Spring comes late and unpredictably in our part of the world. One sign of spring for sure is the annual Running of the Roses in Kentucky. No matter how cold, wet and rainy it is here in western Massachusetts, The Kentucky Derby happens every year, never fail, on the first Saturday in May. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been going to Derby parties, first with my parents and sisters, and then throwing a party or two of my own. I love the tradition of the Derby – the hats, the flowers, the magnificent old grandstands at Churchill Downs, the beautiful silks on the horses and the jockeys and the singing of My Old Kentucky Home.
When we moved here, I needed to find someone else who might be keen to celebrate this rite of spring. Lucky for us, my friend Kay who also grew up in NJ had grown up in a home where her mother threw a fabulous Derby party. We’ve been celebrating the Derby with Kay and her husband Mike for many years now. We do low-tech, low-stakes wagering and winner takes all.
Mostly it is about the food and the mint juleps that afternoon. Kay is an amazing chef and we always look forward to what she prepares. Every year she asks me bring my deviled eggs. I’m not the most fabulous cook but I try. Evidently I make a mean deviled egg because they are instantly gobbled up. There’s something so sinful about these little boats of flavor.
Kay has been clamoring for my special recipe for Derby Deviled Eggs. This past weekend, I was having a dinner party in honor of The Farmer’s birthday. I made up another batch of Derby Deviled Eggs to test out all my proportions. (That’s one reason I don’t post recipes here on my blog – too much trouble with testing and re-testing recipes). Here it is for Kay and for you:
Perfect Boiled Eggs
Here’s how to make perfect hard boiled eggs every time. I learned this trick from my Aunt Marilyn. Put a dozen extra large eggs in a large pot. Fill it with cold water. Put it on the stove and bring it to a boil for a minute. Turn it off and let the eggs cool in the water. When the water is completely cool, peel the eggs. You’ll have perfectly cooked eggs, without that nasty green edge that sometimes happens when you overcook hard boiled eggs.
Derby Deviled Eggs
1 dozen extra large eggs
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 Tablespoons sweet relish
3 Tablespoons mayonaise
3 Tablespoon capers packed in vinegar and drained
Several dashes of Tabasco sauce, depending on how devilish you want your eggs
Good handful of fresh chives
Egg Note: Fresh eggs from my chickens always cause peeling problems. They're just too fresh to peel. Chicken farmer that I am, I always purchase my eggs for deviling at the store because they peel easily.
To Devil the Eggs:
1. Peel the eggs. Cut in half and put all the yolks in a medium sized bowl.
2. Mash the yolks but not too much – I like them a little chunky but, of course, this is a matter of personal preference.
3. To the mashed yolks, add mustard, sweet relish, mayonnaise and capers. Mix through.
4. Using a spoon, fill all the egg boats with a generous scoop of filling. I usually will have a few white boats left over which the dogs gladly accept as a snack.
Snip the chives into ¼” pieces leaving 24 of the tips about 3” long. Place the eggs on your serving platter. Spear each egg with a chive tip. Sprinkle the rest of the chives all over your eggs and plate as decoration. Watch them disappear!