Kathy Maister's Start Cooking

How To Make Deviled Eggs

print recipe card posted in Appetizers and Snacks, Breakfast and Brunch, Vegetarian by Kathy Maister
Difficulty:

When I’m making deviled eggs for a buffet table, I sometimes think perhaps they are a bit old-fashioned and outdated. Then, when the party is over, the deviled egg platter is always empty!

To make deviled eggs, in addition to the eggs, you will need mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper, and green olives stuffed with pimentos for flavor as well as garnish.

The first step is to hard-cook (what some people call boil) six eggs.

If you are unsure of how to boil an egg, check out my 30 second video for a quick review!

If you’ve just cooked the eggs, let them cool to room temperature before peeling them. Actually, cold, hard boiled eggs, just out of the refrigerator, are much easier to peel than just cooked eggs. If you are having trouble peeling the eggs, crack the shell at the ends of each egg and put them in a bowl of ice cold water. Let the eggs sit in the cold water about 10 minutes. This allows the water to seep in and make peeling much easier.

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Once all the eggs are peeled, slice them in half lengthwise.

Using a spoon or a fork, gently remove the yolks from the whites and place the all the yolks in a bowl. Set the whites on your serving dish.

I’m using my deviled egg dish which has grooves in it to hold the eggs in place for serving. If you do not have a deviled eggs dish you could put them on a bed of washed parsley so they not only look festive but the parsley will also prevent the eggs from sliding all over the place.

To make the filling, mix together the 6 yolks, add ¼ cup of mayonnaise, 1 ½ Tablespoons of mustard, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

(There are many variations to making deviled eggs including skipping the mustard and using horseradish OR curry powder OR even sweet relish.)

With a fork, mix all of this together until it’s smooth. Taste it to make sure it doesn’t need more salt.

Using two small spoons, fill the egg white shells with the yolk mixture. You’ll need one spoon to scoop up some yolk and the other to slide it off the spoon. (Or as Bill suggested in the comments section below, put the mixture into a small Ziploc bag, cut off a corner, and pipe it back into the whites.)

Sliced olives with red pimentos are a traditional garnish for deviled eggs – plus it’s a great flavor combination. A sprinkle of paprika, if you have some in your spice cupboard, is also a lovely garnish on deviled eggs!

Deviled eggs make a great appetizer and a perfect party dish.

Enjoy!

P.S. Once you have mastered making hard boiled eggs you might want to give an egg salad sandwich a try!

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32 Simple Snacks for Football Fans

posted in Appetizers and Snacks by startcooking team

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Jalapenos Stuffed with Sausage and Cheese

So what’s on your party menu for watching the big game? We’ve put together the following items, which go beyond bowls of corn chips, pretzels and cheeses. We make no specific claims about their healthiness, so pace yourself!  Your final menu choices will depend on how much prep work you feel like doing for your party.

The Easy & Traditional Snacks

These are the snacks that are easy to put together, and mostly require minimal effort.

  1. Kielbasa wedges . What meat lover doesn’t like kielbasa? Cut up some thick slices and serve with crackers and/or cheese.  A dab of spicy mustard works well with kielbasa.  (By the way, turkey kielbasa is delicious!)
  2. Garlic bread or Pull Apart Cheesy Garlic Bread is great fun for a party and will disappear fast.
  3. Meatballs. Little Sweet and Sour Meatballs served with toothpicks or Sausage Balls(shown below) are always a crowd pleaser.http://startcooking.com/public/IMG_1572k.jpg
  4. Mushroom caps. For a change of pace, try these bacon Stuffed Mushroom Caps(video).
  5. Chicken wings. Make chicken wings in the oven for an easy-to-prepare football snack that everyone will appreciate. Serve with the traditional sides — thick blue cheese dressing, celery and carrot sticks, hot sauces, and a fistful of napkins.
  6. Grilled sausages. If the weather’s still good (or you’ll grill in the snow), fire up the backyard grill and throw on some nice Italian or Polish sausages.
  7. Nachos and cheese dip. “Guilty pleasure food” at its best with this 2 ingredient nacho cheese dip.
  8. Potatoes. Potato wedges a really inexpensive snack are great with ketchup or sour cream.http://startcooking.com/public/images/imgp2610_305.jpg
  9. Stuffed potato skins. Or if it’s not wedges, it’s potato skins, which can be assembled ahead of time for baking. Make sure to set out extras, like sour cream, chopped chives, crumbled bacon, and grated cheese.
  10. Classic cheese ball.  Need I say more?  Serve cheese balls with a variety of crackers or thinly sliced pumpernickel bread.
  11. Chex mix. There are an endless number of combinations to the snack most of us know as chex party mix. Customize the recipe to your liking, but keep an eye on the oven, as the onion powder tends to burn easily.

