pan of boiling water; when it reboils allow 8 minutes for medium eggs and 10 minutes for large ones. As soon as they are cooked, remove and plunge them immediately into cold water; shell the eggs without breaking them.
The word deviled first appeared in print in 1786:
Deviled...Any variety of dishes prepared with hot seasonings, such as cayenne or mustard. The word derives from the association with the demon who dwells in hell.
So how do you boil your eggs? What's your recipe for Deviled Eggs? Will you be having them for Easter? Do you use the leftover colored eggs to make them?