Is it too early to start with the Christmas recipes? I know plenty of other places have got a head start on me but it didn’t seem right to even contemplate these sorts of thing until December. But then realising that Christmas eve is just three little weeks away made me think it was time to post this retro recipe, perfect for any parties you might be planning. Now a lot of folks will say that devilled eggs belong firmly in the 1970s; I remember the cover photo on one of the ancient Fanny Craddock cookbooks that I think my Mum inherited that showed a plate of washed-out eggs presented on a bed of lettuce that looked far from appetizing. For a long time I felt ever so slightly ashamed for liking devilled eggs as much as I do. If and when they ever grace a buffet table I swoop in and grab a couple before finding a quiet corner to guiltily devour them.
But its high time devilled eggs were reintroduced to buffet tables and canapé platters across the land. This recipe brings them kicking and screaming into the twenty-first century with the help of another of my guilty pleasures – scorchingly hot Sriracha sauce. I pick up bottles of this Thai chilli and garlic sauce from the international store round the corner and make sure there is always a bottle in the fridge ready to liven up a meal. Unlike the chilli sauces I can find in the supermarket, this sauce is not overly sweet and tastes superb with eggs in any form. It has a mildly funky garlic taste, a slight acidity and one heck of a kick; a little goes a long way so be sure to taste-as-you-go with this recipe. I start with just a quarter of a teaspoon for a mild heat and go up to half a teaspoon is I fancy more fire. Any more can overwhelm the other flavours in the filling – a sprinkle of celery salt which is the classic accompaniment for quail eggs; crème fraiche which I find infinitely preferable to mayo and a generous grind of fresh black pepper. Despite the seemingly strong seasoning, used sparingly the result is delicately flavoured – just a tang of garlic and celery, smooth creamy egg and a warming chilli finish that will surely go down a treat with a modern-day crowd.
P.S. Are you in the Southwest? Are you planning to do some Christmas shopping in Exeter? Check out my guest post for the Exeter Indie Xmas blog. For your chance to support local, independent retailers and win some fabulous prizes just download the Indie Xmas map here.
Sriracha devilled eggs
Makes 12 half eggs
- 6 fresh, free-range eggs
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ¼ tsp celery salt
- ¼–½ tsp sriracha sauce
- 60g crème fraiche
- freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste
Put the eggs in a pan, add half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda and cover with cold water. Place over a high heat and bring to the boil.
Boil for 1 minute then remove from the heat and let the eggs sit in the hot water for 10 minutes. Remove from the hot water and chill in iced water until cold.
Carefully peel the eggs – the bicarbonate of soda helps separate the membrane from the white.
Cut each egg in half lengthways and scoop out the yolk into a bowl.
Mash the yolks with a fork then stir in the celery salt and half of the sriracha. Stir to combine then add the crème fraiche mixing well to form a smooth paste. Taste and add pepper, salt and more sriracha if you like.
Divide the yolk filling between the whites adding a heaped spoonful to each indentation. Top with a little blob of sriracha and keep chilled before serving.