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?

Yes, that is an egg tiara. And plaques.

IMG_2080    IMG_2086

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!

Tea smugness

“All tea pretty much tastes the same.”

This, from my mister. Sorry buddy, but I gotta disagree with you.

See, I’ve gotten into tea in the past couple of months. Even typing that out makes me feel like a smug asshole. Sorry.

The thing is, I used to have a big diet soda problem. I’m not going to admit how much diet soda I drank. It was an embarrassing amount. I needed the caffeine to get through the day. What about coffee? says everyone ever. Well, the coffee at my office leaves something to be desired. And I’m certainly not able to get it together in the morning to brew a pot at home. Plus, I don’t know… coffee has always been more of a Sunday morning brunch thing for me, a weekend treat rather than an every day occurrence. I like mine with a bit of sugar and real cream, and that is certainly not something I need to do every day.

So my friend Emily encouraged me to switch to tea. I was initially reluctant because while I like tea, I was under the impression that it was all pretty much the same, much like my mister. I’d drink it iced, but otherwise I wasn’t really into it.

Because tea bags suck. Yep. I just figured this out.

Anyway, I don’t really drink diet soda so much these days. But I am tearin’ through my tea stash like there’s no tomorrow. I guess I switched from drinking an embarrassing amount of diet soda to an embarrassing amount of tea. Being embarrassing is my default setting.

I’ve mostly ordered from Adagio, just because I’ve ordered gifts from there before and gotten good feedback. I’ve been happy.

Genmai cha, with it’s robust toasted rice flavor against the vegetal background of the Japanese green tea has become a staple of mine. I love it in the mornings, but even further into the afternoon as the rice helps cut down on the caffeine level. I’ve only had it hot, but I recently ordered a large bag and plan to make a nice big pitcher of it iced.

Another one I’m really into right now is gunpowder green tea mixed with an equal amount of spearmint tea, to make a sort of Moroccan mint tea. This is one that I’ll occasionally indulge with a bit of raw, local honey, as it really brings out the mintiness — though it’s wonderful unsweetened as well.

My nighttime tea, on the other hand, is an herbal blend that Adagio calls Foxtrot. It’s vanilla flavored rooibos, peppermint, and chamomile. I like to make a few cups after dinner to relax and help get on the road to sleepytown. Honestly, I think the peppermint is a little overwhelming in this blend, at least on the first infusion. The second infusion is definitely the star as the peppermint backs down a little. The third infusion, if I do it, usually tastes mostly of chamomile, very apple-y; the rooibos and peppermint are mostly spent by that point.

The weirdest tea I’ve ever tried? Yunnan pu erh gold. I was intrigued by the description: pu erh is an aged, fermented tea with really woodsy, earthy tones. I wasn’t sure if I’d like it, but I knew I wanted to try it. The verdict? Well, it smelled much worse than it tasted. I had one of my coworkers smell it after steeping, and his response was, “That doesn’t smell like something you’d want to put in your mouth.” He declined the offer to take a sip. It tasted vaguely mildewy. Not the worst, but not something I’d voluntarily do again. I only ordered a sample, so I gave the rest to another coworker of mine who said he’s really into pu erh. I don’t know, he used to live in China.

Anyway. Where do you buy your tea? What are your favorite varieties? I need more for my stash.