June 3rd is everything it’s cracked up to be, and that’s no yolk. It’s National Egg Day!
National Egg Day is one of the oldest food holidays in the world. It was first declared a holiday by Roman emperor Claudius Nero Germanicus during his reign between 41-54 A.D. A poultry plague devastated Europe at the turn of the century, and people were afraid to eat chicken and eggs. Claudius was convinced eggs were safe and challenged nobles in his realm to eat them in order to prove to the peasants they were harmless. Augustus Antonius took the emperor up on his offer, and ate a meal of boiled eggs before a large gathering. He did not keel over and die, and the Roman population once again embraced eggs and poultry. Claudius issued a royal proclamation declaring June 3rd as the Holy Roman Day of Eggs. The holiday was celebrated for 500 years but eventually faded from memory. In 1805 Napoleon captured historical Italian documents of the Roman Empire. Reading through them, he was intrigued by their fondness for eggs, and in turn declared June 3rd to be “Oeuf Journée Nationale,” or National Egg Day. It has remained popular ever since.
Tara suggested we make deviled eggs to celebrate, and I thought that was a great idea. They’re delicious, simple to make, and usually reserved for special occasions. I think both Napoleon and Claudius would be proud. Tara’s got a special recipe, and will take you through it step-by-step now.
I got the inspiration for this post from a previous blog entry written in 2008 that shows step by step instructions. At the time, I had an online/blogger friend in Australia that had never seen or tried deviled eggs and I was convinced that she had to have some. Since pictures are always fun, here we go again!
This time I started with a dozen eggs (+1 that was rolling around from our last carton) that I let boil for about 35 minutes. They were cooled in cold water, peeled, and paper towel dried. Each egg is cut lengthwise; the whites arranged on a plate, and the yolks mashed with a fork in a bowl. I then laid out the mayo, mustard, diced onion*, garlic, pepper, and Lawry’s seasoned salt.
Unfortunately, I can’t give exact measurements on ingredients. It really depends on your taste and how many eggs you actually end up with. I don’t know about you, but I always end up with at least one or two eggs that don’t peel right and end up in the trash. Rough measurements are… two-three heaping tablespoons of mayo, squirt of mustard, ¼ finely diced small onion, 1-2 cloves minced garlic, and five or six shakes of pepper.
I blend the yolk mixture, taste, and add any of the above ingredients as needed, and then spoon the filling into the egg whites. Did you catch that the seasoned salt WASN’T added to the filling? Bonus points if you did! A trick I learned from the same person I got this recipe from is to use Lawry’s to finish the eggs instead of paprika. There’s something about the seasoned salt that brings all the flavors together. Yum!
Cover the eggs and refrigerate for 2-3 hours (overnight is better). This gives the ingredients time to meld and the flavors to blend. Enjoy!
*I don’t always use dried minced onion, but when I was digging in the pantry for an onion, there was only one left and it was half rotted. Minced onion makes a good substitute, just make sure you re-hydrate in warm water before adding to the yolk mixture.