Lighter & Healthier Snacks

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Make Ahead Layered Salad

If you’re feeling slightly peckish instead of all-out hungry, here are a few suggestions. Most are pretty traditional, like the items above – just lower in calories.

  1. Crudites and dip. Cut up some celery, carrots, cucumbers, and red peppers into bite-size pieces and serve with a nice dip.
  2. Cold cuts. We feel that some of the best cold cuts and sliced meats come from Italian markets. Just roll each slice up into a tube, or fold into a wedge, and arrange on a platter.
  3. Olive selection. Even simpler than cold cuts or crudites. While you’re at that Italian or Mediterranean market, pick up a nice array of olives – from savory to spicy, with different stuffings, from pimento to cream cheese to even almonds.
  4. Cheese bites and (wheat) crackers. Cheese platters do not have to be boring. There are so many cheeses to choose from – go for different textures and flavors – and then add some grapes and nuts to the platter as well.
  5. A crazy big salad. A big salad is the perfect complement to most game day foods – and relieves the guilt of eating all the other (heavier) snacks. Chop items small and throw it all in — vegetables, fruits, olives, boiled eggs, cheese, etc. — depending on your tastes. Top with balsamic vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lime.
  6. Savroy Pies. Quiche can be served hot or at room temperature. Baked spinach pie, reminds me of spanakopita, only easier to make because this recipe uses frozen puff pastry.   A store bought pie crust makes these recipes easy as…

Sandwiches and Burgers

http://startcooking.com/public/images/IMG_1987.jpgWhat’s a game party without some sort of sandwiches. Here are a few variations, some possibly unique to this article.

  1. Hot sandwiches. Serve spicy Italian sausage with plenty of peppers and onions, on crusty rolls.
  2. “Grilled cheese” burgers. You read that right. Make your burgers in one pan and keep it warm. Then, on order, make a grilledcheesesandwich (shown above) in another pan, using regular bread slices. Split it open (careful, it’s hot) and place tomato slices, pickles (optional), and a cooked burger patty. Have hot sauce or ketchup on the side.
  3. Tex-Mex Cheese Burgers. Need I say more! Check out the video.
  4. Pocket subs. Whether you call them hoagies, rockets, subs or something else, these are always a hit, especially with kids. Make sure you have lots of small Italian buns or sub buns, a variety of cold cuts, pickles, toppings and spreads.

Something Extra and Hearty

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Quesadillas!

These are for those colder football days, when you feel like something heartier.

  1. Perogies. Potato, onion and/or cheese perogies are so readily available in most supermarkets freezer section that you don’t need to make them from scratch. Serve with sour cream, salsa, dips, hot sauce.
  2. Pigs in a blanket. Don’t forget the kids in the snack list. We don’t know what it is about pigs in a blanket, but kids (and adults!) love them.
  3. BBQ ribs. You don’t need massive brontosaurus ribs like Fred Flintstone. Some regular sized, finger-licking, melt in your mouth  slow cooked barbecued ribs will do just fine.
  4. Burritos. Beef and bean burritos are easy to put together beforehand or assemble on the spot and who knows better how to make them then The Pioneer Woman!
  5. Chili. A great, hassle-free, “simmer in the pot until you are ready for it” game food like chili (video) is hard to beat. Chili is also an excellent make-ahead dish, freeing you up to enjoy the game while it simmers.
  6. Meatloaf. Meatloaf isn’t particularly original, but if you like to get creative, you could shape it into a football.
  7. Calzones. While traditional calzones are delicious, this spinach and ricotta stuffed variation, flavored with a touch of nutmeg, is simply delectable. Buy prepared pizza dough to make it really easy.
  8. Pizza Loaf. This fast and simple-to-prepare pepperoni and cheese stuffed snack is sure to be a hit served with a bit of tomato sauce on the side for dipping. It’s a fair bit like calzones, but probably less work over all.
  9. Sweet potato fries. Be sure to pre-heat your oven for about 20 minutes to make sure that these baked fries come out crispy.
  10. Chicken kabobs. Kabobs are eaten in a number of countries across Northern Africa, Europe and South Asia. So you have many flavor choices for chicken kabobs. Or just buy some from the deli counter and throw them on the grill or bake in the oven.
  11. Samosas. These East Indian potato-filled pastries are said to taste great with beer – an alcoholic beverage of choice for football viewing. Making these from scratch is time-consuming. So just pick some up fresh from an Indian or Pakistani grocery store, or in frozen form from most large supermarkets.

