Happy Halloween, food fans!
I have to confess, I love this time of year. There’s something about the holiday season that starts with All Hallow’s Eve and ends with New Year’s Day that strikes me as magical. For 61 days, give or take 48 hours, people are at least somewhat willing to put aside their differences, buy one another a bunch of junk they don’t need and embrace that whole “peace on Earth, good will toward man” notion.
Plus, there’s the food, glorious food. Gobs of it.
For a certified foodie snob, we’re entering the decadent trifecta of gastronomic goodness. And really big, belly belying sweaters, but that’s another conversation for another time.
Anyway, I was delighted when the paying gig decided to celebrate with a Halloween potluck. Then dismayed when Mother Nature grabbed her snow globe replica of Colorado and shook the bejeezus out of it.
A foot of snow fell on the ranch between Sunday night and Wednesday afternoon, with the heaviest coming overnight Tuesday into Wednesday. Naturally, I did what any rational human would do when faced with predictions of snowmageddon — I freaked out and made my husband drive us home as early as possible Tuesday evening.
The upside? We got home early enough to finish evening feeding chores before the weather turned from just miserable to diabolic. The downside was that I didn’t take the time to stop at the grocery store and pick up the ingredients necessary for something really marvelous like, say, shrimp fajitas.
Raiding the pantry, then, I found the ingredients I need for one of my favorite quick-and-easy dishes to share, deviled eggs. But because it’s me and I’m, again, a certified foodie snob, I couldn’t just do run-of-the-mill eggs: I had to jazz them up.
My good friend Melissa Edwards told a few weeks ago to me about some fancy deviled eggs in which the whites were dyed into a web-like pattern. So Andy and I gave that a shot, soaking them in a deep purple stain, and to my absolute delight, they looked like an eyeball.
Inspired, I stepped up the weirdness factor by dying the yolks blood red, piping them back into the white and topping them with a half of a black olive.
Behold, the Devils Eyeball Eggs!
Honestly, they take about 45 minutes, start to finish, nine ingredients and almost no active effort. They look great, taste even better and are bound to baffle — and hopefully delight — your guests, family members and/or colleagues, whatever the case may be.
Happy haunting, everyone!
Devil’s Eyeball Eggs
1 dozen raw eggs
¼ cup Mayonnaise or whipped salad dressing
½ tablespoon onion powder
½ tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 cup boiling water
Food coloring of your choice
Black olives, halved (optional)
Bring to boil a large pot (at least six quarts) of water, and salt heavily. Carefully lower eggs into boiling water, making sure not to either break the shells or splash yourself. Boil eggs for 10 to 15 minutes.
While eggs are cooking, bring another cup of water to a hard boil. Mix water, vinegar and at least 20 drops of food coloring in a nonreactive bowl and set aside.
Drain cooked eggs and chill in cold water until they are cool enough to comfortably handle. Crack, but don’t peel, the egg shells into a web-like series of fissures and fractures. Drop whole egg, shell and all, into the dyed water and allow them to soak for at least 15 minutes (for more dramatic color, up the ante on both your coloring count and the soak time).
Peel and rinse dyed eggs, slice in half, length-wise, and carefully scoop out the yolk.
Mash yolks and mix them well with mayonnaise or dressing, salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Add food coloring if desired, to stain them the hue of your choice. Put dyed filling in a zipper-top sandwich bag, close and snip off one corner.
Pipe the yolk mix back into the egg white and top with olives, if using.