Whenever I eat a memorable meal at a restaurant, it always has certain qualities that stand out. My favorite meals are ones where chefs balance sweetness, spice, salt and texture.
It’s that last quality, texture, that is key. It allows more of your senses to appreciate the meal. Think about it. When you bite into an onion ring, your mouth feels the difference between the soft onion and the crispy batter. Your ears hear the crunch.
When you combine feel and sound with visually stunning food that smells and tastes good, you’ve hit the mark.
We have a new restaurant in town, Whist Stove and Spirits, and Chef Antonio totally understands serving food that teases all the senses.
One of my favorite items on his menu is the Devil’s Eggs. I wouldn’t traditionally order deviled eggs at a restaurant, but he insisted I try them. He said they’re like egg shooters. Now I can’t get enough of them. I’ve been back to his restaurant three times in two weeks, and I order the eggs every time.
What makes them so good?
They’re visually beautiful. They have sweet and spicy pickled peppers that jumpstart my taste buds with a cool, creamy aioli that keeps the spice in check. And they’re topped with crispy fried shallots. Every bite is like a party for all of my senses.
Surprisingly, it’s not hard to recreate this restaurant delight at home.
Don’t let the number of ingredients fool you. They’re basic items that you probably have in your pantry and refrigerator. You could go all out and make homemade aioli, add spices to your pickled jalapenos and fry your own shallots, but I’m trying to keep it simple.
I hard boil my eggs using an egg cooker. This way I can pickle the peppers while the eggs are cooking.
One of the simplest parts of these deviled eggs is that you don’t have to scoop out the yolk. You just cut them in half and pipe the mayonnaise-mustard mixture right on top. Then, pile on the sweet, salty, crunchy toppings. So smart! Thanks Chef Antonio for the inspiration.
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- pinch salt
- 1 fresh jalapeno, sliced
- 5 sweet mini peppers, sliced
- 12 hard boiled eggs
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons Dijon
- 1 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- ½ tsp. sugar
- salt to taste
- 1/2 cup French’s French Fried onions
- lettuce for optional garnish
Place the water, apple cider vinegar and ¼ cup sugar in a saucepot. Bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat, and add the sliced peppers to the pot. Let steep for 30 minutes.
Cut the hardboiled eggs in half. Arrange on a serving platter.
In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, ½ teaspoon sugar and salt. Place into a piping bag with a small tip or into a sandwich bag with a small portion of one corner snipped off.
Pipe the aioli over the egg halves.
Top with sweet pickled peppers and French fried onions.
For an optional garnish, nest the eggs in a bed of lettuce.