Now if none of these look tempting, check out Cooking Light’s list of Football Party Recipes!

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9 Hot and Cold Dips for Every Occasion

posted in Appetizers and Snacks by Kathy Maister

Dips are a party delight that everyone seems to love. There are all kinds of dip options to match your taste or diet, and many can be made in advance.

Of course, dip needs something to stick to or sit on, and the choices here are also numerous – chips, crackers, veggies, bread sticks, or toasted pita bread, to give just some of the possibilities.

startcooking.com’s Vegetable and Dip Platter video, is a great starting point to learn how to cut vegetables for a party dip platter.

Cold Dips Recipes and Ideas

  1. Shrimp: If you’re looking to keep things healthy and tasty, this recipe can’t be beat. Low-fat cottage cheese substitutes for sour cream, which is usually used in most dips. You can indulge and be kind to your heart.
  2. Onion Dip and Spinach Dip: These classic dips are fabulous for reasons beyond the fact that they are just delicious. They can be made 2 or 3 days in advance of your festivities, and will just get better as they sit in your fridge. On party day they just need to be spooned into serving dishes and enjoyed!
  3. Black Bean: It’s healthy and it’s scrumptious! On a pita or a tortilla chip, this dip is guaranteed to get your party started. Don’t be afraid to spice this one up with a good dose of cayenne pepper.
  4. Guacamole: Be sure to use fresh ripe avocados. If your avocados are really firm, put them in a paper bag with a Granny Smith apple and in just a day or two they should be perfect!http://startcooking.com/public/IMG_4828.JPG
  5. 7 Layer Dip: This dip includes layers of bean dip, avocado, seasoned sour cream, olives, tomatoes, green onions and cheese. Plan to have lots of tortilla chips on hand because guests will want to get to the bottom of it!

Hot Dips Recipes and Ideas

  1. Artichoke: This hot dip could easily be the BIG hit at your next party! It’s rich, creamy and smooth with just the right amount of tangy zip from the canned artichokes. Even people who say they don’t like artichokes, LOVE this dip!http://startcooking.com/public/IMG_0597.JPG
  2. The Best Hot Spinach Dip Ever! Ramona Woo and my sister Marie Woolf, both of Greenville, South Carolina, have figured out the perfect balance of ingredients to make this version of spinach dip a real winner!
  3. Easy Cheesy Salsa Dip: Microwave 16 ounces of shredded Nacho-style cheese and 8 ounces of your favorite salsa together in a microwave-safe bowl on High for 2 minutes. Remove from microwave, stir, and return to High for 3 minutes or until cheese is completely melted. Serve corn chips—of course!
  4. Crab Rangoon Bites are easy, delicious and very elegant.  If you are using canned crab meat, be sure to pick through it with your fingers to make sure there are no shells!

Sweet Dips Recipes and Ideas

Keep in mind that dips can be sweet as well as savory.  Fruit Dip made with macaroons can be served in a bowl.

Or—for a really spectacular presentation—cut a whole pineapple in half lengthwise, scoop out the fruit and use the shell for your fruit dip!

Another sweet dip option is my Nutella Dip.

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Quick Tip:

If you simply have zero time to make a dip, you still have options. These days, your supermarket has interesting choices that can work in a pinch and still delight your guests. Hummus is popular and comes in interesting flavors — my favorites are red pepper or roasted garlic. You’ll typically find it in the veggie section of the store. Some companies are also making fresh onion dips . But at the end of the day, a simple Mexican salsa with tortilla chips works well, too.

Just be sure to take store-bought dips out of their original packaging and put them in an attractive bowl. Sometimes, presentation is the key to making store-bought taste a bit better.

Heck, you might even fool a few guests, too!

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