It’s Saturday. You are having guests this weekend and you want appetizers, something devilishly good. If you can take some time, and are feeling inventive, and maybe can draft a spouse to help out in the kitchen, then consider deviled eggs. They are a rich treat, so your dinner guests will not be gobbling them down by the dozen. Plan on two per guest and let your imagination float beyond the ordinary.
Pictured above are eggs made with cheese + bacon on the left and on the right it’s … You know, I don’t remember. But I know where to look for ideas: D’Lish Deviled Eggs by Kathy Casey. Here’s the link to my review of the book posted last year:
It’s a fun book and great source for recipes, from the classic to the exceptional. You can find many other eggy ideas in standard cookbooks, such as Better Homes and Gardens, too. This recipe from D’Lish is perfect for fall: Pumpkin Pie Deviled Eggs. This is more complicated than you standard recipe — you need some candied pecans and a cinnamon nutmeg syrup — but your guests will be bursting with delight.
On second thought, plan on three eggs per person.
Pumpkin Pie Deviled Eggs
Yield: makes 24 halves
- 1 dozen hard-boiled eggs
- 1 recipe Cinnamon Nutmeg Syrup [recipe follows]
- 1 recipe Candied Pecans [recipe follows]
- 6 tablespoons canned pure pumpkin
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
Place the hard-boiled eggs into a deep vessel. Reserve 4 tablespoons of the Cinnamon Nutmeg Syrup for the topping, and pour the remaining syrup over the eggs. Cover and let soak, refrigerated, for 2 to 3 hours. Don’t soak for more than 4 hours, or the eggs will become hard.
Remove the eggs from the syrup and pat dry with paper towels. Halve the eggs lengthwise and transfer the yolks to a mixing bowl. Set the egg white halves on a platter, cover, and refrigerate.
In a small bowl, come the pumpkin, sour cream, honey, spices, and salt.
With a fork, mash the yolks to a smooth consistency and mix in the mayonnaise. Then add the pumpkin mixture, and mix until smooth. You can also do this using an electric mixer with a whip attachment.
Spoon the mixture into a small pastry bag fitted with a plain tip, then pip, the mixture evenly into the egg white halves. Or fill the eggs with a spoon, dividing the filling evenly. Top each egg half with a few candied pecans and drizzle with ½ teaspoon of the reserved syrup.
Cinnamon Nutmeg Syrup
Yield: 3 cups
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Removed from the heat and let cool. Store refrigerated until ready to us.
Yield: ¾ cup
- 1 ½ teaspoons butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup coarsely chopped pecans
Combine all of the ingredients in a small nonstick skillet and toss well to coat. Cook over medium heat until the nuts are lightly browned and caramelized, 3 to 5 minutes. Removed from the heat and spread out on a baking sheet to cool completely.
Source: Adapted from D’Lish Deviled Eggs by Kathy Casey
Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60 mm Macro Lens, F/4.5 for 1/40th second at ISO‑250
There is nothing better than a fresh biscuit. And nothing worse than a stale one.
If there is just one or two of you, it’s unlikely you’ll consume a whole batch of biscuits. What to do with those leftovers? Even the next day, they won’t be as fresh. For Pete’s sake, don’t try to reheat them in the microwave, unless you love a dry and rubbery texture.
Here’s my combine riff on classic Italian stratas and a biscuit casserole idea from Biscuits by Belinda Ellis. Belinda’s recipe calls for bacon and parmesan cheese. I’ve reduce the bacon and substituted blue cheese — how can you deny that blue and bacon combination. My recipe is below and is one that gives you great latitude. Swap out the bacon for ham. Add some diced potatoes, that have already been cooked. Use other spices, more or less garlic. Add bell peppers. Make it richer with cream in place of milk.
And the cheese. Oh, this was lovely with blue but if you swap to another cheese, the dish will be significantly different. If you have biscuits for Saturday breakfast, and chores to do in the yard on Sunday, this is a powerhouse meal to begin the day.
The picture at the top is before baking, on the bottom is the finished product ready for the table.
Brian’s Breakfast Biscuit Casserole
Yield: 8 large servings
- ¼ pound bacon, diced
- 1 medium onion, chopped into medium pieces
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup milk
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 4 cups baked biscuits, pulled into 1-inch chunks
- ½ cup shredded blue cheese
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Coat an 8-inch square baking dish with butter or nonstick cooking spray.
In a cast iron skillet, cook the bacon over low heat until just turning crisp. Remove the bacon and transfer to paper towel to dry. Leave the drippings in the pan and add the onion. Cook over medium heat until just browning. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Remove from the heat.
Crumble the bacon.
Whisk the eggs, milk, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
Crumble the biscuits into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Dot with the crumbled bacon, cheese and onion. Pour the egg-milk mixture over the top. Press with a fork to ensure the biscuits absorb the liquid and that every biscuit piece has moisture. Allow to sit for a few moments for the absorption to continue.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a knife. The casserole is ready when the knife comes out clean.
Serve warm with orange juice and coffee.
Source: Brian O’Rourke adapted from Biscuits by Belinda Ellis
Photo Information [top]: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/5 for1/60th second at ISO‑3200
Photo Information [bottom]: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/4.5 for1/50th second at ISO‑640