The Devil Is in the Details

They’re one of the all-time cliché potluck contributions — deviled eggs. But the convergence of a party invitation from our neighbors Chris & Glennis’  with a surplus of eggs from our 20-some-odd chickens proved to be more of a temptation than I could resist. You could say the devil possessed me.

Catalan deviled eggs

Catalan deviled eggs

The first time I’d done something like this was for one of my fancy XX-course New Year’s Eve dinners — a version a few years back with a Spanish theme. I created a deviled egg of sorts, the hard-boiled yolk blended not with mayonnaise and Dijon mustard but rather with those pillars of Spanish cooking: lots of olive oil, garlic and pimentón. The result was extraordinary — one of those accidental convergences of tastes that seemed like they were always meant to be together. Combine that with strips of hand-carved Iberico ham, and you had something elevated and sublime.

This time I took a slightly different tact for the “Catalan deviled eggs” I would be bringing to Chris and Glennis’ party. Lacking Iberico ham, I decided instead to make some small fricos with some Iberico cheese I had in the fridge. I also made tiny toasts — inspired by Catalan’s great pa amb tomaquet. The yolks I did the same as the original I spoke of above, then speared the two condiments dramatically atop.

Did anyone at the party like them? I assume so — no one but Chris and Glennis saw me bring them in, and no one mentioned them to me. Although they did make a somewhat strange bedfellow with the spread of Greek cuisine Chris and Glennis had picked up for the dinner. (Why did I think it was a potluck?)

Why Catalan? Why not. The eggs have nothing in particular to do with that region, but I’ve spent a bit of time there and like it a lot. (Versus, say, Andalucia, where I’ve never been and therefore would feel funny naming my eggs after it.)

Anyway… Enjoy!

*    *    *

Catalan deviled eggs
makes 20 half eggs

10 eggs, hard boiled
1 cup grated Iberico or Manchego cheese
Four 1/4-inch thick slices of ciabatta bread
extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely grated or minced
1 tsp. Spanish pimentón
flaky sea salt to taste

Boil your 10 eggs about 8 – 10 minutes, and plunge into an ice bath to stop cooking.

Cut your slices of bread into 5 1-inch mini toasts, toss with a little olive oil and toast on a piece of foil in a 250-degree oven (or toaster oven) for about 30 minutes, until golden and crisp.

Make your frico: Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Place a teaspoon of the grated cheese at several spots in the pan, allowing the cheese to melt into little discs (depending on the size of your pan, you should be able to make 4 to 8 at a time). Once bubbly golden and beginning to brown, carefully lift out with a plastic spatula (without folding over) and place fricos on a piece of parchment paper to drain and cool. Continue until you have 20.

Peel your boiled eggs and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop yolks into a bowl. Add 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil, one grated garlic clove, a teaspoon of pimentón and flaky salt to taste. Mash and combine with a fork until fluffy but not totally smooth.

Scoop a teaspoon or so of the yolk mixture back into the halved egg whites. To serve: stick one frico cheese disc and one mini toast into each yolk as shown in the photo above.

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17 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. northerngirl
    Oct 25, 2013 @ 01:36:30

    Adorable!

    Reply

  2. pouringmyartout
    Oct 25, 2013 @ 02:39:06

    oh man that looks good… the devil, and the deviled egg, is in the details…

    Reply

  3. JC Williams
    Oct 25, 2013 @ 03:27:05

    When you made it with the Iberico ham, what shape was the ham and was it stuck in the yolk like that? Also, where’s a good source of Iberico ham – are these the pigs who they only eat a certain type of acorn? The “devil” is in the details…pun intended LOLOL

    Reply

    • scolgin
      Oct 25, 2013 @ 17:46:10

      I can’t remember. I think I just sort of squished it into the yolk. Eww. Yeah, Iberico are the black-footed Spanish pigs that eat acorns. You can get it at Surfa’s, but it’s pricey. But they have the big ham and will cut slices off the traditional way to order. Go and tell them you want $30 worth. It’s not much, but it will be worth it!

      Reply

  4. Michelle
    Oct 26, 2013 @ 12:51:41

    Brilliant! But we’re down to only 4 hens now… I may have to actually buy eggs this winter.

    Reply

    • scolgin
      Oct 26, 2013 @ 13:24:37

      We went away on vacation and it traumatized our chickens, and now we have 18 that aren’t laying a single egg… and I’m going to have to start buying eggs! ridiculous.

      Reply

  5. glennis
    Oct 27, 2013 @ 03:19:36

    Deviled eggs…..mmmm! My favorite!

    Reply

  6. glennis
    Oct 27, 2013 @ 03:21:06

    For some odd reason we decided not to go potluck for that party, and got Greek food instead. But I, for one, am grateful for the deviled eggs.

    Reply

  7. Benjamin Thompson
    Oct 31, 2013 @ 17:08:39

    When I feel the need to fancy up Deviled Eggs, I go the way of smoked salmon pureed into the yolk mixture garnished with salmon roe and fresh dill fronds. Yummy.

    BTW, I handmade some Italian sausages last night, casings and all. I don’t think I’ll be able to buy them from the store ever again. What a revelation, spicy Italian sausages that are actually spicy! What’s next bratwurst that taste like . . . actual bratwurst?

    Reply

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