RECIPES: How to give hard-boiled eggs a stylish new life

What do you do with hard-boiled Easter eggs when Easter is over?

A check-in with some Atlanta chefs revealed many do just as you might: make deviled eggs and egg salad.

Although there are some straightforward deviled egg recipes out there, we found chefs exercising their creativity to turn these small bites into something quite decadent.

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Dantanna’s executive chef Brad Parker adds bacon fat to the yolks to make bacon-infused deviled eggs. At Rowdy Tiger, they’re serving deviled farm eggs garnished with braised short rib and pickled radish.

And at Carson Kitchen, chef Cory Harwell makes his deviled egg filling with red onion, sour cream and chervil in addition to the traditional mayonnaise, and then garnishes the eggs with diced pancetta and a dollop of caviar.

Some chefs are making egg salad like Athens’ Heirloom Cafe chef-owner Jessica Rothacker, who rough chops eggs and mixes them with just a little bit of Duke’s mayonnaise and Dijon mustard, then adds a few teaspoons of fresh dill. And Orran Booher will serve his signature egg salad on house-made croissants, garnished with tomatoes and arugula, when Baker Dude opens near Emory this month.

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Credit: CHRIS HUNT

Credit: CHRIS HUNT

But before you can cook with leftover hard-boiled eggs, you have to make hard-boiled eggs, so we checked with chefs to learn their secrets for perfectly boiled eggs and easy peeling.

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Chef Kevin Gillespie prefers medium-sized eggs and removes them from the refrigerator 20 minutes before he plans to cook them. He brings a large pot of water to a rolling boil, puts the eggs into a basket and carefully lowers them into the water. The eggs cook for nine minutes, then are moved into a bowl of ice water. Because he’s not planning to dye those eggs, he shakes the eggs in the bowl of ice water to crack the shells and peels them after a minute of cooling.

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“Don’t use overly fresh eggs. Eggs from the grocery store are fine. If you’re using eggs from your backyard chickens or a farmers market, keep them in the refrigerator for two weeks before you hard-boil them,” Gillespie recommended.

Chef Davis King of Biggerstaff Brewing starts his boiled eggs in a saucepan of cold water. He adds a splash of vinegar and a pinch of salt, then brings the water to a boil and starts timing. After eight minutes, he plunges the eggs into a bowl of ice water, lets them cool one minute, then starts peeling.

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Credit: CHRIS HUNT

Credit: CHRIS HUNT

Chef Andy Peterson of the Iberian Pig finds peeling his eggs under running water makes the job easier.

We tried all these methods and they worked fine for us. The quick ice bath and then peeling the eggs immediately was surprisingly effective, and if you peel your eggs under running water, the bits of broken shell just wash right off.

Which means that when you’re dealing with those hard-boiled, dyed Easter eggs, you’re just going to have to be more patient as you peel them. Try Peterson’s method of doing it under running water.

When it comes to food safety, the Food and Drug Administration has found that hard-boiled eggs, whether in the shell or peeled, kept refrigerated, are safe to eat within one week of cooking. And the Easter eggs you plan to eat should not be out of the refrigerator for more than two hours.

RECIPES

Try these three ideas from Atlanta chefs to turn your hard-boiled eggs into a springtime dish of asparagus and hard-boiled eggs; egg salad, or “Atlanta eggs” (a variation on Scotch eggs).

Credit: CHRIS HUNT

Credit: CHRIS HUNT

Grilled Spring Asparagus, Crumbled Hard-boiled Egg and Jamón Ibérico

“This dish is the perfect crowd-pleaser for your Easter brunch spread and offers up a rustic plate of something yum but different from the classic egg salad sandwiches, deviled eggs and eggs Benedict,” said Andy Peterson, executive chef of the Iberian Pig in Decatur.

If you have difficulty sourcing jamón Ibérico, Peterson says it’s fine to substitute prosciutto, speck, Bayonne ham or serrano ham. If your asparagus is on the thin side, you might want to increase the number of spears per serving.

Aioli

Peterson prefers extra-virgin olive oil in this recipe but says this richly flavored sauce would be fine made with pure olive oil instead.

Credit: Brandon Amato

Credit: Brandon Amato

Ole Reliable’s Egg Salad

Kevin Gillespie put this egg salad on the menu at Ole Reliable, his restaurant in the lobby of the Georgia-Pacific building. The restaurant is closed right now, but will reopen as people return to the workplace there.

Gillespie prefers Sir Kensington mayonnaise when he makes this egg salad and garnishes the open-faced sandwich with cold-smoked salmon.

This recipe makes a very loose, saucy egg salad. In our photo, the egg salad is served open-faced, garnished with cold-smoked salmon, thinly sliced celery and radishes, and bits of herbs.

Credit: CHRIS HUNT

Credit: CHRIS HUNT

“Atlanta” Egg

Executive chef Davis King of Biggerstaff Brewing Company created what turns out to be a healthier version of the traditional Scotch egg — no pork sausage, no frying. This recipe only makes three eggs but they are substantial and the 12 quarters will easily serve four for breakfast or at least six as an appetizer.

The dredging mixture has three components, and we recommend putting each in a pie dish to cut down on the mess. Don’t have three pie dishes? Cake pans will work just as well. We’ve included King’s preferred method for hard-boiling eggs.

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