Deviled Egg Pageant: Godzilla Eggs

I ate like fifteen deviled eggs today.

For the second year in a row, I hosted a deviled egg pageant. Mostly as an excuse to eat an obscene amount of eggs.

IMG_2089The competition was fierce. From left to right, starting at the top: Godzilla Eggs (mine!), a little Sriracha number; Old Bay Crust-egg-ceans, with red pepper strip legs and olive eyes; Mousse Experiment #24, a complex, cloud-like mousse filling with apples, onions, and brandy; Roasted Garlic Deviled Eggs with Cayenne and Paprika (made by Ann Marie, who has shared her recipe on her blog); Potato Skin “Eggs” for the egg haters; Smoked Eggs (as in, smoked with wood chips!) some vegetarian, some topped with smoked salmon; Sriracha and Wasabi Eggs that were CUBES and tasted like Chinese food and had an amazing plating diorama (made by Jenny, who shared her secrets on her blog); and Bacon, Cheddar, and Chive Eggs.

You know, it’s not fair to say this was just about eating a bunch of eggs. It was also an excuse to get crafty. Because what’s an pageant without prizes?

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Yes, that is an egg tiara. And plaques.

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It’s pretty serious.

So, how’d it all go down? There were four Honorable Mentions:

Baltimore deviled egg pageant: honorable mentionsBest Not-an-Egg – Liz’s Potato Skin “Eggs”
Just Like Grandma Used To Make – Ann Marie’s Roasted Garlic Deviled Eggs
Best Local Pride – Colline’s Old Bay Crust-egg-ceans
What the Heck Was in That? – Ray’s Mousse Experiment #24

Then there were the three main prizes:

Baltimore deviled egg pageant: Audience choice and best classic eggBest Classic Egg – Kendall’s Bacon, Cheddar and Chive
Best Modern Egg – yours truly’s Godzilla Eggs
Audience Choice – Jenny’s Sriracha and Wasabi Eggs

Seriously, did I mention how amazing Jenny’s eggs were? CUBES. DELICIOUSNESS. DIORAMA.

Baltimore deviled egg pageant: Best egg in showThe judges told me that Best Egg in Show was a tight race, but in the end the answer was obvious.
Baltimore deviled egg pageant: Egg queenJenny was born to wear that tiara.

I’m honored to have won Best Modern Egg two years in a row (you may remember my recipe for chipotle cheddar deviled eggs from last year). And I’m happy to share this year’s recipe with you.

I could tell you what I think about these eggs. They’re sushi inspired, making use of a mayo based sushi dipping sauce to create the filling then topped with a nori garnish. (I may have claimed that deviled eggs are “the sushi of the West” which honestly, I still stand behind.)

I can also tell you what the judges thought, since I sneaked a peek at their scoring sheets. The experts say that these eggs taste “Impeccable, [with a] good balance of spicy and salty.” In addition, “Sriracha doesn’t overpower, which is good. Great flavor that lingers.”

I’ll try not to let it go to my head.

Godzilla eggsGodzilla Eggs

Makes 24 deviled eggs

12 eggs, hard cooked
6 cups water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons black soy sauce
4 black teabags (I used Red Rose which is just a basic orange pekoe)
1/2 cup mayonnaise, homemade preferred
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon Sriracha chili sauce
1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon chili oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
Sriracha chili sauce, for garnish
sesame seeds, for garnish
1/4 – 1/2 sheet nori, chopped chiffonade, for garnish

Start with eggs that are already hard cooked with whatever method you prefer. I’m a fan of the process I outlined in my chipotle cheddar deviled eggs recipe, which is basically: put room temperature eggs in a pot, cover with water, put a lid on, put over heat. When it just comes to a boil, cut the heat and leave for 9 minutes. Drain and put in an ice bath or flush with cold water until the eggs are cool.

Bring 6 cups of fresh water to a boil. Stir in the soy sauce and black soy sauce, then add the teabags and remove from heat. Let steep for about 5 minutes then remove. Set aside to cool completely.

Peel cooked eggs, then place in cooled tea/soy sauce mixture. It is important to make sure the mixture is completely cooled to avoid overcooking your eggs! Set in the fridge to steep for at least 8 hours.

In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, Sriracha, sesame oil and chili oil. Stir well. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

Slice peeled, tea-dyed eggs in half and scoop the yolks into a medium bowl. Mash the yolks with a fork until all lumps are gone. Add Sriracha/mayo mixture and salt, and stir to combine. Make sure you really whip the filling to get rid of all the lumps. Taste, then add more Sriracha or salt if desired.

Spoon or pipe filling into egg white halves, then garnish with a dot of Sriracha, a sprinkle of sesame seeds and the chopped nori. Eat!

Chipotle cheddar eggs for a Deviled Egg Pageant

I really love deviled eggs. I mean, really love them.

I love them so much that a few weeks ago I hosted a Deviled Egg Pageant.

