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When I’m making deviled eggs for a buffet table, I sometimes think perhaps they are a bit old-fashioned and outdated.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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Frying Onions

print recipe card posted in Vegetables and Beans, Vegetarian by Kathy Maister
Difficulty:

Frying onions inevitably results in someone saying “what smells so good”?

I’m going to show you how to fry onions two ways. First, we’ll fry (or “sauté”) the onions very quickly on a high heat. Second, we’ll “caramelize” the onions, which means frying them very slowly on a very low heat.

Sauteed Onions & Caramelized Onions

Sautéed onions have a slightly crispy outside and a very soft center. Caramelized onions are very soft and very sweet. You don’t need to add anything to make them sweet, since the natural sweetness of the onion develops through the slow cooking process.

This post is going to be a slightly longer than normal, since I am going to be showing you two different techniques.

Both approaches to cooking the onions require the same ingredients to start: – onions, butter, olive oil and salt and pepper.

For 2-to-4 servings of the sautéed onions you will need:

  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, butter, or a combination of both
  • 4 medium onions
  • Salt and Pepper

I have already discussed how to peel an onion, as well as how to slice an onion. Because we are slicing so many onions you may want to stick them in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes before you start peeling and slicing them. That way, they won’t bother your eyes as much.

Using a sharp knife, slice the onions into ¼ inch, or smaller, slices.

Melt the olive oil or the olive oil & butter combination, in a very large fry pan over medium high heat. Be careful not to burn the butter! If it starts to smoke, turn down the heat!

Add the onions.

Quickly cook the onions, moving them around the pan with a wooden spoon or spatula. It should take no more than 10 minutes at the most for the onions to get nicely browned.

These onions are great on hamburgers, steaks, mashed potatoes or just as a delicious side dish.

How to Make Caramelized Onions

To make caramelized onions you will need time but not a tremendous amount of cooking skill. You will also need:

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 pounds of onions
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup of dry white wine or water
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese

By the time you finish caramelizing the onions they will have cooked down to about half their size.

Peel and slice the onions.

In a really large fry pan melt the butter and olive oil over really low heat. Add the onions to the pan

Sprinkle on 1 teaspoon of salt.

Cook the onions over the lowest heat possible for about 1 hour. (Yikes! That’s a long time!) Don’t be tempted to increase the heat. You can not speed up this process. Over the course of 1 hour they should not turn brown. Be sure to give them an occasional stir. This is what they will look like after 15 minutes of cooking.

This is after 30 minutes of cooking.

This is after 45 minutes of cooking.

After about one hour increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the onions are well browned. That could take another 25 minutes. There will be a lot of brown bits stuck on the bottom of the pan. Those bits are full of flavor. To get them off the bottom of the pan and incorporated into the onions turn off the stove and pour ½ cup of dry white wine (or water) into the pan.

After the wine is added turn the stove back on. This will ensure the alcohol doesn’t catch fire and flame up.

The wine will dissolve all the bits and make the onions even darker.

Now remove them from the heat. Add salt and ground pepper and even a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese.

Caramelized onions are great on their own or can be added to stews and sauces.

Enjoy!

Adapted from: Joy of Cooking

Sauté Onions Ingredients:

(2-4 Servings)

  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, butter, or a combination of both
  • 4 medium onions
  • Salt and Pepper

Caramelized Onions Ingredients

(makes about 4 cups)

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 pounds of onions
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup of dry white wine or water
  • Grated parmesan cheese

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How To Make French Toast

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

French toast is one of those “Happy Foods” that bring a smile to everyone’s face. It’s that perfect weekend breakfast food that just makes you feel like you’re celebrating.

You probably have the basic ingredients — eggs, milk, sugar, butter, and bread – sitting in your kitchen right now. Add maple syrup and vanilla extract to your next shopping list and you’ll be ready to make French toast. (All sorts of different flavored extracts can be found near the spices/baking ingredients at the grocery store.)

Plain white bread is traditional, but you can also try using a braided bread (challah), croissants, whole-wheat and rye bread for French toast.

(For a quick review on measuring, check out my video on How to Measure Food)

The following ingredients are needed to make French toast:

2/3 cup of whole milk

4 large eggs

2 Tablespoons of sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla

¼ teaspoon of salt

Using a shallow bowl whisk them together (or blend together with a fork).

The egg mixture should look like this before you start dunking the bread.

Dunk each slice of bread into the egg mixture just before you add the bread to the fry pan.

Make sure both sides are fully covered.

This step could take a little practice. Leave it too long and the bread disintegrates; not long enough, the bread doesn’t get coated.

Melt 1 1/2 Tablespoons of butter in a fry pan over medium heat. Add however many slices of bread fit in the pan without squishing everything together.

Cook the bread until it is golden brown and then flip it, preferably with a spatula. Let the other side cook until golden brown as well.

Serve it immediately with a dusting of powdered sugar or maple syrup.

Enjoy!

***

P.S. I often get asked questions about the “Shelf Life” of foods. The USDA, a trusted source, offers some guidelines:

This general link to Safe Food Handling Fact Sheet from the USDA will lead you to several charts on food preservation including:

Food Storage

Home Canning

Food Shelf Life

Also,
Food Product Dating
which includes things like

A “Sell-By” date tells the store how long to display the product for sale. You should buy the product before the date expires.

A “Best if Used By (or Before)” date is recommended for best flavor or quality. It is not a purchase or safety date.

A “Use-By” date is the last date recommended for the use of the product while at peak quality. The date has been determined by the manufacturer of the product.

Lastly, when in doubt, throw it out!

Cheers,

Kathy

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