That’s right, I invited a bunch of people over to make their very best deviled egg to compete for fabulous prizes. And of course, eat a bunch of deviled eggs.

Three of my friends volunteered to judge, which meant I was free to compete. This also meant that I was free to hem and haw about what type of deviled eggs to make. Zesty horseradish deviled eggs? Wasabi deviled marble tea eggs? Sesame deviled eggs with pickled ginger? Or maybe just my classic recipe, topped with capers and smoked paprika?

I decided on a smokey chipotle cheddar egg, in part because my recent trip to Ohio. We stopped at a cheese shop (I really love cheese, too) and I found a delightful smoked cheddar cheese which I knew would be perfect with the equally smokey chipotles. I also knew that a chipotle cheddar egg might be the way to my deviled-egg-hating friend’s heart, since she already loves my chipotle mayo.

Guess what? She ate one. Deviled-egg-hater my ass.

There were a bunch of delicious eggs (and some non-eggs) entered into the pageant. Best Egg in Show was a fabulous egg with sesame oil in the filling and topped with black and white sesame seeds. Audience Choice was a tie — potato skins, made to look like deviled eggs (by the egg-hater, of course) and a wonderful classic mustard/mayo/relish combination. Best Classic Egg was a stone-ground mustard and dill number. And Best Modern Egg?

chipotle cheddar deviled eggs

You’re looking’ at ‘em. In fact, they were so popular that I have to apologize for the quality of my photo. I was rushing around so much before the party started that I didn’t get a chance to take a photo. At some point I went over to the table to get more eggs and realized that only two of these puppies were left. I snapped a quick shot right before another one was grabbed!

I didn’t expect to win (there were so many good eggs), but I’m glad I did. Aside from having proof that I make pretty awesome deviled eggs, I got to keep one of the sweet plaques that I made for the winners. It’s now in our “trophy case” which only consists of this plaque, and my mom’s Silver Spurs trophy from 1974.

best modern egg

Chipotle Cheddar Deviled Eggs
Serves 10

12 eggs
1/2 cup chipotle mayonnaise
1/2 cup smoked cheddar cheese, finely grated
2-3 tablespoons adobo sauce (from the can the peppers came in when you were making your mayonnaise)
a few wedges of lime
1/4 teaspoon of salt, more to taste
homemade taco seasoning, to garnish
smoked cheddar cheese, to garnish

So, first you’re going to hard cook your eggs. There are a million different schools of thought on this, but the way I prefer is as follows:

Put your eggs in a single layer in a large pot. Cover with cold water that is an inch above the eggs. Pop a lid on that sucker, put over high heat and watch it like a hawk. Once the water just starts to boil, remove from heat.

Let sit for 9 minutes with the lid on. Then drain the hot water and immediately fill with cold water from the tap. Keep the tap running until the water is no longer heating up from the residual heat from the eggs. Or, you can add ice cubes until they stop melting. Basically, you just want to cool those eggs down!

I find it easiest to peel the eggs when they are completely cooled, so I usually cook them the day before I need them, then peel and assemble after a night in the fridge.

Peel your eggs! This would be a good time to mention egg peeling difficulties. You know when you just get eggshell shards and shredded whites all over the place and you want to just toss everything in the garbage can? This means your eggs are too fresh. If you are making deviled eggs, you should try to buy your eggs a week ahead of time to age them in the fridge. (It’s also never a bad idea to cook one or two more than you need, just in case.)

So slice your eggs in half and scoop out the yolks into a bowl. You see how perfectly yellow your egg yolks are, like the noontime sun? That’s what an expertly cooked egg looks like. Greenish-grey rings around pale yellow yolks? OVERCOOKED.

Crumble your egg yolks with a fork, then mix in your mayonnaise, adobo sauce, the juice from a lime wedge or two, and salt. Mix until all the lumps are gone. This might take a while doing it by hand, but it’s the difference between great deviled eggs and mediocre deviled eggs — no yolky lumps. If you find that your mixture is too thick, add a little more lime juice, or if you’d like it spicier, a little more adobo sauce.

Next, stir in the smoked cheddar. I grated mine with my microplane to get truly tiny bits of cheese that disappear into the filling, and was very pleased with the results. If you don’t have a microplane, just use the small holes on your grater.

Now give it a taste, and add more salt as needed. The salt will really depend on your personal tastes, as well as how salty the cheese you’re using is. It’s always easier to add more salt than to take it away, so just take lots of taste tests… nobody minds doing that, right?

Put your filling into a piping bag with a large tip of your choice. Or, put in a zip top storage bag and cut the corner off. When I travel with eggs, I like to arrange the whites on a plate and cover them, then bring my piping bag of filling and any garnishes separately. Then you can fill them quickly on site without having to worry about smushing on the trip.

So, arrange all your egg whites on a plate. Then pipe a generous amount of filling into each. Sprinkle a pinch of taco seasoning over each egg. Then with the microplane, grate a wee bit more smoked cheddar over the entire plate.